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Lessons I Learned This Weekend

18 May 2008

Charisma takes practice.

I believe I used to be a fairly chatty, outgoing person, who was able to make small talk with strangers, and exude warmth, happiness, charm and a nice level of wit.

But the truth is, it takes a whole lot of practice. And being a stay-at-home-mother, stuck at home, with no other adult contact, it’s pretty hard to practice your people skills. Very rarely do I have opportunities to engage with the range of personalities one would find in a workplace. I’m very rusty!

So lately, I’ve been making extra effort to talk (in length) to a wide range of different people during my day. People I wouldn’t usually talk to. The librarian. The pharmacist. The guy who runs the fruit shop. Mothers and fathers picking up their kids from school. It all takes practice.

Stop trying to control everything!

My husband has recently decided to do more cooking in our household. So on the weekend, we hosted a dinner party with several friends and their kids – and my husband cooked the whole meal.

Now my husband is a pretty good cook. It’s just, when he comes home from work, I’d prefer him to play with the kids, while I cook dinner. So he hardly ever gets the opportunity to cook. Plus I am my mother’s daughter – I am a kitchen tyrant. Things have to be done in a certain way. You have to use the right pot and the right utensil. Because that’s just the way it is.

My husband made goat rendang for the adults, and spaghetti bolognaise (using a secret family recipe from Malta) for the children. My whole body was twitching all afternoon, I knew he was using the wrong implements and doing things very inefficiently! Grrr!

But, oh my goodness, the end result was INCREDIBLE. Both dishes were made to absolute perfection. My jaw was on the floor, my mouth was watering. It was hands-down the most amazing rendang and pasta sauce I’ve ever had (eaten separately, of course).

Seize the opportunity to say something nice.

On the weekend, I saw someone I knew, whom I knew was currently going through a rough patch in life. I immediately wanted to say hi, but ah, I don’t know, she suddenly seemed busy and engaged with something else, and I wasn’t sure if it was a good time to approach her, and bring it up…

Basically I hesitated, she walked away, and so, I lost the opportunity to pass on some kinds words, which, who knows, might have made her day. Sigh.

Be thankful for good health.

The moment my children fall sick, I always realise that I take good health for granted.

Teach your kids that, even if they are feeling pretty bad, there’s probably someone out there who is a lot sicker than they are. Stop the complaining and whinging about a small cold!