I can't say my Appreciation Edition of Mindful Mondays went as well as I could have hoped, but I did remember and give it a try on more than a few occasions. Small things I was thankful for - my daughters asleep in their beds before 9pm, a clean bathroom, having resources to address our car issues before they're too late, being able to wear my dress shoes again for the first time in two years. Noticing these things and taking a moment to be thankful felt wonderful. I can definitely understand how there is something to being thankful for what you have as a way of improving your life.
The catch is that they weren't really small things. War is being waged in our house nightly to get our 2 year old to go to sleep; most of the time I think she is winning. Some part of the bathroom is cleaned everyday in an attempt to keep ahead on the housework. Car repairs are planned for in our yearly budget; it's taken us over 6 years of planning and adjusting to get a grip on our finances. Pain in my feet, legs and back during my first pregnancy forced me to retire all my dress shoes; while I'm not sure I'll ever get back into heels, well thought out dress shoes might be back into rotation. Each of thing I was consciously thankful for was something I'd worked for mixed with a bit of luck or timing. Small things continually slipped by unnoticed which was really what I was hoping to change.
I can see that being thankful for the things in your life is a constant process. I imagine it takes practice before it becomes a habit or way of thinking. With time, it will change your whole outlook, but more than a week is needed. Prompted by that line of thinking, this week's goal is a bit more active.
WHAT: Planning some time for me each and every day and set goald as to what I want to accomplish in that time.
WHY: Really? You need to ask? But seriously, I don't take enough time for myself. Some days I don't take ANY time for myself. I've been noticing my temper growing shorter with my two year old and my attention being not so focused at work. Both of these get more pronounced when I'm neglecting me.
HOW: Notice how I didn't just say "Take Me Time"? I've worked this goal before, or some lesser variant of it. Too often I take Me Time, but I don't do anything with it. I turn my brain completely off and vegetate. While that is an important activity, it should not be the default activity during Me Time. As I find my Me Time this week I'm going to refer to a list of wants and determine what it is *I* want to do during that time, how I would most enjoy it. Some actions include:
- Take my full lunch break. At my current workplace, we are required to include a 1 hour lunch break in our daily schedule. This means that we are required to work 8 hours each day, but we really have to schedule a 9 hour day. As such, there are many (too many) days there I sit at my desk and eat while working or surfing the internet.
- Be on time to work. Being late to work just means I have to cut in on my lunch or evening decompression time to make up for it.
- Swap off bedroom routine nights with my husband. Really this one should be a no brainer as it is one of the most frustrating times of the day, but too often I'm sending him off and manning the battle stations myself.
- Make a list of activities to which to refer. There are always things I want to do, but never make time. Take a 15 minute walk. Shop for new shoes. Clean off the top of my dresser. Paint my nails. Read.