When my daughter was growing up, I had a rule that we would eat dinner together as a family at least three times a week (assuming we were all in town). With the exception of one week during my daughter’s later high school years, we accomplished this.

And while we were eating a dinner, we played a game: high/low. Everyone would go around the table and say the highpoint of their day and the low point. This worked out really well because everyone was part of the conversation, and my daughter got to see that everyone had good things as well as bad happen to them throughout the course of the day. It allowed her to manage her expectations. It was one of my “rules” that I thought worked out quite well.

This year my daughter was an orientation counselor. During training they learned a game called rose/bud/thorn.

Rose is the high point of the day. Thorn is the low point. Bud is something to look forward to.

I like the look forward to aspect of the game.

Think about it: how often does knowing something good is on the horizon instantly elevate your mood?

There’s research that shows people enjoy planning a vacation more than the actual vacation itself. Anticipation is a good thing. (this is not to be confused with anxiety which is dreading something in the future but that’s a whole different piece)

So as you go about your day, remember to honor all the different emotions that you feel. Acknowledge the good and the bad. Think about the positive things that the future holds. And if the future doesn’t hold something positive- make it so that it does.

What’s your rose/bud/thorn?

66 thoughts on “Rose/Bud/Thorn

  1. I like that. I know I love the anticipation of a trip but sometimes I let my anxiety over pieces of it overwhelm the good. That’s been the bad part of the world we live in now. I’ve had nothing really to look forward to.

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  2. What a cool game! I love that! We had the game “3 things” at dinner when the kids were little. They got to tell 3 things that happened that day which opened the door to many conversations. Of course I tried to help them to see the good ones more than the bad, but they loved it and so did I!

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  3. One of the things that I kind of regret is that I didn’t make eating together as a family more of a priority, although since my husband worked graveyard and swing shift hours for a lot of the time when the kids were little and also had stomach ulcers that messed with his eating habits it was nearly impossible to plan that. I do like the Rose/Bud/Thorn thing though. High/Low is a good one too.

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    1. To be fair, I had one kid. And those three dinners would include weekends. We also never ate before 730. The latest my daughter was ever home from something was 830 during tennis season. For the most part she was home by 6.

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      1. The sports throw a monkey wrench into evenings for sure. Club swimming season lasts 50 weeks a year, so it was a struggle. Frankly, I gave up. My husband and I ate early and the kids grabbed their dinners when they walked through the door.

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  4. This is a very good idea and way of looking at life. For some people, these three aspects will be very large things, for others they could be quite small. But, they’re all significant if they are important to us! ROSE: I found a container of disinfectant wipes on Amazon Fresh, today! BUD: I’m feeling more motivated to work on my own writing THORN: the “holidays” are coming, and I’m still not comfortable with being around other people much, especially since the numbers are rising again

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  5. Rose: Getting my steps in today and cooler air temps here
    Thorn: Still not being able to actually go into the libraries and browse for books.
    Bud: Looking forward to meeting in person a new friend I met on-line.

    This would also be a really good routine for journaling. I think I will try it for a few days and see what happens!

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  6. I am going to suggest we start doing this activity @ our house starting tonight. thank you LA!! I love activities like this. ..So for today’s Rose: Had our 6 yr old grandson ask to hang out w/ me today, ..(just took him home) We did some carpentry,and made some home made apple sauce. Thorn: Have an overhead door I had installed on a garage we built last Fall…had my 5th attempt at fixing it yesterday and it is STILL leaking… Bud: I ordered a dozen new apple trees/ several new varieties and 30 rootstock for next Spring….have decided to start grafting/ selling apple trees next year as a side hustle. I am really looking forward to the new apple varieties.

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  7. I think that’s the worst part of Covid-19: It’s crushed people’s sense of anticipation and planning the good stuff. Rose: my nephew got engaged! Bud: His wedding will likely be in Northern California. Thorn: I hate to fly.

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  8. I LOVE this idea…..and kudos to you for getting your family on board with it 3 times a week……that’s quite an accomplishment no matter what!!
    Rose: I was the Presenter at a virtual Forum today for my job and nervous about it….it went fine
    Bud: I just launched my own little Etsy shop this weekend and am so looking forward to the fun of it all!
    Thorn: I just bought a new washer and dryer 2 weeks ago and the dryer must be a lemon….not doing it’s job and Home Depot won’t deal with it at all till I hash it out with Whirlpool first…ugh

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  9. Fantastic, LA, just lovely. I completely agree. A colleague of mine was just talking to me this past week about providing feedforward, instead of feedback. Something I’ve always done, however, I love putting language to it. Creating that which we want to see and experience each day in this life is so important.❀️

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Right now, the positive is that I have veteran’s day off. My husband and I are both veterans. I feel good. The anticipation/anxiety is that Hurricane Eta is poised to strike in the Tampa Bay area sometime soon. Husband gassed up the car and went to get some breakfast take away and we are preparing now. Thorn: anxiety. Positive: we are home together.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I liked the idea of saying what is good and bad in your day, but I like the idea of adding what you’re hoping for even more! One of the things I hate most about this pandemic is that it makes it hard to look forward to anything. So I guess I just need to start being more realistic in what I hope for, because you’re right about having something to look forward really does improve our spirits!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. You are so wise to include a “game” that everyone can participate in without judgement. That is so much better than the typical “How was your day?” “Fine.” Followed by “What did you do today?” “Nothing.” Rose/bud/thorn is also good.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Well, damn, LA. Yet ANOTHER aspect of family life where I was a miserable fail! My mom used to get on my case about my family not eating dinner together ever! This is, of course, something I can mainly lay at the feet of my about to be ex-spouse. (Notice a pattern here? Am I bitter much? Yes and yes?) My now adult two daughters have recently started to share the aspects of our family life that they realize now, if they didn’t then, were a bit unusual among their friends’ families.

    As for me, given where I am and how the world is now…
    Rose – finding new bloggers like you (and some of your followers) to follow
    Thorn – dealing with Mom’s worsening Alzheimer’s and other physical frailties
    Bud – either taking a walk or having a glass of wine. Some days both and some days neither!

    Liked by 1 person

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