A professor in my early college years often referred to “the KISS technique” as a reminder to attend to the task at hand, and more importantly, to focus on keeping that task as uncomplicated, streamlined, and precise as possible. In the field of dentistry this translated to not taking unnecessary steps that might delay the procedure and undermine the quality of the outcome. Stay focused, and do it right the first time. Don’t waste time and energy on random motions, random thoughts, or environmental distractions. If you want to be a satisfied clinician, have a good work day, and happy patients who come back for regular dental care, then this is the model to follow. To do otherwise invites chaos.
KISS stands for —– Keep It Simple Stupid!
This can be good advice to follow as we work toward our goal to live simple yet productive lives.
Not long ago, at lunch with a bunch of good friends, one cheerful woman told us about new YouTube clips called “Marcel the Shell.” The main character, Marcel, is a rather funny guy who seems to know how to make the best of his life — simple and matter-of-fact! Marcel, and his unique sense of humor, helps me remember to follow the KISS technique!
Whether with your children, your spouse, or your friend, the best gift will be quality time spent.
Christmas, like other special days, leads us back to our old habits. Choosing a special gift can be a real chore for many of us. Do you head to the balloon display, to the card shop, or the florist? We are often creatures of habit, quite predictable with our purchase.
Can this year be different? Can we give someone we love a gift to remember, a gift from the heart, filled with memories of a special day? Can we discover a very new way of loving another? The gift may not cost money or be routine. Rather the gift would be given out of love and a true desire to strengthen and build on relationships already established. These relationships may be within the family, a present romance, or for just a special friend.
Habits are hard to break, and breaking them the first time will be difficult! But you are up to the challenge, so give it a try!
Below is a list of a few ideas to consider — ideas which just may be able to connect you more fully with those you love and could also be just plain fun!
- FORGET the routine card. Ultimately the person receiving the card knows there are hundreds of others enjoying the same loving message. MAKE YOUR OWN CARD.
Tips for creating a card of your own:
- I love you because… (make a list)
- You have given me (make a list) throughout the past year…
- When I think of you I… (make a list)
- Get a blank card with a picture on the front and put your OWN message inside. (Only use a handwritten message, NO typing allowed!)
- If you are really brave, start from scratch and make your own card. Use crayons, markers, paints, even glitter (as one of my daughters’ loved to do!). Be creative, and you can even invite the kids to join the activity.
- Concentrate on giving the gift of time spent, not money (even if you have tons of it).
Too often in our money culture we try to buy love. The real irony is that money never buys love. Whether with your children, your spouse, or your friend, the best gift will be quality time spent. Do something out of your normal routine. Treat the kids by taking off early from work and greeting them at the door with their favorite snack and a hug. You get the idea… take the rest from here with each of your relationships.
- Find ways to laugh and play, all day.
Again, our culture tends to encourage us to be rather serious, but actually, another wonderful gift we can give those we love is the gift of laughter. Love is all about fun, and sometimes we take special events too seriously!
Here are some humorous examples to consider:
- Send a children’s Valentine or Christmas card to everyone in the office (with our without a signature)!
- Decorate the car of your special someone to compliment the season.
- Call and leave a playful message for someone.
- Create and give a personalized singing telegram.
- Write a story complete with your own drawings. Or record your story in your voice to a CD or MP3 file. (Children really love this one!)
- Give your children a new message.
Let them see that special days can be used to honor many kinds of relationships in unique and creative ways. We aren’t obligated or required to follow old patterns of how to show others we care. And, special holidays and events are not just for children. We all need to feel loved and appreciated and our children should get the message that our world doesn’t totally revolve around them. We can use this opportunity to help teach our children to think of others. Learning these skills early in life will help them develop strong and meaningful relationships that endure throughout their lives. What a great gift to pass along to them…
- It is healthy for dad to ask the children how the family can make the day special for mom. What a witness to spousal and family love!
- During dinner, between the peas and dessert, let the kids hear you verbalize your love to someone special.
- Give the children an opportunity to help you display love. Take them with you to visit someone living alone, or someone limited by circumstance. A big hug is a simple but very effective demonstration of caring. Both the recipient of the hug, and the children, will benefit.
The above suggestions are in no way meant to be restrictive or limiting. Rather, they are offered to stimulate your creative energy as we contemplate best ways to celebrate and honor special occasions in our lives. These special days can be different for us if we make it so… if we choose to change our habits.