So yesterday I very nearly completely failed
It was just one of those mornings. I woke up with a bad feeling in my gut and there was no real reason for it.
I was tired I had loads to do and it seemed as if everyone and everything was conspiring to make my day worse. I lost things, I stubbed my toe and I seemed to be running in circles trying to get things done without actually achieving anything. My mood was bleeding out into the house and my temper was flaring.
Around midday I went into the bathroom, realised I was alone, closed the door and cried.
At this point I remembered the Contented Family Project. I told myself that I had a choice. A choice between allowing this negativity to continue or stopping it right there and then. I know that in the past a day like this would have been a complete right off. I would have accepted that I had failed and the rest of the day would follow suit. Of course predictably, because I had decided this in my mind, the day would prove me right.
How much of a bad day is because we decide that it is so?
I tried to focus only on the sound and movement of my breath, when my mind wondered off I simply brought it back. I could feel myself calm and my body relax, I could feel my centre become grounded again.
Then I heard the baby cry.
I may have been interrupted but I knew something had changed, the energy had shifted, and I was giving off a different vibe. I still moaned though, I would have liked more time.
Alas, I threw myself back into the madness. On this particular day I was trying to get the kids and myself out of the door and drive 2 hours away to my mother’s house. We were only going for a night but my girls had decided they NEEDED bags and bags of toys. I could feel my calm mood start to slip away again and I failed to stop the negativity progressing.
The next hour consisted of these questions/comments repeated 1000 times…
- Get your shoes on please?
- No you can’t take balloons in the car.
- Don’t forget your coat.
- Can you get your shoes on please?
- Where is your shoe gone?
- Get your coat on please?
- Why are you playing with that?
- Please put your sister down
- Please, please, please will you put your coat on?
Two hours after I had planned to leave we were in the car. I had just about held it together.
And then the unthinkable happened; half an hour into the journey I realised my eldest had forgotten her coat! At this moment in time, it felt like the worst thing that could have possibly happened.
OK, so we were going to a fireworks display that night so a coat was necessary but in the grand scheme of things this was not the end of the world. There were lots of options to deal with this problem but I couldn’t see any of them. I was stuck in a negative hole and I felt uncontrollable, irrational anger.
After I had shouted about responsibility to my 6 year old (I know, she is only 6), I was left with an overwhelming feeling of guilt. I had done it again I had failed.
And then a song came on the radio… Beach Boys; Good Vibrations
The power of music to change the atmosphere externally and internally is amazing and it wasn’t long before the girls had picked up some of the words and we were singing together. I nearly cried all over again, for a tiny moment in this awful day I had achieved a Contented Family moment.
With a clear head, my mum had popped out to a second hand shop and found a coat for £1.99; problem solved! Those negative emotions; the anger followed by the guilt were completely unnecessary in fact they were counter productive to resolving the issue.
By the evening, as I watched the fireworks light up the November sky, I felt good again, truly good. This is despite ending up stuck in a car park for over an hour with a screaming 3 year old. The difference was that I was in a better place and so instead of reacting to the conditions, I found a solution; in this case it was to play eye spy for THE WHOLE TIME (we definitely saw C for cars a few too many times)!
No day is a waste. Yesterday gave me the opportunity to learn. To see the contrast between what I do want and what I don’t want. It took me two attempts to properly calm down, I very nearly gave up trying. But I didn’t, and that’s why it was a success. I am sure I will have days like that again but I aim to arm myself with the knowledge and the tools to turn it back around to good vibrations.