a friend recently shared this new yorker article on facebook: why are american kids so spoiled? it's a ten-minute read, but it's well worth it. the author discusses a lot of the same ideas that i recently read in the continuum concept, a book written in the 1970s that had me nodding my head, reading bits out loud to my husband, and saying "oh, right, of course!" when just about every page had something to say that made great intuitive sense to me.
back before my husband and i got married, we did an exercise that i got excited about trying after reading this at the fabulous a practical wedding. the exercise: over the course of several conversations, we identified the values that we wanted to be present in our marriage, and then we tried to plan our wedding based on those values, too.
we had planned to have a similar set of values conversations before our daughter was born that would help guide us as we raise her, but she busted out a month early, and that exercise--like many other things on our "to do before baby" list--remains undone.
after reading the continuum concept and the new yorker article, though, i think we might need to make time for that conversation. here's a quote from the article: "what values do we convey by turning our homes into warehouses for dolls? by assigning our kids chores and then rewarding them when they screw up? by untying and then retying their shoes for them?"
we don't have a "warehouse of dolls" and we're nowhere near shoelaces-age yet, but the idea is important to me. and while i don't agree with everything in either reading, i do think this: we make so many small, in-the-moment decisions to try and do what's best for our kiddo, and those decisions would feel stronger to me if we had our personal list of values to measure them against.
so all of this talk so far is marriage- and kid-related, yes, but it gets me thinking about our busybusybusy, choice-choked adult lives of all kinds. do we need to be more explicit with ourselves about our values so that, at the very least, all that busybusybusy is spent in ways we really want to be spending our lives? has everyone else already done that except me? do you have a list of your values posted to your bathroom mirror or what?