Do you feel like every day is like Groundhog Day? I do sometimes. I get out of bed of and just go through the motions. Its the same thing every day: I make breakfast, pack lunches, find lost school shirts, tidy up, wash clothes, cook, clean, work, drink tea, help with homework, bath children, read stories, wipe bottoms, brush teeth, have snot rubbed on my shirt, drink a glass of wine and collapse in front of the TV. Then I sleep – for a little while – and I do it all over again.
“Is there more to life than this?” I sometimes ask myself.
I tend to forget something in those moments, something important and infinitely precious. When I concentrate solely on the road ahead I forget to look down at the steps I’m taking. I forget the special little moments.
Sometimes you need to make a conscious decision to savour the sweetness of the everyday. If you don’t there’s a danger that you’re going to be consumed by the busyness and sameness of life.
It’s especially important to focus on the little special things on the tougher days… The days when you achieve nothing and just feel like a slave, with everyone wanting a piece of you. The days where you get bogged down in the minutia of life, doing the same things, over and over again.
That’s when you need to stop and – for want of a better expression – smell the roses.
Open your eyes to the wonders of life. The colours of the sunset. The sounds of nature. The birds in the backyard. The feel of sun on your skin.
Write special memories down. Keep a memory jar. Start a journal. Write special things down as they happen. Read them back when you need a boost. Remembering funny, happy moments will make you smile.
Indulge your senses. Stroke your child’s hair. Feel their little arms as they cuddle you back. Listen to your kids giggle. Taste their salty tears as you comfort them. Listen to the way they talk, the things they say. Really listen.
Break out of the routine. Start planning a getaway. Have dinner in the park. Put on some music and dance. Start being kind to yourself. Take a day to do only what it is that you want to do.
Look at life through the eyes of your kids. Your kids are people too, always learning, always full of wonder. What matters to them? What makes them laugh? Are you making them feel safe and loved and valued? Not feeling like they’re just getting in the way? Change your perspective. Choose not to sweat the small stuff. Commit to being happy.
Its all about living, not just being.
Crappy days happen, and that’s okay. Just know that there’s sunshine around the corner.
And keep it in perspective. A bowl of Rice Bubbles spilt over the floor is not fun… I know. But in 10 years, or even tomorrow, will it matter?
You have to find humour in your day. You have to laugh or you just might cry.
And stay close to your partner. Don’t forget him or her in all of this, or you may turn around one day and find that they are no longer there.