Your Life

He says: She is always texting, even during dinner

Jennifer is always texting, even during dinner. I’d really like to have an uninterrupted conversation occasionally, particularly at meals. I feel as if she’s never fully focused on us.

She says: I can multi-task, what's the problem?

I have a lot of people who need to get hold of me, often for work. I can multi-task and check texts and listen to Mark at the same time. I don’t see the problem.

Swap gift-giving for giving together

Are you and your group of friends just starting out and wondering if you can afford to do a gift exchange? Why not try this — do away with friend gifts altogether! Celebrate the true spirit of Christmas without material gifting.

1. Adopt a family together. Why not grab an angel or two from the tree at church and spend an evening shopping for the child or family? This allows you to spend time together while helping others feel loved in the process.

How can I de-stress this Christmas?

God loves us so much that he decided not just to save us, but to do it by becoming one of us. Although we know that Jesus — God among us — is the reason for the season, it’s easy to get caught up in parties, gifts, greeting cards and baking. Here are a few suggestions to help you enjoy a meaningful Christmas season:

• Ask family members what is most important to them about your family’s traditions. If your daughter thinks homemade cookies are a must, she is on for making them or helping you bake.

• Don’t overschedule yourself with entertaining and parties.

I’m stuck in a dead-end job

There are four levels of satisfaction you can mindfully appreciate, in ascending order of fulfillment:

1. Stuff - Appreciate that your work generates money. Money has its rewards — like food, clothing and shelter.

2. Self - If you do your work well, take pleasure in your accomplishments, no matter how modest they seem.

3. Others - To the degree that you interact with colleagues or customers, make every effort to love and serve them.

Our college graduate needs to leave the nest

An Irish lullaby that I loved singing to my children includes lyrics that reflect the underlying aspects of your concern. Cáislean Droma Mhor includes the phrase, “Take heed young eaglet, till thy wings are feathered fit to soar.” As parents, we know that eventually our children will be leaving the nest and soaring into their own futures. An adult child returning to the nest can be challenging for both generations.

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