Table Tales

Setting the table used to mean placing the forks, knives, and spoons in the exact same place where your grandmother and your grandmother’s grandmother placed theirs. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with tradition, does setting the table today carry the same meaning as it did in past generations?

When your children are small, you prepare the family meal, and then use place mats, your eating utensils and assorted bowls and platters. Kids don’t seem to mind if there are no flowers on the table or crystal water glasses. They seem to enjoy their food with these amenities or without them.

On special occasions, when your in-laws visit, the preacher comes visiting, or your child’s favorite teacher comes for brunch, you try different ways to present a table that is not only laden with the best in culinary delights, but also your very best china, silverware and linen.

In all the different phases of life (single, newlywed, bringing up family, empty nest, retired, or living alone once again) people go through the simple, very elaborate, kind of trendy, and then back to very simple. Of course, time, money, and family ideas and needs are all different, except for one. People eat better when they are treated with charm, dignity, and special little details designed for their comfort and enjoyment. When eating alone, why bother setting the table? You are setting it for a very special guest - you. Your thoughts and ideas are paramount to the conversation, and your mealtime needs to be stress-free and well-appointed. You will feel better for it, your digestion will thank you, and you will leave the table feeling good about yourself. Small children - they learn from our example more than they learn from our words. If we treat family meals as special times, they will learn to feel the same way about sitting down with everyone sharing, caring, and being attentive to each other. Of course, this would be the ideal situation. Family squabbles, fighting, spilling, and other added features will occur during mealtime when you have various ages gathered at the table. Welcome these annoyances, deal with them appropriately and carefully, because the message you convey carries a lot of baggage. It imprints on a child the fear of being careless, and a bother, or it will boost self-image and creativity. How - your child will see that you deal with disruptions in an orderly way, clearing the mess as cheerfully as circumstances permit. They, in turn and maybe not right away, but they will deal with their peers and their elders in mimic of you. How would you like their imitation of you to be projected?

Newlyweds and empty-nestors, you are just beginning a life together or you are returning to having more time for each other. In either case, setting the table a little more elaborately, with a touch of whimsy, and a serving of elegance, will soothe souls, and invite both of you to a time of partaking of food leisurely and with a much higher degree of appreciation for taste, texture, and those other nice little “you really did notice” points. You can savor the food, admire the surroundings, and be a participant in the witty conversation and the warm embrace of sharing time with someone you care about.

If the time should come that you return to eating as a single person again, you have learned the finer points of entertaining. You are no less a guest than if you had invited someone else over to share your meal. Enjoy yourself, relax, and know that a meal is and always will be a time of rejuvenation, and soul-growth.

So bring out the candlesticks, the lacy tableclothsArticle Submission, and the gravy boat and have a meal fit for royalty. Setting the table should be paramount of every meal when possible. Let your table shine - for royalty are about to sit around your table.

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How To Handle Life's Problems

Try to enrich your life at all times. Your life is a gift - so enjoy it to the absolute fullest. But when things are going well (or so we think), suddenly things go radically wrong and our whole lives get turned upside down.

Why is it that certain people have fewer problems and are less ill than others. They are happier people;because their OUTLOOK ON LIFE is different. I thinkso. They seem to have a power and control over their own lives. Something I don’t seem to have at the moment - enough negative thoughts, Craig!

The mind influences how we feel, how our body reacts to certain events and chiefly how successful we are in work and play. Therefore, it is a very strong force in our lives. When we first encounter adversity or severe trauma, it is our mind which has to cope with the unexpected. We first feel anintense shock, then there is disbelief, an overwhelming numbness, disorientation, consuming pain, panic…and finally exhaustion. These are very real responses for you in a major life crisis, which are difficult for others to understand. These reactions can vary in intensity and duration, depending on your personality make-up. Are you highly strung and an intense and sensitive “little soul”, like me?

The power of the mind is exemplified with placebos (nice word, that!). An ineffectual glass of water or a pill WILL make you feel better, when you believe it has medicinal properties and CAN help you (this is known as a placebo). They can also relax you more, help you to feel less anxious, fearful and enable you to sleep better. People with cancer can outlive the predictions of the medical fraternity, when they have faith and BELIEVE they will get better. On the other hand, on diagnosis of cancer some patient’s conditions deteriorate drastically. They have now lost hope of ever getting better. It really is all in the mind (our health and everything that happens to us) and depends on our ATTITUDE to life. A positive attitude helps greatly in health and in happiness. If we rather see hardship as a challenge, it will greatly help us to pull through. That’s what keeps me going here! I believe that people with strong minds can even postpone death. However, what normally happens in our daily lives? We usually tend to make excuses and find scapegoats for our condition, our “poor” situations. However, I definitely believe obstacles do not have to be insurmountable roadblocks on the pathway to achievement, success or happiness - because the mind is a very powerful tool. If used properly, it can be a very strong positive force in our lives.

Our reactions come out of our feelings and our feelings come out of what we believe about ourselves.

Even in the midst of the biggest life problems and severest human crises, you still have a CHOICE:You have FREEDOM to choose your thoughts, to THINK what you want. So,



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Life Skills to Have, Use and Improve

It takes a lot of skills to negotiate through life. Many of them we pick up along the way, others we need to develop, and some we just need to polish a little bit.

Here are ten important life skills:

  1. Listening

  2. Giving compliments

  3. Accepting compliments

  4. Thinking positive

  5. Saying “No”

  6. Laughing

  7. Planning

  8. Asking questions

  9. Reading

  10. Exercising

Now, consider the following questions:

How often do you use these skills? –Not enough? Too much? Or not at all?

Could you benefit from studying or applying any of these more? What type of help would you need to improve a skill?

Are there others skills that are more important or more necessary to you than these are? If so, what are they?

Answer these questions and you’ll not only discover weak areas that you need to improve uponFree Articles, you’ll discover your true strengths… and have a lot of fun while you do!

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Things in Life That You Control

We humans spend much of our time trying to control every aspect of our lives. Unfortunately, too often we waste time trying to control things that are simply beyond our control.

Having an understanding of what things you do control can make it easier for you to gain control of your life and everything in it.

  • What you do.

Your actions are yours alone. You choose to make them or not make them and you are responsible for the effects of those actions.

  • What you say.

Likewise, the words you speak (or write) are also consciously chosen. Like actions, they have an impact on your life and the lives of those you contact.

  • What you think.

Yes, there are some subconscious thoughts that you can’t control. But the things that you really think about, your beliefs, your ideals, etc. are concepts you have chosen to accept and believe in.

*. Your work.

Many people like to overlook this one, it being much easier to say “Oh, I’m trapped in my job because I don’t have a degree, experience, etc.”

Hogwash! That’s simple a way of denying one’s responsibility in having chosen the job in the first place. It’s your job and you chose it. If you stay (or go), that’s a choice as well.

  • The people you associate with.

There’s a famous t-shirt that states: “It’s hard to soar like an eagle when you’re surrounded by turkeys.” Colloquial is very often correct! Your friends can either lift you up or bring you down. You make the decision which type of friends you wish to have.

  • Your basic physical health.

Much about our health is a factor of genetics, environment, and exposure. Much more of our health is simply a matter of the decisions we make about our health, such as: diet, exercise, drugs, sleep, routine physicals, check-ups, etc.

  • The environment you live in.

Your house, the condition of your home, the town you live in, the amenities available to you are all things you can control, although some to a lesser degree (i.e., you decide to tolerate them or move someplace else).

  • Your fiscal situation.

Having or not having enough money is a factor of what you make versus what you spend.

  • Your time.

You choose how to “spend” your time and how much of your time to give to various activities. You’ll never get more time than the 24 hours you’re given each day.

  • Your legacy.

All your actions, wordsFree Web Content, and knowledge that you share while you are living become the gift that you leave when you are gone.

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How to Quit Life and Start Living!

  1. Recognize that LIFE is what you get when you’re born…

…LIVING is what you do with it! You can sit back and wait for life to happen to you or you can make it happen yourself. As Maya Angelou once said, ‘Life likes to be taken by the lapel and told, I’m with you kid. Let’s go!’

  1. Define life… It leads to the fine life.

Life is not a slogan, no matter what Nike, McDonald’s, ABC, NBC, or any other media giant might have you believe. While those ‘Life is…’ t-shirts are often witty, the philosophy they propose, like the shirts themselves, are rarely ‘one size fits all.’

Define life and living on your own terms and you’ve a better chance of getting both.

  1. Take charge of your life.

Geoffrey Abert said that when you take charge of your life ‘…there is no longer need to ask permission of other people or society at large. When you ask permission, you give someone veto power over your life.’

To start living your life you’ve got to be in control of it.

  1. Little things mean a lot.

Life throws a lot of little negative things in our way that must be dealt with or else they will greatly diminish how we enjoy our days.

Stephen Vincent Benet said it best: ‘Life is not lost by dying; life is lost minute by minute, day by dragging day, in all the thousand small uncaring ways.’

  1. Employ the power of positive quitting.

Most of us view quitting as something negative, but it’s not. ‘Winners never quit,’ we’re told, when, in reality, winners quit all the time: choosing to stop doing things that aren’t creating the results they desire.

When you quit all the things that aren’t working for you… When you quit tolerating all the negative things that hold you back… You’ll create a positive ‘charge’ in your life as well as well creating the space in your life for more positive experiences.

  1. Charge into your future!

As you recreate this positive force in your life, take big, massive leaps into your future. Be imaginative, bold, and brave! The results may surprise you.

  1. Use everything.

You are blessed with a particular set of skills and talents that NO ONE else has. Use every skill and talent to live your life as joyfully and abundantly as possible. Leave this life as Erma Bombeck wished to: ‘When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could sayArticle Submission, ‘I used everything you gave me.’’

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