It is a morning of expectation and delight as it is the first Saturday in quite some time that my daughter and I have not had a commitment beyond hanging out with each other. I am realistic though–I know that as she finishes out her sleeps downstairs that she is not dreaming of going to the fiber fair, planting tulip bulbs or taking the dogs for a long hike. In fact, she asked last night if we could go look for a new winter jacket if she promised only to go to a local outdoor gear shop. (Oh, she knows me too well!)
Part of my excitement about today is the opportunity to get outside at the tail end of a beautiful autumn here in WNC. I will admit that with all the home renovations and heavy equipment in our yard, there is not much I can do on our suburban farm for fear it will be trampled or excavated. That leaves me open to go explore and photograph, walk and experience.
As I read the article below, however, I realized what today also meant to my heart. A sabbath with our little family. While I have learned to appreciate the “small moments” that I have with a teen daughter on the go, I still yearn for long, meaningful opportunities of connection and time. There is something to be said for the impact these memories and stories have on your family dynamics.
Below you will find the list that I am referencing in my post. It is actually a list the Pope created based on his own experience and desire to be happy. I am already thinking that #4 and 7 will be priorities today (as soon as Hayley gets up, of course!).
The Pope’s 10 Tips for a Happier Life
1. “Live and let live.” Everyone should be guided by this principle, he said, which has a similar expression in Rome with the saying, “Move forward and let others do the same.”
2. “Be giving of yourself to others.” People need to be open and generous toward others, he said, because “if you withdraw into yourself, you run the risk of becoming egocentric. And stagnant water becomes putrid.”
3. “Proceed calmly” in life. The pope, who used to teach high school literature, used an image from an Argentine novel by Ricardo Guiraldes, in which the protagonist — gaucho Don Segundo Sombra — looks back on how he lived his life.
4. A healthy sense of leisure. The Pope said “consumerism has brought us anxiety”, and told parents to set aside time to play with their children and turn of the TV when they sit down to eat.
5. Sundays should be holidays. Workers should have Sundays off because “Sunday is for family,” he said.
6. Find innovative ways to create dignified jobs for young people. “We need to be creative with young people. If they have no opportunities they will get into drugs” and be more vulnerable to suicide, he said.
7. Respect and take care of nature. Environmental degradation “is one of the biggest challenges we have,” he said. “I think a question that we’re not asking ourselves is: ‘Isn’t humanity committing suicide with this indiscriminate and tyrannical use of nature?’”
8. Stop being negative. “Needing to talk badly about others indicates low self-esteem. That means, ‘I feel so low that instead of picking myself up I have to cut others down,’” the Pope said. “Letting go of negative things quickly is healthy.”
9. Don’t proselytise; respect others’ beliefs. “We can inspire others through witness so that one grows together in communicating. But the worst thing of all is religious proselytism, which paralyses: ‘I am talking with you in order to persuade you,’ No. Each person dialogues, starting with his and her own identity. The church grows by attraction, not proselytising,” the Pope said.
10. Work for peace. “We are living in a time of many wars,” he said, and “the call for peace must be shouted. Peace sometimes gives the impression of being quiet, but it is never quiet, peace is always proactive” and dynamic.