It wasn’t the first time the thought has crossed my mind but today it hit me like a ton of bricks. Most of the time I find myself tired, haggard, sulking, sad, and looking only at the short-comings of my life. Lets face it, no matter how wonderful our lives are or how positive our outlook is we all have experienced disappointment, set aside dreams when reality got in the way, or found ourselves unequipped to do the things we desire. Too often I find myself believing I am somehow unique in this phenomenon and perhaps at times even feeling cursed to fail and miss out on a regular basis. But, I am not unique. Even more revealing to me today was that my perception is the only true problem here!
Sure, it would probably make me blissfully happy if my car floorboards didn’t fill with water when it rains (and I live in Houston- rain is not a stranger to these parts), or if I looked different, if I had a bigger house with more storage space so I could put everything in its place and ACTUALLY be able to access it when I need it, or if I had more friends that I could grow close to beyond the superficial level, and the list goes on. The truth is, I can sit around and wait and hope for these things to happen (some may come and others not) while continuing to greet each day with a frown and a “Just make it to sundown and do it again tomorrow” attitude, OR I can choose to enjoy life in the moment!
I think some people are really good at this and I am lucky enough to have a couple locals that I can look to as an example. Tonight I have thought of a few specific traits and action steps for making the most out of my life as it stands.
Each morning I wake up when my daughter wakes me up. I am NOT a morning person so I know I am probably not a very pleasant start to the day for her. My mind immediately starts churning thoughts of how sleep-deprived I am and how its not going to be a good day unless we can take a nap together in the early afternoon. This means I am getting a terrible start and setting myself up to fail each and every day!! From now on I plan to a.) Wake up each morning and SMILE!, then b.) immediately think of a positive thought (such as: the weather is going to be great today, today is playgroup day, how blessed I am to be greeted each morning by such a beautiful smiling girl), and then lastly c.) I will make arrangements to wake up an hour before my daughter so that I can be fresh and ready to handle her morning rush of energy.
As for my daily activities, I will spend more time enjoying my daughter by playing with her and teaching her. I will also limit errands to no more than 2 stops in one outing and if an outing runs long, I will follow it up with something fun for her (like a stop at the park or an impromptu art project at home). I will use down times when she is napping or free-playing to do something for me whether that be complete a household task, read, sew, etc.. No more TV running constantly for the mere comfort of noise and companionship. No more quick looks at the internet often will happen anytime I have a moments time. The computer has clearly become a stumbling block in my relationship with my daughter. Often if she is playing and finds me once again staring blankly at my laptop she will burst into tears and walk over to me waving her hands saying “no-no”! Addicted much? In addition, I will (try) have a peaceful, orderly home and a smile on my face when my husband comes home from his day.
Lastly, I will stop being obsessively depressed about the people and circumstances of my life that I have absolutely NO control over. I will stop wondering about the 1,000 other paths my life COULD have taken and if the one I am on is the wrong one. I will remember and fall in love once again with my calling to be the person that I am (or at least the one that I am supposed to be). I chose my “hat” and its time to start wearing it…without ceasing!
While there is nothing wrong with having dreams, I think something has gone ary when you begin to live for them alone and cease to live in the present. This is where I have found myself…a sullen girl. But I refuse to reside here.