Today was a day where I had to dig deep. No I wasn’t planting a garden or panning for gold, but it was a crazy busy day and it was rainy. I don’t like rain. So I had to dig deep to find those things in my life that make me happy and remind myself frequently of them to get through the day. I hope you have a list as well, but here’s a few that top mine. If you don’t have a list–make one! Because you may end up having someone scream at you in the parking lot or mop poo off your kid’s floor for the millionth time this year and have to go dig deep to find your own list and pull that smile back on your face:)
1. laughter. Whether it’s a discussion about randomly placed banana peels, a spontaneous hide and seek moment, or listening to a knock-knock joke from a 7 year old, I love to laugh. Even better when you get me to laugh so hard I cry. Lucky for me I have many friends that can do that. (Trude–you’re on the top of my list!)
2. sunshine. I will probably end up with melanoma some day. I know that isn’t a joke and it’s not funny. But truly nothing makes me much happier than feeling warm rays of sunshine on my face. I freckle. I don’t sunburn anymore as I do use sunscreen and I do reapply, but I love the sun. And the color yellow. It reminds me of sunshine. Back in my bikini days I would bring a book and my Walkman (yep, I’m old) and sunbathe in my back yard. I still do. But I wear more clothes now.
3. music. Music is so powerful it can cause a reaction from me in about two seconds. Either I skip the song or I crank it up. Before you judge my taste in music I will say I listen to many genres. But there’s one song that can make me stop and instantly smile and feel good. Taylor Swift wins here. When I hear “Shake It Off” my daughters and I stop what we are doing and just dance. I don’t dance well. I never took dance classes, nor do I care. We just move. And laugh. And sing. (see–number one comes back!) When I hear that song I feel like I’m young and just having a great time. Middle school sleepover fun. The kind of fun where there are no rules.
4. flowers. My husband bought me flowers this past weekend. They were technically for Mother’s Day. Then he claimed them as an anniversary gift as well. It doesn’t matter. They’re pretty. And smell nice. And how can you not feel happy when you get flowers? Especially when you aren’t expecting them. Spontaneous flowers make me smile even more.
5. walking/running. I don’t run marathons. I don’t really care how far or how long I walk. But I adore solo walks with my headphones just feeling my body move, my heart pumping, my muscles getting stronger. I’m thankful I can walk. Exercise is the most powerful endorphin. I try to sneak at least one workout in a day. Two if I’m lucky. You don’t want to see me if I don’t get one in. Ask my husband. Or my kids. Mommy is much happier if she works out. And I’m addicted to this new feeling of my once too tight pants feeling loose.
6. coloring. Remember as a child the smell of a brand new box of Crayolas? The blank pages of a new coloring book? I do. Because of that love I have a giant stack of coloring books. Luckily my third child likes to color. She’s helping me work in those books. But I’m still a bit protective of my nice box of crayons. I’m sharing better now. But I like the good ones. And I have one coloring book that is all my own. There’s such a thing as adult coloring books. Google it. They’re on Amazon. They’re amazing. Intricate patterns. If you liked to color as a kid try them. I share most of my books, but I will tell you if you color a muppet the wrong color. Ask my mom. Elmo would be green. Grover purple. I was that kid that had to color everything the correct color. As an adult, I’m allowing the grass to be purple. The trees pink. Because it is more fun sometimes. Some days my trees and grass are still green. Either one is okay.
7. puppy kisses. Unless you hate dogs or had a bad experience (clearly I had neither) puppy kisses are heavenly. Dogs love you all the time. Not matter what you say or do. They love you. They greet you at the door with kisses. Mine is a giant 67 pound bundle of fluffy love. He sleeps on my side of the bed when I’m not there. We adopted him only a year and a half ago. I forgot what life was like without him.
8. reading. I was an English major in college, so reading isn’t a surprise. Heck, I’m writing this, so clearly I like to read and write. But books have the magical power of letting you immerse yourself into someone else’s world. I’ve read some dang good books lately. Books I wanted to call in sick to work just to finish reading. Luckily, I have more common sense than that. (After all the books will still wait for you). And there’s break times.
9. sleep. I have three busy kids between the ages of 3 and 12. 2 cats, a dog and a husband. a house. a job. Yes, I’m pretty dang lucky. But because of these things my house is never quiet. And I rarely get the beauty of a solid night of uninterrupted sleep. Having a sassy three year old and a diabetic kid means you just have to get up sometimes. And I think it’s also part of mommyhood. I know a lot of moms that just alert at the slightest cough at night. Some day I’ll be able to sleep. Every now and then my family gives me 8 hours of silence bliss. It’s like they want me to stock up. So someone else can get sick and need me. Good thing I love them!
10. writing. I don’t make enough time for this. I still remember a college professor saying if we are to be writers we write. No matter what. So I never considered myself a writer even though I love to. The beauty of aging and maturing means that as an adult I have started to make my own rules. I write when I can. Life happens. It happens a lot, actually. But I am a writer. And I will write more. Right now I can’t find much time with everything else that makes me happy. My kids. My pets. My family. My friends. My running shoes. Reading. Gaming. Swinging. Coloring. Walking. Texting. Diet soda. Does that mean I’m not a writer? No. It just means you haven’t seen the last of me yet.