Thank goodness for a meme to do today! In fact, Emily was kind enough (and could have added ‘tagging bloggers for memes’ to her answers) to tag me for two, but I’ll save one up for another time.
Five Kind Things Meme
Here are the rules:
1. List five kind things you do for yourself.
2.List five kind things you do for your closest friend, partner or child.
3.List five kind things you have done for a stranger.
4. Have fun!
5. Tag five people.
Five Kind Things I Do For Myself
1. Nothing. Yup, that’s right, sometimes I do absolutely nothing, and it’s immensely restful. It always made me laugh that the cows in Cold Comfort Farm were called Aimless, Feckless and Graceless, and I used to think, that’s not a dairy herd, that’s a guilty pleasure.
2. Give Myself Permission. I used to spend far too much of my life feeling terribly guilty about being obliged to do things like take time out, or recover from illness, or redo work because I’d made mistakes out of haste, and now I try to permit myself time and spaciousness and the ability to get things wrong from time to time. It’s not instinctual, but I’m working on it.
3. Read. You don’t really need me to say any more about this one, do you?
4. Write. I realized I’m kidding myself if I think I’m doing this for other people. The world can get by just fine without my thoughts on Katherine Mansfield or the literary fantastic, but I can’t resist seeing what they look like on paper.
5. Go To Bed Early. One of the greatest physical pleasures for me is that moment of first getting into bed at night and stretching out luxuriously in warmth and comfort. There’s always something I ought to be doing, or someone whose activities I ought to be accompanying or overseeing, or friends I ought to be telephoning, but to tuck up in bed early, listening to an audio tape or reading is just gorgeous sometimes.
Five Kind Things I Do For My Son
1. His French homework.
2. Keep My Thoughts To Myself. The number of times I open my mouth to suggest something, or ask something, or nag, and then think better of it and close it again. It’s by far the best policy.
3. Bake cakes and puddings. I think this is particularly saintly when I can’t eat them myself. I’m quite strong, but I have to look away when he tucks into syrup sponge pudding and ice cream. And cheesecake.
4. Put Him To Bed. Although he is theoretically capable of getting there under his own steam, my son still believes that time spent sleeping, (along with time spent in school), constitutes an obscene waste of his resources. I cajole, bully, encourage, blackmail, read stories, and we get there in the end.
5. Watch Television With Him. I’m not fond of television because there’s so little on that doesn’t offend my squeamish sensibilities at some point. But my son loves having someone watch with him, so I will put all thoughts of reading out of my head and keep him company. Yesterday I watched The Sixth Day, a thriller about cloning with Arnold Schwarzenegger that was well out of my comfort zone, and had a night of bad dreams for my pains.
Five Kind Things I Have Done For Strangers
1. Reviewed their novels.
2. Listened to their troubles.
3. Interviewed them and then admitted them to study a modern languages degree course.
4. Done the administration to ensure their research and conference expenditure was recompensed.
5. Kept Them Calm. This was a tricky section as strangers in the UK tend to avoid social contact, but once I talked for over two hours on the phone to the mother of a student who had gone temporarily missing (he turned up again). It was rather taxing, but I was glad to do it.