Lately I have been focused on making great choices. I mean, I've always made choices (What to make for dinner? Should these socks be thrown away?) but lately, I have been focusing on making great choices. It's not as easy as it might sound.
So I needed a system. And I have found one that is working well for me (you might call it my own "Secret"). A book I read not long ago focused on Offerings. A simple word, but a powerful idea. And so, with a list of offerings in mind (and on a post-it note in my night-stand) I am making great choices more often (albeit not always). When faced with a choice on how to spend my time & effort, I simply look at what offering it might provide to my family & friends (the only thing that really matters).
Today I decided to spend the evening sewing a pillow-case dress for Molly (and not watching the Oscars). And while it took a couple of hours, I am left with a feeling, not that my day was wasted, but that my afternoon was an offering to my family.
Family Legacy, Effort & Joy.
It sounds like a lot for one little dress. But it's not. I actually only chose three to tell you about, when I could have chosen many more.
Family Legacy - Something valuable handed down from the past.
My mom loved to sew. I mean, I've never heard her say that, but I assume it is so. With three little girls, often in hand-made matching clothing I think most people would have made that assumption. And I plan on continuing that legacy and all it encompasses by ensuring this is not the last dress I will make for Molly. If I can show her how much I love her, the same way my mom showed us, with handmade clothing, then I am happy.
Effort - The use of physical or mental energy to do something; an earnest attempt; an achievement.
What a great way to demonstrate effort to my children. Yes, we can go buy clothing (and we do) but to have them see me put effort into something (something for them) is priceless.
Joy - Intense and especially ecstatic or exhausted happiness.
I loved this project. It brought me great joy. And not because Molly can add another dress to her closet, but because it was fun to make. And even more fun to complete. And if you ask Brian (who had to sit through me pointing out my perfect bias seem application), he'll tell you, this brings me joy.
Time well spent.
A list of (some) Offerings (things I can 'give' to my family) I look for when making great decisions:
Generosity - Giving abundantly; willingness to give; unselfishness; openhandedness.
Zeal - An enthusiastic devotion to a cause, idea or goal and tireless diligence in its furtherance.
Unusual Adventure - An exciting or remarkable experience; an uncommon or rare quest.
Trust - An assured reliance on the character, ability, or strength of a person; confidence which is placed in someone.
Patriotism - A love for or devotion to one's country, national loyalty.
Nourishment - The act of nourishing, sustaining, and benefiting.
Creative Fun - An activity that brings joy, amusement, or pleasure.
Consideration - Careful, kind, deliberate thought or concern for other people.
Example - One that serves as a pattern to be imitated; a model of behaviour.
Self Sufficiency - A modest but adequate scale of living; competency.