I had a terrible day yesterday. The kind of day that should have/ could have been an amazing day. A day with CANCELLED PLANS. There is nothing I love more than cancelled plans. I am not an overworked, overscheduled kind of mom, but still. Having two hours cleared up in the day is like a gift. If you treat it like one. My original plan on that rainy Tuesday was to lie down on the sofa with a book and revel in the peace and quiet. What I ended up doing instead looked nothing like that. Guilt took over. Bouncing around from thing to thing, feeling like I should do something “productive” while fighting the urge to just rest, had me in such a state. I had chocolate for breakfast. Read that again. I had chocolate. For breakfast. So gross. And the day went downhill from there. Let myself get sucked into the vortex that is E-mail, Facebook, and Pinterest. Cable TV. Videos on the iPad. None of them working properly or even helping to get me out of my funk. For years I have called Tuesdays “Tantrum Tuesdays.” We are all just a little or a lot grumpy that the weekend is over, the work week is just starting, and there is so much work waiting to be done.
By the time the afternoon came, I had been spinning so wildly all day, I just unraveled. Expecting my daughter’s soccer practice to be canceled due to said rain, I made plans for cooking dinner. But no- practice was on! I got so frustrated about not being able to schedule anything anytime anywhere. I was angry over the lack of control over those few hours in my life. I was angry that I had “wasted” the whole day away.
On the one hand, cancelled plans had caused me to unravel. On the other hand, established plans that I had known about and planned for ALSO caused me to unravel. You can’t have it both ways! We thrive on structure. We also thrive on spontaneity and freedom from restrictions. The trick is recognizing where you are and enjoying it for what it is. I failed that particular lesson yesterday.
As I was driving my daughter to practice, in the rain, I was reminded of Mumford and Sons and one of my favorite lines in Hopeless Wanderer. They sing, “I will learn to love the skies I’m under.” Appropos for yesterday’s wild weather. Because, you see, in the middle of soccer practice, the sun came out. And the kids played their hearts out. They weren’t fretting over plans they had made. They weren’t worried about getting wet or cold. They just wanted to play. And the sun came out and shone on those precious bodies doing what they do best- running free.
Maybe we have to have days like yesterday. Maybe we have to spin and snarl and growl and get stuck sometimes to realize the good things we have. The simple things that make life worth living. Like reading a book on the sofa. Which I will do the next time I am feeling out of sorts.
To help remind myself of the simple pleasures that can help get me out of a downward spiral, I have composed a list.
Things to do when you don’t know what to do:
1. Lie down and read a book
2. No electronics!
3. Listen to music (Mumford and Sons, Coldplay, The Avett Brothers, “Winter” playlist)
4. Make a smoothie
5. Go for a walk
6. Drink a glass of water
7. Write a card to someone
8. Clean something (Not a whole room. Just one thing- like the inside of the microwave. )
10. Call and schedule that massage/ doctor appointment/ class you’ve been meaning to go to. Make it for two weeks out- you don’t have any plans that week yet.
12. Request good books from the library
13. Get that online driving school class out of the way already!
14. Read Momastery
15. Call a friend
16. Take a bath
And I am going to work on switching “Tantrum Tuesday” to something to look forward to. GratiTuesday. Taco Tuesday. Take Ten Minutes and Lie Down Tuesday. Something.