Do you ever wake up in the morning and wonder where you’ve gone? I’m too much of a zombie in the morning for critical thinking, so I usually experience this feeling in the evening while I am trying to fall asleep. I feel these feelings every now and then, sometimes they are sad and bleak, sometimes they are proud and profound. It all depends on if the part of me I lost was something I miss, or something I’m glad to be rid of. Whatever it is, I’m never indifferent when I think back on how I used to be.
About a month ago, these thoughts were sad and bleak. I felt like a dull penny. I was aching to be the vibrant life-filled person I was, but couldn’t seem to find anywhere. Not too terribly happy, full of stress, and my vision was set to only spot the people and events that were disappointing me or letting me down. Going through the motions of life, with no reason to be anything but incredibly grateful, yet I was just… there. You see why I say sad and bleak! For some, these feelings are chemical and it’s more than just a funk. Luckily for me I could be eased out of it. I was encouraged by my husband to take back what was mine. To remember those things I love to do, and just do them already! My friend Brooke White calls it her “Happy Tools” in this awesome post, basically, the things that put the shine back on your penny.
For me, it’s music and books. Whether it’s a good hard run with music so cheesy I’d be embarrassed if anyone else heard. A solo-drive where I can sing my heart out with the wind running through my window-dangling fingers (without the inevitable “You’re too wowd, Mom!”) Trading new music finds with my husband, listening to old ones that remind us of when we were awkward and Junior-High-ified. But really, all it really ever takes is a good book. Something that challenges me, that stays with me, that I’ll highlight and think on for weeks. Even if the story isn’t happy, I find happiness in being totally taken out of my own head and into someone else’s, and only a good book has that power over my mile-a-minute mind. And after a couple weeks of it all, oh man, I feel so much better! So here’s to taking back what’s mine, dusting off the Happy Tools, shining up that figurative penny, because if there’s one thing I’ve learned about parenting: You can’t draw water from an empty well.
And because you know I’m going to ask, here’s a two part question… What are your Happy Tools? And, read any good books lately?