Working On My Quality

How was your day?……… Better!

What did you do? …………. I worked on my quality!
A few weeks ago I heard a woman speak of her 30-something son who has Downs Syndrome.  For 16 years he has worked at a steakhouse clearing tables and doing dishes.  Each day she goes to pick him up from work and each day they have the same conversation.  She asks how was his day and he replies, “Better!”  An inquiry into how he spent his day brings the same reply every time, “I worked on my quality!”
These responses stole my heart and have been in my thoughts ever since.  How often has my day been better than the day before?  Often enough… but what if it were consistently Better?  What if every day was better than the day before?  Granted, there are many things outside of my control which affect my day – but for the most part I am in control of what I do and how I react to situations.  In almost every way I am better than I was ten years ago… but if I could learn to work on this day by day – where will I be ten years from now?
I could work on being better in my family relationships, how I spend my free time, cooking & cleaning, coupon clipping, writing thank-you notes, smiling, keeping contact with friends,  exercising, reading, memorizing, sharing… blah, blah, blah.  Well, I could be overwhelmed and drive myself crazy and get discouraged trying to get better in everything.  Or I could not even try and just stagnate and feel even worse…
This is where I really like the second response.  Working on my quality!  I can do this!  Instead of making a list of everything that needs to be better about my life (and feeling crazy and discouraged), I could just think about improving my quality of whatever it is I am doing when the thought comes to my mind.  If I could manage to think about it even once a day – improving my quality in that one instance … well, I should be able to report that my day had gone “better” – and ten years from now I will have learned to seek for “quality” and find that every aspect of my life is “better”.
Good plan…
Cancer checkup – Natalie had her MRIs and received a clean bill of health.  Jacqueline also had her MRIs and though there is some suspicious activity we are hopeful that nothing is cancerous.  Of course she is a missionary and so I was unable to be with her, but the doctors are not concerned at present.  Greg is happy to have a summer without chemotherapy and is recovering from over 30 stitches he received a couple weeks ago when they removed a few moles.  Only one mole proved to be undesirable, but they cleared all margins and he’s doing great.  David and Mark will have their tests in July.  My one photo today is Kimberly – she doesn’t have Li Fraumeni but we were still relieved when her pathology report came back clean.  About a month ago she had a painful cyst removed from her ear canal.  Aside from eardrops and a no-swim order, we were relatively unaffected.  Nevertheless, sending her into the operating room brought back many memories.  Fortunately I am well skilled at diverting myself – Nevertheless, it would seem that my children cannot go into surgery without some sort of excitement.  In Kimberly’s case, after about 20 minutes, the electricity went off!  The generator kicked right on, but I was immediately aware that she was laying there under anesthesia and beyond my reach.  I was glad to get her home again.  As for Kimberly, she was thrilled to be able to report to her siblings that she had joined their “surgery” club.  They were not too sure that 30 minutes or so working on her ear “counts” – her lesion was “unremarkable” and her scar doesn’t exactly give her bragging rights around here, but as the mom,  I’ll take it any day!

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