On Motherhood & Sanity

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

December Challenge day 1: what was your favourite part?

Every day when the kids get home from school I ask them
“what was the best thing that happened today?”

when we go away for a holiday or have a special outing I ask them
“what was your favourite part?”

It’s a habit that is hard to loose. I do it automatically, without thinking,

Many moons ago I studied to be a psychologist. Around that time my hormones were a lot more disorganized, and so was the world and my place in it. Or so it seemed. One particularly hard summer I remember reading about a  tool that is used with depressed patients. They are asked to record at the end of every day three good things. They don’t have to be huge, or important, they just have to be good. The idea is that depression is addictive. When you are there you kind of want to stay there, even if you don’t. You wallow in the bad and forget about everything else. You keep digging downwards, and it keeps getting harder to get up. This mechanism makes you remember not everything was bad. So I started doing that myself.

To my surprise this was indeed the fact. Everyday I could easily find 3 good things to focus on. They were often not life changing, but then again, neither were the things that made me unhappy.  It just forced me to change my focus. It also forced me to be grateful for the things I had, instead of focusing on the meaning of life (or lack of) and other things outside my control. I regularly found myself smiling over things like an afternoon  coffee I’d had with someone, something I normally would  not have even given a second thought to, but thinking about it made me realize that -although it was in fact meaningless, it was also very special.  I had a friend, who cared. I’d had some good laughs.

Some days it was particularly hard, the good things I could find were really meanial, but they were there. They were always there, and remembering this helped.

So it kind of just  stayed with me. This little habit of thinking:
“what was the best part?”
“what did you enjoy most?”

and that is why I wanted to start this now mellower version of the December challenge with the same question: What was  your favourite part of 2013? What did you enjoy most, why?

For me, if I think about it, it has been a particularly hectic and somewhat stressful year. Mostly for good reasons but, never the less, it felt like a constant marathon. But you know what I think about when I look back? that through that marathon there was this inner  peace amidst the chaos. I was protected by this bubble we’ve created we call family which  embraces you, holds you up, keeps you going,  smiles back and giggles when you think you are at the end of your tether,  or just cooks  you a nice meal. They phone or text,  even when they know you are terrible on the phone, or pass you a ladder when you just can't reach. It's  much appreciated. 

what about you? what was your favorite part of 2013? what are 3 things that happened to you today or yesterday that are good, but you probably would not have given a second thought to if I hadn't asked?