Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘raising children

Big Purge

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There has been a heroic level of de-cluttering going on around here lately. The credit goes to a burst of energy Cyndie experienced after doing some clean out of her mom’s house in preparation for a pending move. First, she inspired me to jettison a bunch of clothes I haven’t worn for years. Then, she brought me the contents of file cabinets that haven’t been cleaned out in a very long time.

I’d like to know who saved all this stuff in the first place.

The folder of long-term saved receipts was the most entertaining. I really need to remember to take the time to write what the receipt is for whenever that is not obvious. I was finding sales slips that had no clear identification of what the store or items purchased were. Why did we save those?

There were receipt slips with no date on them. Receipts for Apple products were printed with disappearing ink.

The types of purchases we intend to save records for a long time would be big-ticket items like furniture, appliances, or items of a high dollar amount. That’s why I would find Apple receipts. They’re not much good long-term if the print fades after two years.

Mixed into valid items in that file, I found silly, incidental low-dollar receipts. Better safe than sorry, we must be thinking at the time. Eight or ten years later, it makes for a laugh that we thought that way, originally.

We found our original marriage certificate tucked inside a folder of financial documents. Glad we haven’t needed to locate that document for decades. We never would have found it there.

After dinner last night, Cyndie sprung a surprise on me of some DVDs she discovered. Neither of us remembers getting old VHS tapes of home movies we’d recorded converted to digital, but there they were.

It went all the way back to 1986 when we made an attempt at recording movies that would chronicle the growth of our children, starting with 18-days-old Elysa up at the lake place. There were movies that neither of us remembers having watched back when they were originally recorded.

With a slice of warm from the oven blueberry/lemon pie for dessert last night, we viewed the first disc of three with Elysa’s name on it and then the first one of two with Julian’s. It was the obvious over-documentation of a firstborn and under-documentation of any child after the first one.

In classic kid form, at two years older than her little brother, Elysa was often seeking to be the center of focus when Mom and Dad were trying to record the boy.

We relived our kids’ first feedings of solid foods, first steps, and first birthdays. It had a significant ’80s vibe. There was a segment recorded at my mom’s small place for a Thanksgiving turkey dinner that included a glimpse of my vibrant (now-deceased) sister, Linda that amped up the already heavily nostalgic rush we were enjoying.

While in the middle of purging a lot of unneeded accumulation, we uncovered a treasure trove of memories we didn’t even know we had.




Written by johnwhays

January 27, 2022 at 7:00 am

Embracing Compassion

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When the day comes that somebody asks you which side you are on between love and hate, how will your choices align?

Seeking to become a more compassionate person is not rocket science. Learning to open our minds to concepts beyond our comprehension takes a little practice, but since we start practicing the expansion of our understanding from the moment we are born, it is something we know how to do.

Unless something stifles our progress or we let ourselves forget that we can do it.

Compassion: | kəmˈpaSHən | noun sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.

If parents raise their children with compassion, demonstrate compassion for others, and nurture the art of practicing the expansion of understanding, generations of more loving people will multiply.

We all do better when we all do better.  – Paul Wellstone

There was a time in my life when I felt an unwarranted level of confidence about the way I perceived the world around me, and it involved a lot less grey areas than I am inclined to accept today. There was also a time when I could read small print without glasses. My understanding has expanded and continues to expand.

Sometimes, I find myself unable to understand things I see about the way people behave and the messages they convey, but I strive to become open minded enough to choose to love them as best as I can muster. That effort is a work in progress at times, I’ll admit, but the desire to be more compassionate endures.

Last night, Cyndie and I stumbled onto the CBS broadcast of “Play On: Celebrating the Power of Music to Make Change,” a benefit concert of music crossing multiple genres that radiated compassion and love. The pandemic and renewed push for social justice in the face of repeated police violence against people of color are igniting an energy momentum that deserves to burst forth with a new level of compassion throughout the world.

I hope people will choose to join the side of love.

Too many are facing hunger every day. The world needs more love and compassion.



Written by johnwhays

December 16, 2020 at 7:00 am


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