I’m sure many of you have an elf floating around your home. Our elf is named Elfy, I know….super original. Only a few more nights before Elfy leaves and returns with Santa. By this time, I can’t wait!
I have all kinds of creative ideas that I’ve pinned (of course) but by the time the kids have gone to bed, I’ll do some work for my job, I’ve done the dishes, laundry, etc….I just want to sit down with a glass of wine. Then by the time I go to bed, I have completely forgotten about Elfy. At 2am I shoot up out of bed in a cold sweat, run down to find him, chuck him in our Christmas tree, hang him from something or shove him into a bag/box with 0% creativity.
Of course in the morning the kids don’t care. They are just so excited to find him. Last night I read this quote from The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo…..”Believing is all a child does for a living” (Kurtis Lamkin). He is so right in saying that! I don’t really want my kids to stop believing in the spirit/magic of Christmas. So with these last few nights before Elfy leaves us, I’ll try to be a little more creative. Probably not “pin worthy” but certainly better than throwing him somewhere.
*Side Note: The moms that are super awesome creative ~ you need to monopolize on that! Start a company to come and do it for other moms. I would TOTALLY hire you!
This past weekend really made me realize how important it is to go with the flow and let happen, what happens.
Friends did a last minute invite to meet them at Hershey Park. I was a single parent on this day (husband had a wrestling tournament) and accepted the challenge. I thought how crazy could it be? Well…….I’m pretty sure everyone who lived on the East Coast was at Hershey Park that night. It was a “chilly” 65 degrees so could you blame them? After standing in line for about 45 minutes to ride one kid ride (not to mention we actually stood in line waiting to cross a bridge/walk wall) we told the kids about this awesome place called Troegs and how much fun it would be to go there! They cheered and said let’s go! For real…they did.
We loaded the kids up in the strollers and began our journey back through the sea of people to our cars. As we pull into our destination for drinks and food, we see that cars are parked 3 deep in the loading dock area, I say let’s bounce, order pizza, and head to our house. To add to the craziness, as we are sitting in bumper to bumper traffic my son screams “I have to pee NOW!” Cue wreck-less pull off to have him pee in a bush.
Hanging out at the house was exactly what we needed after the complete chaos we just encountered. The kids ran around, we stuffed ourselves with food, had some much needed adult beverages and got to talk.
We could have been completely angry at the crowds, the kids could have had horrible meltdowns for not being able to ride more rides, and we could have lost our temper dealing with the stress of traffic but instead we went with the flow and laughed about it.
It’s ok to have changes in plans because sometimes…..last minute plans, turn out to be the best memories.
Remember when you were a kid and you would imagine a lot of awesomeness? You would imagine you could fly, you were a princess, a super hero, a famous athlete or singer, the list goes on and on. There were times I’m sure, you put your whole heart and soul into those pretend moments.
As adults we put a lot of effort into imagining things but unfortunately they aren’t always fun. Another word for this is worry. How many times have you thought, “What if……”, “It might…..” or “That could…..”. This can cause many sleepless nights among other problems. So why do we do this to ourselves?
I’ve heard before that if you create these imaginary situations, they won’t happen. Hey, if that works, I would like some of that magic. I’ll bottle it and make millions! Worrying won’t stop things from happening but it certainly stops you from enjoying the moment you are in.
Next time you notice that your imagination is spiraling out of control with worry, take a deep breath, tell yourself to stop wasting precious moments on what might go wrong and enjoy what is going right.
An Attitude of Gratitude
Throughout the month of November people will post what they are thankful for each day or around the table with family and friends we may speak about the things we are grateful for from the past year. What if we did that on a daily basis? The benefits of being grateful every day can actually boost your health. It has been linked to lowering stress levels, improving immune functions, help you sleep better, increase your energy levels and just plain make you a happier and nicer person.
I’ve always taught my kids to be happy for the rainy days. If we don’t have the rainy days, we wouldn’t appreciate the sunny ones. To help instill the attitude of gratitude with them, each night at bedtime we ask them what they are thankful for. Yes, some answers are for material things, Kindle, iPad but some of their answers are so beautiful and touching. Once my son said he was thankful for me because I take care of the family. My daughter always thinks of the simple things that we so often take for granted – eyes, legs, hands, breath etc.
A way to help me remember that the rainy days are a blessing is I keep a gratitude journal. All you have to do is write down 5 things you are thankful for each day. It doesn’t take long, plus reading back through them when you are having a not-so-grateful day, it will certainly put you in a better mood.
So remember even when it is raining, the kids are screaming in the back of the car and you get pulled over for speeding (not speaking from experience of course….*cough, *cough) be grateful for the rain to help things grow, the healthy kids that have voices to use, a car to get you places and for the speeding ticket? Inadvertently supporting the local community by offsetting public safety costs?
Remember, try to stretch out the Attitude of Gratitude throughout the year. The return on your efforts will be amazing!