Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Happiness Is... Necessary


July has been quite a month, chock full of big endeavors and little tasks. I little too full, I think, a little too stressful. I find that I am still not that far off from being the overwhelmed mother of two very small children, particularly considering the challenges I have set for myself and my career on top of caring for my little ones almost 24/7.

I have been a little lax at taking care of some of my basic goals and needs, I am finding. One of those goals is my novel rewriting. I find my desire to write in my novel has fled... maybe because I am in a spot that is completely new, as I need to add a scene that was not there to begin with, and I am not sure what needs to go in it. Hmm. A solvable problem, and one that I can tackle once I sit down and try. What I need is the energy to sit and face it... and in order to get that energy, I think I need to take care of some of my basic needs that I have been ignoring.

One of those is my own diet. Mama knows we need to eat a balanced diet, but Mama often subsists on left over chicken nuggets and grazing from an open fridge. Bad Mama. Another is my living environment. Instead of just trying to keep ahead of the wave of laundry, dishes and spilled cheerios, I would like to make some area of my home nice... for myself. It was desire to inspire that fulfilled her wishes and inspired me to start decorating again.

One other big thing that I have either been ignoring or avoiding (not quite sure why) is my daily happy pages. I have been working on them for quite some time, but not since I came back from my brother's wedding. Is that why I am having some trouble keeping equilibrium? Or is it just another symptom of my exhaustion. Either way, I have decided to do a massive dump of all the things that have made me happy in the past few weeks...as many as I can remember, in no particular order.

Focusing on the happy, on the grace and joy is a way to balance out the small and large struggles. It is a way to train your brain to look for the positive, rather than the negative. It is a way to practice living in the now. Anyone else want to try keeping a journal of their own happiness, I highly recommend it. You can just do a one off list, like 100 things that make me happy (I think I did that once) or you can give yourself the challenge to keep track of everything that makes you happy for a week, or you can promise yourself to write down three things every day. The impetus for this post came from Pink of Perfection, and I thought I'd join in.

  • watching a hawk fly, from above
  • soft moss covering a hillside.
  • making a mocha with a piece of chocolate in the bottom of a coffee cup.
  • the view from a mountain top
  • Gabriel chasing the flower girl around and around the pool, both of them laughing.
  • Ivy in her green toile romper with the chiffon sash
  • Gabriel in his argyle sweater vest and button down shirt
  • Ivy's barrette
  • "mmm good!" drive by swipes of wedding cake frosting at the reception
  • Sleep
  • Cute little dollhouse like A-frame hotel cabins
  • Staring out the back window of the car for hours, no interruptions.
  • Happy meal toys.
  • New emergency shoes for G. Had no time for trying on, just grabbed the first ones I saw and bought them. Luckily they were only five dollars and fit him and he like them.
  • First thing he says is "ooh stars!" because there are stars on the soles. Second thing he says is, "they don't hurt!" Oops. His shoes were too small.
  • A deer sighting
  • Kudzu makes the trees look like loping giants.
  • A sign: Giant Hot Tub Sale. (why do giants need hot tubs?)
  • Sitting on the deck with my journal and a coffee.
  • Biscuit and local jam.
  • The kids love bugs.
  • G and Ivy went hunting for lightning bugs with the flower girls.
  • Mommytime while the kids nap.
  • Salt cured ham.
  • Soft Georgia grass.
  • Cows and horses dotting the country side.
  • Making a dinner out of appetizers.
  • Got to wear my fancy shoes.
  • My brother's face as he saw his bride walking down the aisle.
  • When my camera started up again after taking a dunk and being non functional for 24 hours.
  • Saturday morning cartoons.
  • Little girls and boys in dress clothes running up and down a grassy hill.
  • reading a book in the car at night, with a flash light.
  • Finally getting home
  • no social obligations
  • polka dots.
  • singing made up songs to the kids.
  • waking up late because everyone is so tired, including kids.
  • finishing The Valley of the Horses (a comfort re-read before bed every night)
  • my "Enough" illustration
  • sherry on the rocks.
  • peanut butter cups.
  • So You Think You Can Dance
  • Good photos of the kids.
  • Compliments from distant friends.
  • Taking care of business that I have been avoiding
  • Getting a new phone in the mail
  • G and Ivy's fort in the doorway, so they can look out the screen door and watch the rain.
  • Getting my to do list done
  • Grocery shopping fun style, with the big car/cart and little who "drive" until they turn into dinosaurs and charm all the other shoppers.
  • Being told by an old woman that she can tell I am a good mother by how happy my children are.
  • Drawing in the garden.
  • Children covered with their morning of play-- markers, chocolate, mud, blueberries, jelly, grass stains, water, whatever.
  • Google reader... a better way to keep track of my favorites.
  • Iced coffee with coffee ice cream.
  • Standing up for myself when faced with someone who is manipulative.
  • Being nice to customers and remembering that I am a great waitress, despite the manipulations of other people.
  • Taking a photo from an unusual vantage point and having it turn out awesome.
  • My replacement phone for the broken one. I am back in communication!

4 comments:

Dyan said...

I like the idea of your Happy Pages. It's a good way to bring your attention and awareness to joy and all the things to be grateful for. I hope everything goes well with carving out your own little space at home, it's so easy to get lost in the chores, sometimes I forget that a home is a space to also nurture the spirit.Thanks for sharing.
Dy

Krista said...

Hi,
I love this post on the "happy pages" and training our brain to look for the positive. Thanks for the wonderful reminders!
-K

Elizabeth said...

I love the comfort re-reads at bedtime, and Valley of the Horses (and other Auel books) are among mine as well. A wonderful list.

samantha said...

hi wm, maybe i am just a sap, but when the old lady told you she could tell you are a good mother b/c of how happy your children are, did that give you a lump in your throat? i think i would have saved that special moment for the shower that evening and then cried a good, happy, deep from the well sob. how completely lovely and amazing. cheers to you.

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