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By: Barbara Chesser, Ph.D.
5th Portion of Chicken Soup of the Soul

" One fall afternoon I rushed home from the university where I taught.

I prepared a hasty dinner, threatened my nine-year-old daughter, Christi, to hurry and finish her homework “or else,” and properly reprimanded Del, my husband, for leaving his dusty shoes on the good carpet.

I then frantically vacuumed the entryway because a group of prestigious ladies were coming by to pick up some good used clothing for a worthwhile cause; and then later a graduate student would be at our house to work on a very important thesis – one that I was certain would make a sound contribution to research.

As I paused to catch my breath, I heard Christi talking with a friend on the telephone. Her comments went something like this:

“Mom is cleaning house – some ladies we don’t even know are coming by to pick up some old worn-out clothes…and a college student is coming out to work on a thesis… no, I don’t know what a thesis is….I just know Mom isn’t doing anything important…and she won’t go bug hunting with me.”

Before Christi had hung up the phone, I had put on my jeans and old tennis shoes, persuaded Del to do likewise, pinned a note to the door telling the graduate student I’d be back soon, and set the box of used clothing on the front porch with a note on it that said Del, Christi and I had gone bug hunting.

Lesson: It is the time spent together that is more meaningful than the tasks that beckon to us from our endless To-Do list."

The above story was sent to me in a work email titled, "Motivational Minute."

Most of the time, I simply delete these emails; or gloss over them to see if it happens to be one of the more humorous anecdotes. Occasionally, one such as this seems to hit a note that rings close to home.

I have been doing a series of self evaluations and reflections of late. Trying to put my thoughts, feelings, and views of my family and marital relationships into a new perspective.

I've been asking myself questions like:
  • What is really important to me?
  • Who matters?
  • Do I matter, to whom, and where do I fit in?
  • Are my current views a result of realistic perspective, or one of hurt feelings and past issues that may seem unresolved?

    I've been writing a series of pen and paper letters (not included here in my journal in any form. at least not yet) to Karen to help myself put the thoughts and feelings in my head into a new view point. or, at least, get them organized into a cohesive thought. Of course, I haven't actually given any of these letters to her. They are, for the most part, all still in my "murse." Still in the little notepad they were written on, or paper clipped i a folder.

    I'm not sure that I plan to give any of them to her. At least, not right now. But they are helping me to put my thoughts together, and causing me to give serious introspection into things I have long buried in the back of my minds cupboards.

    Today's Motivational Minute provides a sound point in how to view the priority of the seemingly endless list of tasks. And makes me wonder if I might need to go back and review some of my own recent notes about where certain things rank in importance.
  • Tags: family, relationships
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