Little Things That Make Me Smile
by Wendy Astle
We all say things about how children are so carefree and stress-free, yet we don’t really think about this very much. Something I’ve noticed about children is how they take time to look at things and enjoy simple pleasures. They are drawn to a pretty flower, or a butterfly, whereas we whisk by without a second glance. Perhaps we could learn a thing or two from them. I know. I know. We’re so busy, and our day is all planned out. We have to be here by 9, and there by 11. We’re just too busy!
While getting the kids ready for school, just tune-in to what they are saying. That is bound to give you a lift. They are always chatting about positive and happy things. If you’ll take a minute to listen, you might even hear yourself laugh. So what if their juice box is on top of their sandwich. Kids don’t care. They don’t even care if they eat. They just do it because their tummies hurt if they don’t. There’s a lesson we could learn.
When you arrive at work, find something cheerful to look at as you begin. Cheerful at work! No, I’m not kidding. There has to be something. Even if it’s that the pretty girl in accounting has fat ankles. Just kidding! If there is nothing there that lightens your day, take a family photo with you next time.
Take advantage of your lunch hour. Go outside, or escape into a book. You could even do what I like to do—stare off into space and let your mind float. Just keep track of time. All this stress reducing stuff will be upset if you get yelled at for being late. Try smiling at someone. That is an automatic mood lifter; for you and for the other person.
Who says that driving the kids to practice and after school activities has to be a chore? Plan your supper, and give the kids a task to do that will help you. One of them could set the table while another could hang up the coats. This will make it easier for you, and make you less stressed. Little kids like to help. The big ones are going to grumble anyway, so give them something to grumble about that’s beneficial to you.
When you are home, spend time relaxing and being with your family. You are away from it all, in your retreat. Don’t waste your precious down time with thoughts of work and schedules. That will all start again in the morning. This is your time. Use it. Remember that life happens, and it’s up to us how we deal with it.