If you know me, you know that I’m not a fan of hot weather. Like, at all. It makes me cranky and lethargic and sweaty and gross. I prefer to be in the cold weather and be bundled up versus being in the hot weather and attempting to dress in a way that I stay cool enough to not want to punch someone. Every spring I start to get pretty down and a little anxious in anticipation of the summer. I simply don’t enjoy it. Now if I could be at the beach or on a float in a pool all day everyday all summer long (sipping a freshly-made piña colada, of course)….that’s a different story. But, alas, I live in Tennessee, where there is no beach, and we don’t have a pool…… So…..in the summer, I generally spend time counting down to the first day of fall and I mostly want to do things that require being inside. But, having kids makes that difficult. They enjoy being outside and it’s good for them to do so. And I feel guilty if I make them stay inside too much. Plus, I usually have a hard time figuring out something for us to do outside that doesn’t make us all too miserably hot. So we spend a lot of time in the baby pool on the back porch:).
But this year as summer was approaching, I felt convicted. I talk about seizing the moment, enjoying the day for what it is, appreciating the big and small joys, thanking and praising God for what I’ve been given. But that’s not what I was doing. I’m not leading by example or teaching my kids anything positive by grumbling about the hot weather or by wishing away the summer. Because even if my grumbling and wishing is done silently, it’s still reflected in my attitude. So, this summer I decided to take a different approach. I chose to view the summer as another opportunity to seize the day, to view each moment as a gift, to TREAT EVERYDAY LIKE CHRISTMAS (novel idea, right?). And, you know what? This summer hasn’t been that bad! In fact, it’s been great! Oh I still dreaded the hot weather this year. Big time. But, because my outlook was better, I was determined to actually enjoy the summer. And I did!
Obviously, I’m ashamed that it took me this long to figure this out, but, hey, better late than never, right? So I’d like to share with you my tips for making any day a great day and how to treat everyday like Christmas…
**Disclaimer: I’m not an expert, or a licensed life coach, or really in any position to be giving anyone advice about anything. And these tips probably only apply to me or someone exactly like me…so, oops. But feel free to use them or amend them to make them more appropriate for your own life:).
1. Start the day off right with a cup of delicious coffee in a sassy mug.
2. As your kids are waking up, grab your iPod or CD player (I chose this bad boy pictured below), turn on a song that’ll pump you up…think any song they would play at a sports stadium to get the crowd going (I usually select “Ready for This”, from my Jock Jams CD because I’m a winner). And CRANK IT UP!
4. Plan an activity for the day that maybe makes a mess.
6. STAY AWAY from your phone, computer, book, to-do list and LISTEN to your kids as they play. Really take in what they’re doing, what they’re saying, what they like, what they don’t like. Notice their strengths and gifts. Notice what makes them tick and what gets them excited. It’ll bless you.
7. Read together! As many books as your kid will allow. My kids love to read anyway, but I find that when they’re getting frustrated and impatient with each other, if we stop what we’re doing, and read a book together, it calms us and refocuses us for a more civil play time.
8. Bake something. Anything. This is another guarantee to make anyone’s day better. Who doesn’t love baked goods?
9. Take a little time to dream and plan. With your kids, with someone else, or by yourself. Make a date to do something fun in the near future…a date with your spouse, a special date with your kid, a night out with friends, a get-together at your house. Hospitality is one of my spiritual gifts, and connecting people is one of my strengths, so planning fun activities with people I love gives me a sense of purpose. And, as a result, it gives my day more purpose!
10. Do something for someone else. Maybe it’s something you can make happen today, or maybe it’s something you can plan to do within the next few days. I realize that, from a stay-at-home mom point of view, it seems like everyday we’re doing something for someone else. And I’m sure there are lots of non-stay-at-home moms out there who feel the same way. But, from my experience, I’ve learned that a focus on the world outside of ours, will always refocus our own little world. And the impact you will leave on your children/family/friends by being someone who gives their time/resources/love to others is priceless.
These tips can work for any day, any time of year! Because, let’s be honest, there are MANY times in our lives when the tasks of the everyday and the normal can get a little tiring. When we have the same responsibilities day-in and day-out, it can wear on us. And, while no one’s life can be perfect – or even close to perfect – we can still choose to make our days more blessed, and enjoy the moments we’ve been given.
Thanks for reading and PRAISE THE LORD fall is just around the corner:)