Day Twenty Two: Communication

Another one of my goals for improvement in 2017 is to work on my parenting skills. During the school year, I only see my kids on weekends. Often, the mandatory overtime demands made by my employer only allow me to see them on Friday night and Saturday. Due to the distance they live from my home, I am not able to keep them during the week. The “joint custody” agreement filed with the court no longer worked after their mother moved to town located an hour drive from me. During the summer, I see them more often.

todolistOne of the problems I’ve had is that I work all week, and then add after work activities such as hiking and meditation groups. I get really behind on my laundry and housework. So guess what. The house is a mess and I have my kids, aged 5 & 7. I attempt to clean the house as they are messing up the house even more. To resolve this dilemma, I went through and cleaned thoroughly, decluttering, and putting the home into the cleanest possible state. On Friday night, the kids get a To-Do List. No tablet time or playing until they are all checked off the list. I added two fun things to the list: kids yoga and baking cookies. It worked pretty well, though my daughter was more cooperative than my son. We did what should have taken about an hour and a half in about 3-4 hours.

Deng Ming-Dao on Communication:

Movement, objects, speech, and words
We communicate through gross symbols.
We call them “objective,”
But we cannot escape our point of view.

Deng Ming-Dao asserts that we cannot know reality through communication. We can only experience subjectivity because miscommunication is always a problem with motions, signs, talking, and writing. We do not know any absolute truth about this world. As I quoted in an early post, Harry Crews once remarked, “The only world I know is the one I see”. He was speaking about how he is so often fooled by appearances, citing an example of seeing a married couple he knew kissing and hugging, assuming their love life was going well,  only to learn they filed for divorce a few days later. We should know that words and communication are imperfect and so we must give them limited importance.

As the old saying goes, “Believe half of what you see and nothing you hear.”

The Day in Review

Today, in The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday, he references a letter from Seneca about an exercise in reviewing each day in the evening, asking the following questions:

  • What bad habit did I curb today?
  • How am I better?
  • Were my actions just?
  • How can I improve?

Looking back at today, there was some backsliding. I woke up running late, which is because I stayed up late last night cleaning my apartment. I wish I had woken up on time, but I think the extra 45 minutes of sleep was worth it, just for today, considering the benefits of cleaning up last night. The downside is I didn’t have enough time to prepare lunch, so I purchased and ate junk food, and resorted to caffeine to compensate for lack of sleep. Not a habit I wish to keep, but for just one day, I’m happy to have a clean home for the small price of one slightly rough morning. I managed to stay on task all day at work, did not waste much time after getting home, caught up on my blog, and I’m satisfied with the day. I can improve by working on becoming more efficient with my blog writing. Without sacrificing quality, I could free up time to accomplish other things as well.

See you tomorrow.


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