Just recently I’d completed 2 weeks of feeding my neighbor’s cat and watering her plants while she was on a trip to Europe.
It wasn’t a simple matter; after all, I’m the woman who gave up on growing anything other than my children in my small city home.
I learned early on that I can either raise kids or plants, because (experience, experience) one of them is prone to get totally neglected.
I’m also the mother who has yet to figure out how to shop for her children’s winter boots and coats before they come home soaking wet.
So why another responsibility if I still haven’t gotten my act together? Why didn’t I say NO to nourishing a cat and a thriving garden, if I suspected that my neighbor may come back to a scene from Poltergeist! And I didn’t even ask her for time to think it over!
I took the responsibility because I followed a simple rule of thumb, which I share with you on this episode, that has been serving me well for the better third of my parenting years:
I knew this would be a “yes” to myself and my children as well.
I knew that if I successfully accomplish what I promised to do (i.e. the garden will be intact and the cat will be as chubby as ever) it’ll forever crush my belief that I can’t take care of plants while being there for my kids at the same time.
Also, my kids, who already volunteer to play with my other neighbor’s dog and take her for walks, will overcome their fear of cats following this experience as they join me for the daily feeding.
The rule is one of the many life-changing insights I gained from geeking on anything Byron Katie I could put my hands on.
It helps me decide—on the spot—whether to prep a meal for a new mother, to join the school committee, to walk other children home when I come to pick up my kids from kindergarten; even whether I should go to the social event to which I was personally invited, or not.
Even more importantly, it helps me renege on my “yes” when I realize it was the wrong answer…
Enjoy this episode and share it with your friends, you’ll help them be more true to their own and their family’s needs.
Wishes for a true-to-yourself you,