How to Give Your Family Your Best

There is the best of you. There is the worst of you. There is a whole lot of you in between these two extremes.

Who gets the best?

Who gets the worst?

Perhaps your work days are a little like Craig’s day was yesterday.  He got up early and rushed to work. There were meetings and problems and difficulties. There were laughs and solutions and disciplined reactions. He drank coffee and ate food on the run. He worked long hours. He felt depleted, emotionally and physically, when he finally left the office. Now he had to battle through the traffic.

As he walked through the door of his home, the kids rushed to him and his wife asked him to do something. He exploded.

“Can’t you just give me 10 minutes to settle in?”

The evening was miserable. He was grumpy and irritated. All he wanted was to be left alone and everyone wanted a bit of him. He went to bed feeling frustrated. His sleep was disturbed with a niggling discomfort.

Who got the best of Craig? His work ? His family?

Last night a man called Kazik gave a touching speech at Toastmasters. It was called “Flowers Cannot Wait”. He told us how his wife loved flowers. Early in their marriage he stopped giving them to her because the money was better spent elsewhere. The sparkle in her eyes faded away.

When she was dying of cancer he started bringing her flowers again. The sparkle in her eyes shone gently through her pain. At her funeral the house and church were overflowing with flowers.

His greatest regret will always be that he had stopped bringing her flowers and then it was too late.

Like many of us, Craig gives his best at work, and then there’s not much left for the family in the evening.

A slight adjustment to your routine will allow you to easily be your best at home too.

Stop somewhere near to home – a park would be wonderful, a garden or even sitting in a parking lot would work. Take ten minutes for yourself. This is your time to collect your thoughts and regroup BEFORE you greet your family.

Walk or sit quietly. Breathe deeply, in and out, for a few minutes. Reflect on your day and let it go. Now reflect on your family and how important they are to you. Imagine walking through the door and greeting them happily, sweeping them into your arms for a warm hug.

Continue home. Walk in the door and do as you had imagined. You will have a happy and fulfilled evening rather than a tired and grumpy one. You’ll sleep better.

Your family will enjoy you at your best.

Guess what? You will enjoy your family at their best too!

Commit to taking ten minutes for yourself BEFORE you get home.

Let go of the tension. Focus on the important things in life. Remind yourself of the love you have to give. Now you are ready to greet your family.

Let me know how it goes…

Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.

Michael J. Fox

About Kirsten Long

Coach. Toastmaster. Prison-worker. Wife. Mother. Friend.
This entry was posted in Feelings, Habits, Life Mastery, Managing Stress, Relationships. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to How to Give Your Family Your Best

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I truly appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your further post thanks once again.

  2. kleurplaat says:

    Yesterday, while I was at work, my sister stole my iphone and tested to
    see if it can survive a 40 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation.
    My apple ipad is now broken and she has 83 views. I know
    this is completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  3. FAITH MARK says:

    Hi Kristen

    Thanks for a most insipring way to look at the family happiness.
    It is so true we give our all to work and disappointing when certain people gets the credit and often not remembered to be thanks – this plays on the mind and a result we dont give that undivided attention to the family – yes !! the family suffers in the end.
    Take care.
    Faith Mark

  4. Erika says:

    Then I am blessed in, when I get home there is a 1 year old grandson who cannot wait for me to pick him up. Looking into that radiant smile dissolves all my stress and de-moer-in-geid from work. I just love going home in the afternoons! Thank God for small miracles

    • Kirsten says:

      Wow Erika – isn’t it wonderful how children can give us so much joy – AND teach us so much.

      Sounds to me like he is also blessed to have you for a grandmother!

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