Whatever your personal theology, you must at least understand that we are but humble passengers on this wild ride through the universe. Even though children crave the belief that Mommy and Daddy are strong enough and big enough to keep all danger at bay, there comes a time when they, too, must be let in on the secret that life is like surfing; you catch a wave and ride it as long as you can, then you may wipe out, but all you have to do is hold your breath, dive down as far as you can go until the white water passes you, and then you can come up in time to look for the next wave. It's really not fair for you to lead ten- and twelve-year-olds to believe that sheer will and determination can always rule the universe. True survival skills depend a lot on that breath-holding bit.
6. We Must Love Our Lives Today, And Today And Today. Sitting around and waiting for our grooves to find us is a losing proposition. Some aspects of our lives will have to be changed, no ifs, ands, or buts. Bedtimes must be enforced, children must learn to clean up after themselves, and you are entitled not to volunteer for four different committees each semester. At our jobs outside the home, we owe it to ourselves to at least express a schedule that works for us, even if we get turned down flat. With proper preparation, we may be able to show why job-sharing is better for the company and for you. Or you may be able to stay in touch with the office from your home computer one day a week. Remember, being a squeaky wheel may make you a pain in the corporate butt, but well-conceived suggestions for modifying your career life will have to come from you. They don't just land on your desk one morning, dropped by the Job Stork. And those things that can't be changed can be made more acceptable by a subtle shift in your own attitude. When work/family conflicts seem insurmountable, it can't hurt to stop for a moment to rediscover the pride you should feel in your ability to make money to contribute to the family and the gratitude you should feel for the great good fortune of having another outlet for expression besides checking homework and chauffeuring people who still cannot even legally sit in the front seat of a car.