Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Shiny Happy People

This past Christmas most of our family took turns with a terrible stomach virus. The sickness had a domino effect that interrupted our last minute Christmas shopping schedule and also led to the cancellation of a dinner party we had planned, putting my husband and mother-in-law in a funk. It was a 24-hour virus but for Sun Kissed Husband it lasted for several days. That left me scrambling Christmas shopping for the boys on Christmas Eve and changing our dinner plans to Christmas dinner instead of Christmas Eve dinner. But that was fairly easy in comparison to the effort it took to keep everyone "happy". Don't get me wrong, Sun Kissed Husband and his mom are the funnest people to be around. It was the circumstances that had them gloomy.  

I didn't want the grown ups in our household to be down in the mouth. First of all, that would have made the boys feel blah. Second of all, IT WAS CHRISTMAS!! Who wants to be sour at a birthday party? So I took it upon myself to be jolly enough for everybody. Most days I am an upbeat person. But I didn't realize that having a cheerful family makes this a lot easier. 

By the time Christmas was over, I was emotionally exhausted. I never knew how mentally draining it is having to be optimistic when everyone around you is blue. I'm thankful that's not my everyday.

Every night, during dinner, we play a game called "Favorite Part of the Day". The main purpose of this is not only for us to find something good in our day (no matter how crappy it might have been) but I also want to teach the boys how important it is to find something good in everyday.

It's important to me that they are happy kids, turning into happy adults, with a positive outlook on life. Practicing that for them to emulate has made my life happier in the process.  

That isn't to say I walk around with a grin on my face on a daily basis. There are days that the kids are driving me crazy and I just want to lock myself in the bathroom and cry. Or days when I am down on myself for not accomplishing more. On those kind of days I find myself saying lot of silent prayers. Jamming (is it terribly unhip to say "jamming" anymore?) to my favorite tunes also helps. I believe that playing music that you know the lyrics to works a lot better. Sending me into American-Idol-Wanna-Be mode.  

What about you? What works for you when you're down? 
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7 Sunny Notes:

Rose West said...

I really like your dinner game - what a great idea to encourage optimism in your children!

Renee said...

So, we play the same game at dinner...how funny! When I'm down or just frustrated, I go for a walk (unless it's dark out) or I, too, "jam" to music. Last night, I was jammin' away in my closet (I'm cleaning it) and my oldest just came up and shook his head. (Sigh, not too, too long ago he would have joined me.)

Cassie Bustamante said...

i completely agree with your outlook. we started gratitude journals where we right down 3 things each we are thankful for that day.... there have been some days where er have skipped, but the point is to remember that each day there really is so much to be thankful for. even if it was just that you got to play your favorite game in PE. ;)

Kelli W said...

Sickness during the holidays sucks! I'm glad you made it through with a smile on your face:) I love your dinnertime tradition...we need to start something like that too! And music is the best way for me to get out of a funk...especially if it's really loud!

michelle said...

I am so sorry the ick went through your house on Christmas, that is no fun but you certainly have a wonderful outlook on things, something that I need to remember. When I am feeling down music always helps and of course a little ride out to the beach to remind me of how lucky it is to be alive. :)

Suzanne@Meridian Road said...

I'm glad you're all better now. What a crappy time to get sick! I love the dinner tradition you started. I think it's such a good way to teach optimism.
I don't ever do just one thing when I'm down. I might just curl up on the couch and watch a movie or nap, I might go for a walk or pray or eat a cookie~it just depends. Sometimes I just have a good cry and I'm over it. :)

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

There were plenty of timers when I did lock myself in the bathroom and cried! Crying can be a release for me and then I will feel better. But not always! Sometimes a drive to the beach or sometimes I just need some alone time. Not always easy to do when the kids are little. :)