The kids have ideas in their heads that are so powerful, so all-consuming, that they forget that other people also have desires or needs. They don’t try to listen and understand, or even to convince or cajole. They just start acting.

And then, of course, the sibling who’s affected by this action suddenly feels imperilled, and lashes out (with sounds or body), and play time becomes war. Like, for serious war, not ponies v. fairies.

Usually, a “hey, hey, hey, use your words” works to remind them that they at least have to use the forms of discussion when trying to get their way. Sometimes, they recognise the need for something different, and run out to tell an adult, and we remind them to “go and work it out together”. Either way, balance is often restored within minutes, with one sibling relenting or managing to persuade. (Very occasionally, they’ll be sent to take a break until they can think rationally, and speak calmly).

It would just be nice if they were able to recognise that themselves, rather than having an outside influence each time. Sometimes childcare seems like micromanaging emotions rather than guiding in a general trajectory.

➵ Why You Should Write Yourself a Letter Tonight

In the practice called free writing, you can use any object as your own personal Rorschach test for entering a stream of associations. Simply write the first thing that comes to your mind as you look at the object in front of you and then keep going without stopping, rereading, or crossing out.

I need to get back to my writing practice, it really makes a difference in my days.

➵ Why is everyone so busy?

The problem, then, is less how much time people have than how they see it. Ever since a clock was first used to synchronise labour in the 18th century, time has been understood in relation to money. Once hours are financially quantified, people worry more about wasting, saving or using them profitably. When economies grow and incomes rise, everyone’s time becomes more valuable. And the more valuable something becomes, the scarcer it seems.

Happy Christmas!

Happy Monday • Learning and Growing Edition

Throughout conference, I felt a gentle pull towards being more humble, and because it hasn’t been a smackdown about my pride, I have let myself be more open this week. I have noticed myself being more teachable, and therefore noticing more connections and messages. Something I really want to keep up.

We had a good week, and I was afraid it was an anomaly, and now I can’t tell if that was a self-fulfilling prophesy. (I’m not over it). (But it’s been easier to be patient, lately, and trust that the future holds what is best for me).

I have too many ideas for a Halloween costume, and I don’t love any of them.

Apparently, “cons” is short for “considerations”. That makes sense.

New pyjamas are on the way! After the hole on my derrière grew to a 6-inch diameter, I thought it was probably time to buy a new set. Old Navy came to the rescue with navy pants sporting pink birds, and a pink t-shirt.

➵ Richard Wiseman – Be lucky, it’s an easy skill to learn

“[R]esearch has shown that anxiety disrupts people’s ability to notice the unexpected”

“My research revealed that lucky people generate good fortune via four basic principles. They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations, and adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.”

➵ Terry Teachout – Confessions Of An Aesthete

“Not long ago I was introduced to an audience as an “intellectual.” This was a well-meaning choice of word, and a flattering one, but it was slightly off. An intellectual is a person who is mainly interested in ideas. I am an aesthete—a person who is mainly interested in beauty.”

“… if you love the world, you will find in art a way of magnifying (in the religious sense of the word) its beauties.”

“[M]aking reality over into art, while it necessarily entails a measure of simplification, also demands that the artist simultaneously acknowledge the proliferating complexity of human nature and experience.”

Happy Monday • Always on Tuesdays Edition

Speaking to the local community college about their Beginner Watercolours class, and when I was put on hold, they were playing (a completely terrible version of) my favourite Mozart piece, Rondo Alla Turca. A sign? In which case, is the difficulty of processing the payment (which necessitated the hold) a counter-sign? Anyway, I start the class on Friday. Exciting.

Having spiritually demanding conversations makes me feel rejuvenated. It reminds me that it’s okay to have questions without answers, and that wanting greater light and knowledge is righteous (and that desire will ultimately be fulfilled).

I often have referred to myself as an introvert lately, but this feeling that I get, when I know that I am loved – that other people feel their life is blessed because of me – I need to feel that. It makes me happy. When I don’t feel that, a gaping hole opens deep inside me, and sucks all the happiness far away to where I can’t touch it.

I might have a date tomorrow night. I’m not sure how to tell. If you’ve got tips, I’ve got ears for you.