The other day ... as I stood in our kitchen making dinner, after a busy afternoon running to and from hockey arenas and after school jobs, listening to the kids play in the basement…. I had a moment that made me literally stop stirring the pot of pasta.
In that regular moment, of every day mom life, I realized that, I am truly happy.
Not just in the moment happy.
But content happy. Thriving amongst the realities of everyday life, I want to bottle this shit up happy.
If you’re reading this, resist the urge to roll your eyes and whisper to yourself… okay Jamie. your life is effing perfect…. congra-effin-lations.
It’s not. Oh girl, trust me it’s not.
Right now, our life is FAR from perfect.
We are buckling up for another stressful time in our blended family life… one that I don’t openly speak about online but once it’s said and done and the kiddos are grown up, I may just write a book about.
My husband is working crazy hours, and I’m here on my own managing everything with the kids. It’s all good, but some days, it’s a lot, especially on those unexpected late nights!
Our daughter is struggling with some things at school. Even though we know it will be okay, it’s added some extra stress to the load.
And despite the goal of slowing down. things are more chaotic than ever!
But like I said, in that moment I was still, “I want to bottle this shit up happy.”
So instead of noticing how I felt and moving on with the night… I stopped and thought about what I could to do actually keep that feeling.
How could I reduplicate it?
How could I keep it around?
In doing so, I asked myself these questions.
What are we doing well right now?
What did I do today?
What’s been going right lately?
What sets this day apart from every other day of our life?
You know, we try SO freakin’ hard to try and avoid things and situations that make us feel bad. We don't want to repeat mistakes and try to avoid negative experiences in life.
And rightfully so. It’s not so enjoyable when things are going shitty.
BUT, what if, instead we focused on reduplicating the things that are going right?
What if we focused on the things that are going well…
Stay with me here…
What if we stopped and thought about the times we still felt GOOD when things were going BAD?!
Because here’s the deal - shit is going to happen.
Life is going to get hard.
If you have kids, it’s going to be busy.
You’ll have tough times with your husband.
You’ll have tough times at work.
If you’re co-parenting, chances are you’re going to have tough times with the ex.
You may have to prepare for court.
You may have extremely different parenting styles.
You will have curve balls thrown at you.
You will have times when you think to yourself “I just can’t take this anymore.”
But it all goes back to the question, and the purpose of this platform…. how are you going to thrive amongst those extra stressors?
How can you still feel happy when it would be so easy to feel overwhelmed, stressed, sad, angry… and all those premature wrinkle giving emotions?!
In case you’re wondering, here are MY answers to the questions I asked myself.
EXERCISE: I worked out that day. I had blown off some steam. I fell off the wagon for a while and it feels good to be back on.
ME TIME: I woke up early that day, and have been very committed to my morning routine [You can learn more about it here]
WORK LIFE BALANCE: I’ve made a point to stop working at 3:00 pm everyday so that I can be available for the kids when they get home from school. Previously, I had been trying to juggle work when they came in the door, and trying to do too many things at once. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that this attempt at multi-tasking shortened my fuse HUGE.
DATE NIGHT: A few days earlier Darren and I had an amazing date night out. It was so good, it left me craving more. It’s crazy how easy it can be to fall off the date night wagon. It’s even crazier how just a couple of hours with your person, can leave you feeling so good!
POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT: I have been making a point of telling the kids all the things they are doing RIGHT, instead of correcting the things they were doing wrong. The positive reinforcement has gone a long way and their behaviour has been ON POINT! It’s also resulted in me looking for more of the positive. Mindset is key!
Look, my answers won’t be the same as your answers to the questions.
But, next time you get that “I want to bottle this shit up feeling”… I encourage you to not just experience it… I want you to analyze it, and then reduplicate it.
It sounds a little crazy, but it actually works!