Remember that movie with Helen Hunt and Jack Nicholson? And I think Greg Kinnear? The line “You make me want to be a better man.” always sticks in my head. Jack was a crotchety old dude (shocker) who was turned sweetheart by Helen Hunt’s character. Sometimes I feel like Jack. And Carter is my Helen (stay with me here, I know I’m getting a little crazy).
There is something about having a kid that changes you. It DOES make you want to be a better person. You start thinking about their little personality developing, the habits they are creating, and you start becoming painfully aware of your bad habits and attitudes. It’s made me evaluate decisions I made ages ago. And for the first time in my life I am thinking twice about some of them. I wouldn’t call them regrets, per se. I am who & where I am because of every decision I’ve made. It’s really more of a “hmm, I could have made a better choice.”
I’ve started my own internal campaign: Do As I Do! Live well. Live right. Your children are sure to pick up some of those good attitudes and habits. And one day, when they are sitting there writing their online journal (or laughing at their parents’ desire to share their diaries on the Internet), they might hope for even more for their own children (awwww, my grandbabies!).
Outside of the biggies (hello, Ten Commandments), this little campaign is mundane at times and profound at others. But I do so hope it will have a positive impact on our little family…
1. make your bed every day
2. wash your dishes instead of putting them in the sink
3. waste less food. use what’s in your fridge and pantry.
4. encourage your spouse to pursue their dreams. support them (with love) while they do it.
5. cherish your friendships. even when it’s hard. you chose them as friends for a reason.
6. confront issues that bother you. even when you don’t want to do it. the longer they fester, or the longer you ignore, the more they will burn you up later. even years later!
7. tell your parents you love them every day.
8. laugh when someone makes an honest mistake and help them pick up the pieces (or pureed pears on the leather couch).
9. smile at strangers. even when you don’t want to. they might be having a bad day and you could give it a positive turn.
10. never stop learning. be curious. look up more often (i now look up in every single store/restaurant/house/park thanks to my little fan & light lover).
Any other ideas for my “Do As I Do” list?