(Just a note- this post is awfully close to a rant.)
I looked up the word “grammar” in the dictionary recently, and one of the definitions is the “basic or beginning principles of a subject.” It is generally paired with language, but everything in life has a grammar to learn. With that definition in mind, I started thinking about the following:
- Life is based on eternal, unchanging rules. We will be happier when we serve, smile, and learn to love people. There are absolutes. Dishonesty is wrong. End of story. Giving of yourself brings blessings to you ten-fold. Family is the basic unit of society and deserves the best we can give it. God is good. Talk to Him. He will help!
- Parenting is a challenge. Your children are NOT simply blank slates to write on at your will. Take time and read about how children grow, and what is reasonable to expect. Personalities differ. Learn about them. Everyone has their own set of gifts and challenges. Go to those who seem to know what they are doing, and learn from them. Being a parent is so much more fun when you aren’t trying to “reinvent the wheel” and you can relax a bit!
- Learn how to get organized. Read books. Search online. Talk with people. Chaos is unnecessary and makes everything harder. Things don’t have to be in cute, designer, matching containers where everything color-co-ordinates! Just learn how to put things together, and have a system that makes sense to you. When you learn the basics of how to organize your space, time, and resources, you can move through life more smoothly.
- Everyone needs to learn how to cook. Not just how to read a recipe (although that is a good thing too), but why what happens in the kitchen happens. Most whole grains cook up similarly. Which are exchangeable? A white sauce, gravies, and many other pan sauces start with a roux. What about a “skeleton recipe” for muffins, bread, soups, or casseroles? When you know the basics of what is involved, you can mix-and-match what you have to make something new. Which foods can you freeze and want to eat again when they are thawed? We won’t all be gourmet chefs but we can all learn how to feed ourselves and our families without poisoning someone, or depending on pre-made, processed food.
- Cleaning can be much simpler and cheaper if you understand which cleaners can be used for multiple applications, and which cannot. We use an all-purpose organic cleaner, vinegar, citrus, shampoo, baking/washing soda, and peppermint oil to clean. Just a few things will leave my house looking great and smelling fresh.
- You get one body in this life. What are the basic rules of health and nutrition to keep it running smoothly? How much sleep does your body need? How are your eating habits? Is exercise a foreign concept? Health challenges come to everyone but we can choose to make the best of whatever comes our way.
- Keep a budget. Know the basic rules of finances and make them your friends. We have to learn to live with them. Remember: $3 income – $2 expenses= happiness; $5 income -$6 expenses= misery.
- Growing your own food is a boon to your health and your budget…unless you buy all the newest gadgets, pay for premium seed in the tiny packets, and haven’t learned when, where, and how to put things in the ground. You can grow your own starts but if you plant them outside too soon, you’ll need to grow your own starts twice. Some plants don’t handle the cold well. Others need to go in before the threat of frost is past. Peas and spinach prefer cool weather, and will bolt or die off in the heat. You don’t need the latest and greatest of everything to begin; just borrow a couple of books from the library, find out how things work best in your area, and start digging!
- Don’t try to teach your children advanced skills without building a foundation. If they don’t know their times tables, algebra will be frustrating! In that same light, they need to learn how to compromise and problem-solve before you send them out into the workplace to get a job, or go to college.
There is so much “grammar” we never learned at school. Today is a great day to start!