Living in the Moment
Everyday Happiness and Living In The Moment
Two and a half years ago, I made my first ever New Year’s resolution. I decided that I would be Happy. It may seem like a very simple thing to choose, but it requires a degree of consciousness, an awareness of your thought progression, and it can take a bit of work.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I wasn’t happy before, I was definitely happy! I was also angrier, resentful, held grudges, was quick to temper and super task oriented. I shared a post on Instagram the other day which was a brilliant reminder of the things we might miss when we get caught up in the everyday task checklist of motherhood. It was a gentle nudge to take a breath, slow down and find the happy.
There is a contentment which comes with being happy, almost smugness but less infuriating to those around you. People notice when you’re happy, and it changes your perspective on even the most mundane things. What on earth does any of it have to do with kids, being a mum or life in general? One of my good mummy friends pointed out to me when we discussed it recently, that sometimes we need to make our own happiness the priority. Not because we’re selfish but because it makes us better mums, partners and human beings.
It is so very easy to plow through a day, week or month on an autopilot of work, daycare, meal times, bath times, grocery shopping and the requisite social calendar fill-ins. We schedule so many bits and pieces into each day, but it is just as important to drop the schedule, leave the path and make the most of the moment. Next time you go to the loo (because really when else do mums have time to think in peace?), do some hard thinking (don’t strain!) and try to identify the biggest bad mood motivators in your day. They may not be significant things, but they probably happen frequently and can taint your whole day.
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An unmade bed is a surefire precursor to a bad mood for me, and is much worse since I’ve been a nurse. An unmade bed to me is slovenly, always something visitors notice and just looks messy. So I now make my bed while my Cheeky Monkey eats his brekky in his high chair. I plop him at the door and he watches me as I flap the sheets and tidy up. The Husband has been well informed of the unmade bed issue and he knows that on the days that he is still in bed when I go out, for his own peace it needs to be made before we can move onto anything else.
It took me a long time to work out my other key bad-mood motivator, and I finally realised it was my bad habit of deciding my daily run sheet. There’s nothing wrong with planning out your day, but when my day doesn’t go to plan, I kind of lose my sh*t. It sounds very counter productive to ‘Living in the Moment’ doesn’t it? Going with the flow is something I still sometimes need to work on. The other aspect of this was that I would know how the day was to go but when The Husband throws a spanner in the works, it’s all his fault, the day is ruined and I’m cranky as a crab. I make sure I tell him now what needs to be done through the day, it’s not always his fault he can’t be telepathic
Happiness is a mindset, a way of life and a choice I make every day. You can feel in yourself when things are getting away from you, simmering away under the surface. That is the time you need to catch yourself, reflect and pull yourself back. Why are you feeling that way, and does it achieve anything for you to carry on that thought path. Hint: it won’t achieve anything positive. You’ll snap at your partner and children and nobody will like you, you will feel miserable and snarky until you haul ass out of that funk.
Happiness is a colour which suits every person, irrespective of age, skin colour, gender or body shape. Do yourself a favour and wear your happiness every day, it will give a radiance incomparable to anything else.
My top 5 joy-boosters:
Think a happy thought
Find a trigger thought, quote or reminder and carry it with you. Not long after my New Year’s resolution I had a pair of bluebirds tattooed on my shoulder, they remind me of childhood, happiness and an innumerable number of motivational Disney movie quotes.
Take a picture, it’ll last longer
Commit to a photo-a-day challenge. Fat Mum Slim posts monthly prompts and having a target for the day keeps me on the lookout for things I otherwise might not notice or appreciate (If you need motivation check out @mrs.toby and @allmumsaid on Instagram, we both post daily).
Pull out your phone and look at whatever makes you all warm and sunshiney. Pictures of your kids, videos of cats and dogs being adorable, people falling over... Whatever works right?
Make a playlist of your mood lifting songs. A bit of Pink or a good old fashioned toe-tapper can pull me out of most funks but for the dire days, Let It Go.
When in doubt, smile!
There is nothing which brightens my day more than my baby smiling at me. It’s like Happiness crack! Find something you like to do together and go nuts. Cheeky Monkey’s smile triggers are swings, slides, dogs and mummy smiling at him.
All free and readily available somewhere near you!