When it comes to life hacks as far as food preservation, decorating, or Lego storage, I’m not the best go-to person. But there are things I’ve realized are life-hacks when it comes to being a better human.
10 Ways To Be A Better Human
1. You are enough. So are most people. We each do what we can, when we can, and we’re not here to judge how often others volunteer at school, and we’re not here to judge ourselves on that either. But, volunteer when you can. It helps in ways none of us may never fully understand.
2. Treat yourself and others the way you hope the world will treat your children or those most precious to you.
3. Give hugs. Long, real ones. Hugs release the good stuff in our brains and remind us we’re all connected in ways we may never realize but can always appreciate.
4. Find ways to connect, even when you don’t say them aloud. Sitting at a traffic light, annoyed at your to-do list? Look at the driver in the car next to you. Wonder where they’re going, and how they’re feeling. Remember that each car on the annoying road has a driver who has a life full of complexities, worries, love, and (hopefully) laughter. Let them in front of you when they didn’t realize their turn was coming up so soon.
5. Listen to music with your eyes closed. Feel swept away. Appreciate art, and the making of it. Realize that just writing and reading is art appreciation. That art was a language before humans had language.
6. Go outside and look at the night sky. Think about the lives in the homes around you. Are they happy? Are they grieving? Think about how we’re all brilliant and imperfect. Hug yourself, and let out the breath you’ve been half-holding.
7. You’ve heard this before – likely often – but it’s a big one. Remember that you don’t know anybody’s story. The lady being a jerk at Starbucks? Maybe she just found out her dad has Alzheimer’s or Dementia, and she has no idea how to help him. That she has no clue how to help herself through the heartbreak of it all. Caring for him, when he maybe doesn’t remember her name.
8. Help, even when somebody says they don’t need it. The frazzled mama at the grocery? Smile at her. See her over her screaming child. Pick up the dropped can of soup for her, make goofy faces with her kids in line. She’ll remember it always, even if it doesn’t seem so in the moment.
9. Remember that you’re not always right. Listen to others rather than shutting them out for their stupidity. Realize their stupidity comes from something – most likely fear. Try to understand what they’re afraid of, and empathize with that feeling before trying to educate them on how dumb they’re being.
10. Truly see one another. Realize if you’re frustrated by your kid not doing his homework that he’s frustrated, bored, or overwhelmed. Break it up.
Last night, my son and I were doing homework and he was getting discouraged and bored. I wanted to go sit on the couch and read a book, tell him to “Just $%&*%$ DO IT ALREADY because you’d be done if you were working each second you were complaining, and I’m so over this!” I almost did just that. For some reason though, I didn’t. I looked at his face, saw the little folds under his eyes that he’s had since he was born. Saw my childhood and remembered doing homework alone in my room. How hard it was to do homework at all! With toys and books and everything else in the house being better than homework! I knew he was struggling. I breathed in. Out. In again.
“How can I make this better for you?” And he told me. He just needed some silliness mixed in. He told me about this game he’d seen, and we played it. It’s simple. You simply pause and mute one another using the remotes for the TV, a box, or a pencil.
“Mute!” he said, and then, we wrote notes back and forth to each other and I swear they were almost better than verbal conversation. We laughed, and he eventually finished his homework. I want to remember this.
The actual notes are hard to read so:
Me: You are so good at math!
Him: Thanks 🙂
Me: Now please finish so we can sleep (tired)
Him: Why? Thug life with a sunglass face drawing
Me: I won’t answer again for two more problems. GO! *star*
Him: Finished two more problems then says WTFLIP
Me: DAYUM? Now, another?
Him: Maybe with a toothy sad face that he then says in parenthesis “not a bunny” (note this part we both laughed at a lot)
Me: I am so glad that you are my son.
Him: You tell me that every day (with a flat-lipped smiley and an “I know” air bubble
Me: Yes, I tell you this a lot but I never want you to wonder. You are amazing and also it is totally gross to lick my hair.
(after he actually licked my hair)
Him: Says who?
Me: MOM aka Boss.
Him: SORRY! with a weird face that I think is supposed to be horrified and sad.
Me: It’s ok. Finish your homework. You CAN do this (even though homework is dumb).
And stop trying to lick me please.
Me: Please do not make me put pepper sauce on me. And you’re almost done. Just finish!
And finish he did. Plus, he stopped trying to lick me. I know that’s weird, but it was actually really fun.
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post (prompt is “My favorite life hack is…” The post is late going up because:
Two-hour delay for school today so I had to cram in work
Took him to swimming tonight then grabbed a quick bite, thinking I’d be home soon for my hour and 1/2 of free time while Robert took him to Cub Scouts but Robert’s working so I took him to Scouts, and we got home at the time I should’ve been publishing
Then, he has to finish this poetry contest tonight even though they haven’t talked at all about poetry at school and his poem is more of a story but I don’t care because homework is dumb…
THEN tomorrow is the 100th day of school and he wants to dress up as somebody 100 years in the future, which so far, means his Terminator hoodie has my old iPhone taped to the arm, and some tinfoil bits here and there attached to a paper towel tube… So yeah. Finish the sentence as I can, right?