I had a bad day today. (Being a mother is the hardest thing I’ve ever, ever done.) And during my bad day, these three thoughts entered my head as ways that I could improve my day and life overall.
- I need to go clothes shopping.
- I want to buy a bunch of books.
- Chocolate is the best and I want to eat a lot of it (and other junk food).
It would have been easy to do those things, but also fleeting. Because none of those things would actually solve the problem of my bad day, even if I could distract myself into believing they could, even for a little while. But I want lasting contentment and happiness, not a quick, expensive break.
Why did I feel the need to go clothes shopping? Because my pants kept falling down and two shirts were already soiled with spit-up and I was hot. What do I really need? Comfortable and durable clothes that are magically spit-up resistant. The solution? Slowly and intentionally curate a collection of simple, durable, and chic clothes that I feel good in. Also, dress for weather.
Why did I want to buy a bunch of books? I wanted an escape from my life (due to the bad day I was having). What do I really want? Time to myself to relax and really enjoy a story outside of my own experience. The solution? Work out a time with my husband where he totally takes care of the boys and I can have a short respite. (I would love for this to be a daily thing, but I know it ain’t gonna happen anytime soon.)
Why do I want to eat chocolate and junk food all day everyday? Because chocolate is delicious and comforting and releases sweet, sweet phenylethylamine. And junk food was made for me to crave it. What do I really want? To feel good, mentally and physically. The solution? Follow Michael Pollan’s Food Rules and eat to live and enjoy without being a slave. But that’s a story for another time.
So, as you may have noticed, the solutions take a lot of time. A lot more time than I had today. The impulses wouldn’t have made my day better, and the solutions couldn’t be done in a day either. So I had a bad day. But by thinking about the root causes of those urges, I figured out what I really wanted and a better way of actually getting it.
Now I can actually kind of feel good about my day. Although it really, really helps that Andrew gave my the “night off” and is taking care of the house and the boys for a couple of hours so I can have some much needed me-time right now. Me-time I will desperately need to accomplish the solutions above as well as my everyday tasks.