Raising Children and Productivity

Lindy is a young Mum to two energetic boys. Lindy’s house is orderly and tidy, and Lindy works part time in a local law firm. The boys go to Daycare when she is at work, and she reports they love the activities there. Even so, she ensures she makes up for the time away from them, by rewarding them with an extra special outing or activity, on the weekends.

Every day she keeps their young minds busy by taking them out to parks, playgrounds, recreational facilities or plays. They are rarely at home.  Twice a week, they are enrolled in Early Music tuition and next year they will join a junior football team. She is also considering Maths tutoring so that will have a head start on their peers, at school. Lindy wants them to grow up to be motivated and ambitious individuals, living life and experiencing the opportunities she missed during her childhood.

But is she doing the right thing for her boys?

Are the boys benefiting from all these scheduled activities?

Or are they being raised with the expectation that entertainment will be provided, each and every day?  Will they thrive on this daily dose of stimulation, or come to expect it as a birthright? Could they even become victims of information overload?

Some experts now think it’s essential for our mental well-being to make time to relax, unwind and do nothing. But, isn’t that a tad boring? Won’t the kids get into mischief? Do young children really need down time at all? And what about us? Do we really NEED some down time away from the “bling” of notification tones? What is the value of downtime, anyway?

Confucius has some words of wisdom: –

“Learning without reflection is a waste, reflection without learning is dangerous” – Confucius

As well as Confucius, Forbes offers some insights –

“Introspection and reflection have become lost arts” as we are unable to resist the temptation to ‘just finish this’ or ‘find out that.’

With vast amounts of information at our fingertips, who needs to memorize facts at all?

“Working harder is not necessarily working smarter. In fact  slacking off and setting aside regular periods of ‘doing nothing’ may be the best thing we can do to induce states of mind that nurture our imagination and improve our mental health. “

https://www.forbes.com/sites/insead/2014/07/01/the-importance-of-doing-nothing/#354e533e75e4

Does free-time sound appealing to you? Works for me. Schedule time for Feet up, drink in hand, and letting one’s mind free-wheel. Muting notifications of course.

I hope Lindy and her two boys are listening.

Something to Ponder About

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Sunday Sayings – Problem Solving

Snow pea insect
This is particularly pertinent to Climate Change Problems

We have to change our thinking in order to find the solution.

I hear lots of criticism of student protests for Global Change, mainly folks blaming them for highlighting a problem without suggesting answers, but if we think about Albert Einstein’s quote, is this not so surprising?

Snow pea insect

Swedish school student and advocate for Global change, Greta Thunberg suggests we must work collaboratively to find new answers to the world’s problems.

“Many don’t listen to the science of climate change because they are only interested in solutions that will enable them to carry on like before. Those solutions don’t exist anymore because [you] did not act in time. “

Greta Thunberg

Similarly, we have to invent new way to create our own happiness – if you listen to the Dalai Lama –

Happiness is not something ready made.

It comes from your own actions

~Dalai Lama

We alone are responsible for our happiness.

Others may influence us, but ultimately it is our choice how we react to any given situation or event.

Several years ago, I created ‘Proverbial Friday’ on my blog.
I became fascinated with traditional proverbs and sayings, their metaphorical layers and the many different interpretations found within just a few, succinct words. I marveled at their ability to transcend race, religion, opinions and age.
Mostly anonymous, proverbs are a portal through time to generations past and echo a diverse range of cultures.
They speak of the experiences of many lessons learned and the wisdom from thousands of lives already lived.
They offer us knowledge; knowledge that is passed to us in much the same way relay runners might pass a baton. Once it’s handed over, it is up to us what we do with it and how we pass it on.

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Something to Ponder About this Sunday

Sunday Sayings – The Present Moment

Nothing in life is constant.  Like the force of the ocean, life fluctuates between a wearing away (negative or sad feelings) and a building up (positives).

The Arch great ocean road

As corny as it sounds, the way we think does determine our ‘world,’ our ‘present moment.’

If you are willing to appreciate that this moment is far better than it could have been, you will enjoy it more for what it truly is.”


(source: Marc and Angel)

When our mind is not focused on a task, we tend to live in a world of reflection. We can work through problems, remember experiences and plan for the future. There is nothing wrong with reflection, as long as it doesn’t become set to “critique”mode. That surely results in negativity and for some people: depression. 

It is rare to have absolute happiness or absolute sadness, so our moods oscillate somewhere between the two ends of the spectrum. At any given moment we are comparing how we currently feel to how we felt at another time – comparing one level of our contentment to another.

Negative comparisons can distract you from happiness around you if you notice it.

pensive thoughful looking upward

Since it is our mind that directs and controls the body, it’s the way you think that eventually makes you feel good or bad. The way we think also allows us to dismiss and give up but also to dream, hope and ponder. Increasing our awareness of the present moment can increase our enjoyment and lessen the melancholic reflections of our mind.

Life is not all black and white, but oscillates in between

What do you think? Do you agree?

Everyone’s opinion is important.

Something to ponder about this Sunday.

The Things you Value and Are Important

things you worship

Writing down your thoughts and feelings can be cathartic. Recently I was given a journal of self-exploration, and it challenged me to circle the things that are most important to me in my life. Things I really value above all else. The trouble is I am prone to over- analysis.

things you worship
What is important to you?

Adding a magnitude of difficulty is that the list was finite. Trouble? I think so.

For example:

  • Do I value Laughter? Well of course, but does that include mocking, self-serving or sarcastic laughter – NO.
  • Travel – In hindsight I should have circled travel – but it isn’t really essential to contented life, is it? It is more of a bonus in life.
  • Earth – I am an environmentalist – I feel a stab of guilt that I neglected to circle this.
  • Sight – ???? I didn’t circle it so what does that indicate?
  • Home – who doesn’t value their home? Even homeless folk value homes. But what is a home without family?
  • Honesty – does that make me a dishonest person. Why didn’t I circle honesty?
  • Shoes – I am not a girl obsessed with shoes. Why is this even an option? Then again, it is pretty hard to go without shoes altogether.

You see – Over-analysis. It is a problem!


journal, self-help
The Journal of Self Introspection or Over-Analysis

I framed the book’s question as matters most essential to me – things that I would not want to be without. But they needed a few more options, I thought.

Things I would add to this list:

  • Respect,
  • Compassion,
  • Nurturing
  • Care,
  • Empathy
  • Hope
  • Blogging!!!

The final task in this exercise in self-exploration was to circle the things that you would rather worship/admire/value.

My list looked like this:


things you worship

Are you noticing a theme here? I circled the same seven things!

If you completed this exercise, what would it be that you circled?

What are the things you worship/value/that are most important to you in your life ?

What then would you circle as things you would rather worship/value?

What else do you think should be included in the darn list?

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Something Important to Ponder About

Survivors – FMFW Day 18 – Worth and Day 22 – Value

How Three Survivors of Suicide Spent Their Last Days On Earth – http://wp.me/p6xgta-oS

Incredibly powerful stories, revealing in the way the writers take the reader into their heads and reveal their thinking.

As a young person, I worked as a Nurse and never understood my patients as much as I did after reading this post. Many people are not able to empathize with the sufferer but these words do help to relate the hopelessness and understand the thought patterns that lead to the most tragic act.

I think we can better understand the nature of suicide from survivors like this.

It is so important for us all to check in with others about how they are doing. A txt or phone call could mean everything.

This post constitutes Day 18 and Day 22 of Five Minutes of Summer –

Five minutes of Free Writing every day  for October

wpid-wp-1443948548820.jpeg

Something serious to ponder about