the last two years, I have been making noise about living a positive life, letting go of things that don’t add value to your life and generally enjoying what life has to offer and focusing less on what is likely to annoy or upset you.
It is one thing to say something and another to act on it – that’s for sure. So while I did try to follow my advice, I did not do well.
But there is always a second chance for those who are willing, so I started to actually practice this.
I am doing so with the maid. She is a bubbly person and on a good day we can have lots of laughter in the house. But we have also had many moments of arguing.
It got to the point where I was unhappy with her more than I was happy. Any small mistake would rile me. I decided though that this could not continue. I did not want to let her go because the children love her. Plus she does want to work and save some money. And I do not like the idea of changing maids too often. I decided to be more positive.
Where she made a mistake, I asked myself, was it her fault? Had I actually guided her on what to do? Had she had enough practice in order to be good at it? I found out I was actually not being fair to her as I had not done enough to train her. So now when she does something wrong, I take my time to find out why.
When I teach her something new, I leave room for her to make mistakes. I praise her for when she has done good work. I also thank her for the many small things she has done.
Last week was a boring one for her because the girls have spent it with their grandparents. I thought if I were in her shoes, I would make the most of the quiet with the girls away. But she missed them so much and kept asking when they would get back.
So bored was she that she would call me about thrice a day wondering if she should add an extra ingredient in the food, or scrub the shoes again because well, maybe she did not scrub them as much.
When I noticed her restlessness, I decided to try and make her busy, so when I get home, I engage her more. We talk about the day, her work at home and how her people are. I then tell her about my day as well and what the girls have been up to at my parents place.
My next goal is to get her to do some basic reading and hopefully writing. She can read some words but because she has not practiced, she is very rusty.
What I do now is write duties for her to do in the house. Later in the morning, I call and ask her what she is going to do or cook. She sometimes struggles to read and tells me she can’t. But I insist she reads and tell her to take her time.
She has done well so far. Now, I also send her text messages telling her what time I am coming home, or to make me an extra something for supper. When I get home and find she has done it, we celebrate with a high five. When she has failed I read it out for her and make her practice.
I am enjoying this because it makes for a better relationship. Even better, she seems much happier and more interested in her work.
That’s what a positive attitude can do for you.