|Happiness was a lot of things this morning. Journaling with my son was one them.|
We were supposed to be taking off early this morning with friends for a mini-road trip/summer getaway. The kids were so excited. I had the oh-so-stylish minivan (you know you want one) cleaned out and ready to host 8 passengers. Things were packed up and ready to go. I had bags of books, writing materials and snacks all ready for the five kids that would be riding along. We were all set. But then I realized after a day and night of my younger daughter having ear pain that this was likely an ear infection that wasn't going away. Instead of heading out for an early road trip/water park adventure as planned, I was up most of the night and we were heading to the doctor. How exciting! But being a mother trumps everything else in my life. Kids come first. Even though my other two kids were pretty bummed about it, my daughter needed meds and extra love.
Despite this bummer change in plans, I'm not about to let it ruin our day. I am intent on making this week magical and fun for my kiddos. Creating memories is the name of the game this week. Right now we have the tunes on, blanket and towels sprawled out on the deck, and the sunshine smiling down on us. Snacks, hose, trampoline, journals, books and a big backyard. We are making our own happiness. Instead of slumping around in the house and pouting from being up half the night, I just used my free coffee certificate to get some extra espresso shots and now this already hyper mom is rip roarin' and ready to go! Kids are so content (for another 10 minutes) that I even find myself with a few moments to type. Granted, they are not completely non-interrupted minutes so this post will likely stop and start many times before you read it. But it is still time to write so I'll take it!
|Okay, I admit. Halfway through this post, I did allow for a little designated "screen time". Kids quietly watched a movie at my feet after some trampoline water play.|
|Just one nice interruption from my brief writing time...cuddles and snacks in the sun.|
As I was driving home from the doctor's office with my daughter's antibiotics and a determination to make this day a fun one despite the circumstances, I realized again just how powerful we can be in creating happiness for ourselves. Living intentionally and making our life what we want is truly open to each and every single one of us....no matter what our life is made up of. We have choices. We hold the power to make changes in our life. Whether this means making the most of canceled plans, changing the way we eat and the activities we are involved in so we can live a healthy life, learning something new, using our gifts to make a dream come true, or even something as simple as changing our furniture around and cleaning our windows to let some light in... we hold the power to create happiness for ourselves. It starts with intention and motivation. And creating happiness for our lives doesn't have to be HUGE...it doesn't have to cost money....it doesn't have to be a daunting task that leaves us defeated before we even start...it can be something small.
Some examples of small intentional acts you can start with that can lead to BIG changes in the long run (not necessarily relating to me):
- Today I will eat healthy food and drink ____ glasses of water.
- I will start today in making my goals of _________ a reality.
- I will jog/walk for 20 minutes as a start in losing the weight.
- I will listen to my coach, run slow and be patient so that my body can be in prime condition for some fall PRs even though I feel like hitting up the track for an intense speed workout. ;)
- I don't need to feel guilty for not doing A, B and C with my kids. Instead, today I will _______________ (go to the library, read books together, get a 39 cent box of fresh new crayons and draw a picture together in the park, run through a hose together, make mini pizzas for lunch, paint some rocks, stop everything and make eye contact and have a real conversation for a longer stretch of uninterrupted time (this goes a loooong way), or just share a snack together. I could go on and on and on and on with this one. So many simple, inexpensive, meaningful ways to connect to our kids.
- Gosh, I'm feeling frumpy. Today I will pluck my eyebrows, pamper myself with a face mask, and paint my toe nails. Okay, seriously, no joke...it amazes me just how big of a difference it makes when we pamper ourselves sometimes. Something as simple as doing our hair and make up and putting on something we FEEL good in even though we aren't going anywhere...this can change the way we live our day. When we radiate confident energy, we attract more of what we want in life! Not to mention, our family benefits too...my husband loves coming home to see me in a dress and looking/feeling good. He loves me in sweat pants and greasy hair too but when I look good, I feel good and all is just a little bit ...well..."GOOD".
- Today I will communicate my feelings to __________.
- I don't like the way this friend makes me feel and my feelings have been hurt too many times. I'm going to either share my feelings and move forward or just choose to move on and not have toxic people in my life. Not everyone is meant to be close friends. We can move on from friendships without cutting ties completely. Relationships change as we change. Its okay to not have people in our lives that were once close friends. This is part of respecting what is best for us.
- I'm going to write down some short term and long term goals with my running, career, motherhood, etc. So much power in putting our goals out there. So much power. And even more power in sharing our goals with others.
I had a friend tell me the other day that she wants to change some things about her life but it all seems overwhelming when she thinks of where to start. I don't think she's alone in her feelings. I say START SMALL. Make some small changes in the every day habits you have for living. I wrote about this in my post Habits of Happiness and Fulfillment. If you try to do too much at once, you will surely find yourself feeling like giving up. See the changes you want for your life and take a first step. Make it small one. Maybe it it is just to practice lists of gratitude every day for a week. Then move on to cutting something out of your life that is toxic. Then the next week try something else. And share your goals with a friend or someone you feel safe with. This can just add that accountability element that can really help us stay motivated. Find someone that "GETS" it and loves you!
There's no time like the present. I'm thinking this unexpected ear infection/cancellation in plans has turned out to be blessing for me. It forced me to do some reflection and make the most of the day despite a crummy circumstance. And it made me realize just how many things there are to be thankful for and how powerful our thoughts and actions are in making our life what we want it to be.
Start small, keep it simple, find happiness in the ordinary that really is extraordinary...
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