Thanks for Your Time

Build relationships by sharing stories of motivation and inspiration

I don’t know who wrote the story I give you today and perhaps, like many of the inspiring stories we read, it didn’t exactly happen this way.

Nevertheless, since this is Thanksgiving week, it holds an important truth about recognizing the value of the time we take for others.

It had been some time since Jack had seen the old man. College, girls, career, and life itself got in the way. In fact, Jack moved clear across the country in pursuit of his dreams. There, in the rush of his busy life, Jack had little time to think about the past and often no time to spend with his wife and son. He was working on his future, and nothing could stop him.

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Healing Strained Family Relationships During the Holidays

 Advice to make the holidays peaceful and less stressful.

11.09.11 Turkey top questions blog - Flickr - USDAgov

Do you dread an upcoming family gathering because you will have to deal with some crazy relatives? If so, here are some recommendations, based in part on suggestions in Healing Relationships is an Inside Job.

Just reading this list may encourage you to face your family with less dread — and to slow down a bit as you approach the end-of-year get-togethers.

Be sure to notice the suggestions in bold.

Be glad your family isn’t boring.

Consider using this as a time to heal old wounds, which may be easier than you think.

Use the KISS method, which, if you don’t know, stands for “keep it simple silly.”

Take mini-vacations before, during, and after the family gathering.

Be flexible.

Write “DON’T PANIC” on the top of your to-do list.

Spend a quiet day or evening all by yourself.

Ask for help when you need it!!!


Invite friends, if for no other reason than the observation that family feuds are often toned down in front of outside company.

Treat your family like you treat your friends.

Compliment your family, especially those whose hard work is often overlooked because it is always expected of someone.

See others as they are today, not as they were the last time you saw them, or as they were many years ago; people really do change when you aren’t looking.

Let bygones be bygones.


Give people space to be themselves.

Make exceptions to accommodate special needs.

Take advantage of the occasion to create an oral history event.

Remember what’s really important.


Enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Architecture Tour Offers a New Perspective on Relationships

This post originally appeared on this blog on October 20, 2014. Due to a server failure, it was lost, so it is reposted here.


Ladder leading to pictureThis post is part of the “Step Into Pictures” series that offers you a new way to explore both difficult relationships and those you treasure. Visit the Step Into Pictures Archive to learn more about it.

Click on picture to see enlarged view

Tourists on Chicago River Architectural Tour

                          Tourists on Chicago River Architectural Tour

Recently I went to the Art Institute of Chicago for a program put on by Road Scholar, an organization that promotes life-long learning all over the world on hundreds of topics. This program explored the way in which art reflects the empires in which they are created.

The day before the program, I took a wonderful 90-minute ride on the Chicago River presented by the Chicago Architecture Foundation and learned why Chicago is world-renowned for its buildings.

If you had a friend, or someone with whom you have had a bit of a problem, in your mind’s eye you could take a tour with him or her on this boat. Just imagine what you could talk about both during the tour and later.

Incidentally, although this picture has my name on it and is, in a sense, mine, I’m not really that good a painter. However, one of the women in the program told me about FotoSketcher, a free program that turns photos into watercolors, oil paintings, pastel sketches, etc. I will be using it for many future Step Into Picture posts. It makes me feel so talented, even though the real talent comes David Thoiron who created the photo-to-art program.

Dust if You Must

Discover the qualities of friendship and share them with the people you know.

I hope you will share this post with every person who gets herself into a tizzy cleaning up the house for holiday visitors.

I know a lot about making a bigger fuss over the Christmas and Hanukah season than is absolutely necessary. In fact, I’ve written several posts on the subject.

So I am glad to bring this message — author unknown — that I received from one of my friends that fits right into the holiday season. Ready to help you have a new perspective this week and through the end of the season. Continue reading