I have to admit – Bruce Feiler’s book: The Secrets of Happy Families – changed our family for the better. It all started with the weekly Agility meeting. It was simple and one of the most transformative things we’ve taken on as a family: here’s how it works: We sit down for 20 minutes each week as a family and check in on three things:
  1. what went well in our family last week
  2. what didn’t go well (usually that list includes walking the dog and unloading lthe dishwasher)
  3. what we want to work on as a family in the week to come.

We started Agility meetings sometime during the pandemic. There were too many meals to cook, too many loads of dishes to load and unload, too many things to pick up and everyone was around all day, every day. What we found was amazing. Things started getting done. Rafi and I were no longer nagging, if Palmer (our dog) didn’t get walked or fed or the trash wasn’t put out – we’d look at each other and nod “let’s save it for the Agility meeting”.

We’re about to get insistent on weekly meetings again. Yes, the kids are getting older. Two of them appreciate the weekly meeting, one – sets the alarm and reminds us that she has tests to study for. But I once read that most people are either terrific in their professional lives and mediocre in their personal lives or terrific in their personal life and mediocre in their professional life. We’re secretly trying to rock both realms. And at the very least – when the kids are launched – we’ll know we tried our best.

Soulfully yours,
Rabbi Dana Saroken

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