Some days, if you want a nice moment to remember you have to create it yourself. I’m not sure where I got this idea, it may be a pearl from Ma Ingalls, but it seems to hold true. If I’m having a bad day, consciously choosing to step aside from whatever crap is getting me down so I can create a positive moment helps. Even if the moment is doing something nice for someone else. Just taking that moment, putting on some emotional blinders if you will, improves my mood. It brightens my outlook on the rest of day, sometimes it alters the course for those around me as well, and if nothing else – at the end of the day I can hold on to that happy little moment and let the rest go.
We have been having some – lets say less than fun – days lately. Just getting caught up in the endless round of chores and errands and cooking and naptimes. It can be too easy to lose sight of the rest of the world, or to focus on getting a thing done rather than the doing of it. So Sunday morning when we got a late start and we were all feeling kind of hurried and grumpy, I decided to step aside from the to-do list and create a positive memory for the day.
We went on what we call an “adventure”, which is really just a grand name for an unplanned outing. For the first time in a year I went further than a couple blocks from home with the kids, and without Matt. And it was great. This sounds like a little thing, but I can’t drive and we don’t live in a very walkable neighborhood anymore so it’s a bit more of an effort than it otherwise might be.
Ronan had his first (and second) bus ride, Elena got to choose our direction, and I got some much needed practice saying “yes.” It was so nice for all of us. And we didn’t really do anything special. We took the bus downtown, visited Pioneer Courthouse Square, grabbed a deli sandwich and had a picnic at Shemanski Park, windowshopped, checked out the statues and Benson Bubblers that are dotted here & there, visited the central branch of Multnomah County Library, and bussed it back home. Simple. And yet, with no plan and no time table, wonderful.
My favorite part may have been the cavalier feeling of deciding to go, then tossing a few things in the diaper bag and just going. (hooray for grab & go snacks!) Or maybe it was being able to really listen to Elena, to watch Ronan delight in new faces and places, without distractions. No screens, no undone chores, nothing to stop me from just being present in that moment with them. For less than $20 (bus fare, a sandwich, some juice, and some postcards just because) I had a great afternoon and so did the kids. The dishes may get washed a little later, the weeds may be a bit taller before I yank them, but it was so worth it.
Not only did it make the day better, it was good practice for me. I can go out with the kids by myself. And I really should. So now I know, and I will be planning accordingly. Or maybe just adventuring.
How do you perk up an otherwise crummy day?