Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Moments that Matter

For some reason - maybe it's the whole beginning of a school year thing - I've been feeling very reflective recently.  So here we are... another (hopefully) thought-provoking post.  

I consider myself a pretty positive person, who tries to look on the bright side of things.  These days, that can be very difficult to do.  Whether it's the world trying to get me down or the trying behavior of my kids, there are days I go to bed just ready to start over.  I'll think about the potty training regression with Aiden, or how long it took to put Audrey to sleep.  I'll think about all of the terror threats that keep happening in our area or worry about the state of our country during this election.  It's hard to stay positive when these are the thoughts in your head.  

Today, I tried something else.  Surrounding September 11th, everyone shared the now famous quote, "Look for the helpers."  This is so important because it allows us to see the good, to have hope.  That has been my goal today.  Lately, I've stewed too long in the negative and it's wearing me down.  I've made it a point today to recognize the moments when everything is good.  When everyone is smiling, kids are behaving, and I'm relaxed.  I can't begin to tell you the impact this has had on my attitude.

The whining doesn't seem so bad.  The rough preschool drop off was bearable.  My growing to-do list seems manageable.  I'm sure I'll have moments where I head back down the rabbit hole again, but for right now the positive moments are taking center stage. 

As I was getting ready this morning, I looked down the hall to see Aiden and Audrey playing together.  As we drove to school, all three of us sang "Old MacDonald."  I had 15 minutes to myself to eat lunch and watch Sex and the City. Audrey held my hand while I read to her before nap time.  Aiden told me he needed a hug - instead of acting out.  And I'm now sitting here, drinking coffee, watching Aiden play and getting things done.  Did bad things happen today?  Yes.  Am I going to think back on them right now?  No.  

There are a few rare people in this world who are just naturally positive and happy all of the time.  But most of us have to put forth effort.  It's easy to get caught up in the fear, the pain and the worry.  It's easy to get annoyed by the misbehavior and repeated frustrations.  It's easy to think about what we don't have and what we want.  These are also the easiest ways to make yourself miserable.

So today, tomorrow, for an hour, make an effort to purposefully recognize those moments that warm your heart and make you smile.  I promise you'll start to look at other things differently.  Imagine if we all did this.  Call me cheesy, naive or overly optimistic... I don't care.  I choose to have a good day and I'm pretty sure the world is better off because of it.  

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