As clouds cover the sky and prevent the sun from shining through, it reminds me that darkness is nothing but the absence of light, and we merely need to find a way to create an opening in the blanket of darkness for a spark to ignite a blaze that cannot be quenched. There are ups and downs as we stumble through the great mysteries of life and make our way through the obstacles and easy currents that lead us to several different destinations, but it is the ups, the climbs out of the valleys, and the arrivals at the mountain peaks of our many journeys that should bare the focus of our individual stories. Negativity is easy to dwell on because it is an epidemic that has infected the media, politics, social media and almost everything we interact with. One negative comment in a conversation is enough to usually sour the entire conversation and suck the life out of anything positive that was being discussed. I hope to continue writing my daily 3 positive things as a reminder to myself that I must be part of the solution, not part of the epidemic.
I did not get in a run today, but I was able to get in a quick workout, take a shower and then bring my daughter to meet up with some friends from the library story time we usually go to. We met at a McDonald’s play place due to the rain outside, but everyone still had fun, and I got in some adult conversation, which was a bonus.
I was able to register my son for Safe Key, the before and after school care program, in preparation for training I have coming up. I was quite happy that I was able to do this as I had run out of options. I have Key Spouse training that will take place all day, and I needed to be able to make sure that he would have supervision. He is all set, and that is one less thing I have to worry about.
I have not missed a single day of these posts so far and am really beginning to become comfortable seeking out the positives in my day. This post has been slightly more difficult for me because I am writing it as my two year old is refusing to go to sleep and is asking me to sleep in my room instead. No day is perfect, but I know eventually she will realize that I am not going to be suckered into her request, and she will go lay down in her own bed. Even while negatives are happening, we can see the positives at the end of the tunnel. I know that I will have difficulty seeing the positive in my day sometimes, and that is okay. When I have to walk through those valleys, I will become stronger and wiser as I pull myself up the mountainside. The most important part of our journeys is acknowledging when we are in the valleys and when we are climbing mountains, and allowing ourselves to find and utilize the best resources to get us to the end of each of our paths.
Today I was hardly home at all, and it was actually raining for most of the second part of the day, but it was a good day. I love walking in the rain. Feeling the droplets of water land gently upon my head, skin and clothes brings a peace to me that nothing else can. It is that feeling of cleansing and starting new. I felt that today because my challenge to find three positives is really starting to sink into my bones. I can feel the difference in my children’s reactions when I am approaching them with a positive attitude and when I am approaching them with a negative attitude. I still discipline them when they fall out of line, but I am slowly starting to make small adjustments in the way I handle each of them. These mild adjustments in trying to find a positive way to handle issues (and it doesn’t always work, believe me) make the defiance disappear slightly quicker and resolutions are discovered slightly faster.
I met the caretaker that will be caring for my youngest girl today so that I can attend Key Spouse training. She is very nice, the house is well kept and I loved her play and learning set up. This will be the first time my daughter is away from me and family, and she was understanding of that and is well versed in how to distract children so that they are not just crying all day. Though my daughter tried her best to play shy, she did say goodbye to the caregiver, which was exactly what I needed to see in order to feel comfortable enough to leave her when the time comes.
The rain made it difficult to make it to the park today, so instead, I went to the base fitness center and got in my run. I made it 3 treadmill miles at a slower pace than I used to do, but I still made the distance, so I was happy about that. My daughter was quite content to sit and watch Princess Sofia in the toddler area as I ran. Though it is not my favorite thing for us to do, the fact that both of us were happy at the end of our time at the fitness center made it a great thing.
All of us went to karate tonight and both of the kids did well landing punches and kicks as they sparred. My youngest enjoyed watching them spar and I am sure she is looking forward to the day that she can join them.
I tried a new recipe that all of the kids really enjoyed, so that was a huge plus too. They were odd, but tasted sooooo good. It was an Umami Almond Quinoa burger. Super delicious if you are looking for a vegetarian recipe. I am going to probably mess around with the recipe a little bit the next time I make them only because they didn’t hold together really well. Other than that though, finding a meal that all three kids enjoyed and ate was a big win!
I’d love to hear about anything that made your day a better day.
The best thing about finding three positive things a day is that they do not have to be complicated or super deep and powerful moments. They just have to be three things that make me smile. Thinking of today, I chose a picture of a heart that I discovered while walking with my children a couple of years ago. Someone took the time to make a beautiful sculpture of a heart out of the fall leaves that were scattered on the sidewalk. It was beautiful and the kids loved it. These are the type of small, simple things that can brighten a day, if we let these small moments be our focus.
Today, I was proud of myself as I made it to day 2 of continuing my running routine. To add to it, since we were outside, I stopped at the local park with my youngest daughter. There were no other children there, so I became her playmate. She let me into her world for 45 minutes to play the Polar Express (her 2-minute version of it) multiple times. While at times, I did grow bored, I was amazed at her imagination and found it truly special that when I remembered a part she had forgotten, she lit up with happiness that I was actively playing. It was a wonderful experience that I will cherish.
My eldest daughter and I were able to make it to have our eyebrows threaded today. Though not an optimal bonding activity, it is something that we can do together, or at least take turns doing while one of us watches the little children. Small victory, but a victory none the less, in a list of things to do.
I completed putting together 40 songs for myself, my son, and my youngest daughter, and I tasked my husband and eldest daughter with putting together a list of their top 40 favorite songs as well on Google Music. I am compiling a household list of music for long trips and to play at home as well for background music. This is a simple project I am doing that should lead to happiness for everyone as there will be a fair and equal balance of everyone’s music that will play. Small parenting win!
Though these are three very simple things, the fact that I can focus on them instead of the things that may have gone wrong today makes this challenge completely worthwhile already.
Please share three simple positive things that you encountered today.
There are those days where we encounter some valleys before we can rise up onto a mountain peak. Today was one of those days for me. Tuesdays are our busiest day of the week. My eldest daughter has a club meeting, so I pick my son up from school, drive over to pick her up from school, and then we have about 30 – 45 minutes before we all have to pile back into the car to go to karate. It is all worth the effort, but towards the end of the day, I can feel the exhaustion creeping into my bones, and sometimes I just lose it a little. As we were driving to karate and home from karate, I yelled a couple of times. The noise got to me. I felt like Dr. Seuss’ Grinch. “All the noise, noise, noise, noise!” I requested, not so graciously, that everyone be quiet because I had a headache and I wanted to hear just one complete song without someone talking to me or making noise. After my outburst, I saw that I clearly overreacted and fell right back into a positive attitude and apologized, but that was my valley today. The plus side is that I found my footing again and ended the day at the top of a peak.
I started a new workout routine today, which I have been anxious to get back to. My goal was to run at least two miles, and I did accomplish that, while getting my youngest daughter some nice, fresh air. I was very happy to achieve this goal today.
My son did not throw a single temper tantrum today. This is a mild celebration for myself. I have been slowly reading “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman, which has been assisting me in opening my eyes to how to handle situations with my husband and children in a more effective way. I haven’t gotten very far in the book, but a reference to an empty love tank has greatly changed the way in which I approach situations with my son. I am beginning to find ways to help him fill his “love tank”, which in turn has lead to him acting out less. My better understanding has helped both of us and is really assisting in turning our relationship in a very positive direction.
The greatest positive of the day was that all of my children were able to have a video call with my husband this evening. I have been able to talk to him, but his calls have been either during nap time or after the younger children are asleep and my eldest daughter is at her weekly evening meetings, so they have not really seen or talked to him for a couple of days. It made my heart smile to see all of them so excited to be talking to Daddy.
Today was definitely not perfect, but when we stumble into valleys, no matter how deep or wide, the comfort of knowing that there is only one way to go gives me the stamina to push forward and redirect my energy.