A mama friend of mine recently posed this question in her FB consignment boutique group, as part of a giveaway entry.
“What do you look forward to?”
I lightheartedly typed, “Tomorrow morning’s coffee! 🤣”
But it got me thinking.
What do I look forward to? I realized that so many of my choices or habits I’ve created have been in some ways, to artificially create something to look forward to. For example…endless cups of coffee with the hope that the next one I’ll be able to drink hot and in (semi)Peace. Various types of junk food/sweets, snuck, as a “reward”, alcohol (no, I don’t think I have a problem per se but I do drink more often than I want to from a health perspective), buying “stuff” to anticipate it arriving in the mail or on the porch (not all the purchases, but I can identify a good handful). I’ve been aware of this subconsciously for awhile and so I can say now I’ve been making some changes for awhile, for the better! Yay !! It’s just that this past week or so I’ve had more conscious A-HAs and have been connecting the dots!
At the surface, you may roll your eyes and say “really?! Is life so bad or so hard that you have nothing to look forward to as it is, so much so that you’ve created these other habits?!” And you’d be right…life is good, and I have an abundance of blessings and amazing things & people to be thankful for.
There were several years not too long ago, during which I let a lot of resentment & anger & self pity creep in and really get a solid hold on me. That did much damage to me & to those closest to me. It produced in me anxiety, and emotions of inadequacy, self doubt, fear, obsession, guilt, and fed negative self talk. Without going in too much deeper for now, it’s safe to say these filters very adversely affected my choices and my relationships.
This week in our coursework, a main “assignment” was to go on a 7 day mental diet to create new habits. That is, anything negative whether about ourselves or someone else needs to be replaced with a positive and/or a gratitude. And every time we slip, that 7 Days starts over.
I have had to start over so many times. I really thought I had a better handle on keeping my thoughts & voices in my head positive…it’s not a new concept to me and I DO go through positive affirmations pretty much daily. But I definitely caught myself! What we tell our mind it believes. And that belief affects our actions. So whether it’s about myself or about my kids or husband or any other relationship in my life…what I think about affects my relationship with them and feeds either good or bad, and that will snowball!
I’ve been intentionally acknowledging and discovering every day pleasures & experiences to look forward to, and the more positive and grateful things I think on, the easier it is becoming.
Here’s a short list of things I’ve decided to look forward to.
Coffee. It will always make my list. But like maybe 1-2 cups, whether I get to savor them in peace or not so much. It’s all good.
The sound of my children’s laughter.
D’s songs and stories and random things he remembers and *has* to share with me that very second.
Getting A off the bus in the afternoon- she is SO EXCITED to see me. I will be SO EXCITED to see her!
My baby’s cry when he wakes up at night, just as I finally sat down to have some me time whether for work or an attempt to relax. Or if I need to prep for the next day somehow. Instead of sighing like “oh man he’s awake…” it will be “my sweet boy! I get to kiss his cheeks!”
My husband’s face and familiar kiss when he walks in the door after work. He is home safely and he works so hard for his family.
Laundry to do, dishes to wash, floors to vacuum. We have a safe, warm house that serves us well.
Showers! Baby C is my first kiddo to enjoy playing at my feet while I shower. I just discovered this today. This is a major gamechanger in the realm of mommy self care!! 🙌🏼🙌🏼
My daily devotions and affirmations. Sometimes they happen at 6:55am, sometimes not til a lot later. Earlier is my preference but I am grateful for any time.