One of the things I've really been working on is the tone I set within our home. I think this has particularly been on my mind because I am very aware that since I broke my foot, I have been fighting being really ornery A LOT. By nature I'm not very ornery, so I know that feeling has come from feeling crummy, being tired and being a little depressed and sad about this whole event and how difficult it is making my life.
So I've really been fighting it. Rather than wait until I feel awful and am really crabby, I try to recognize and tell people that I am not feeling well and either need them to give me some space or that I need to rest.
I had the most interesting and comical chat with some women friends recently who all agreed that their husbands and kids cannot tell when they are not feeling well. We chalked that up to the fact that as wives and moms we just keep chugging along. We still need to feed people, get to work, clean up and do so many things that keep people alive and the household moving. We were all a little surprised that we really have to TELL people we aren't feeling well or they will never notice. Why can't they tell?
So I'm trying to learn from that and tell my family when I'm not feeling well and ask them for some time to rest. Interestingly enough, families can survive without us and even get their own meals when necessary - after their initial shocked reactions wear off. I think they too get so used to us going nonstop that at first they aren't sure what they are going to do either. But families can survive on a dinner of toast and fruit or cold cereal. And most are resourceful enough to do better.
So I am trying to take breaks sooner. I am also trying to watch the tone of my voice and my comments. It's easy to get too sassy or say something that is not as kind as it could be. I'm trying not to do that. It's easy to comment on everything that hasn't been done, rather than build on what has been done. I'm trying to compliment small actions all around and not make constant critiques of everything that doesn't happen as I would like it to. (Especially since I know I'm not always right about how everything should be....)
I want our family to love being together and no one likes being in an environment where there is negativity. Small moments, like a late night snack, doing dishes and driving in the car can be special moments if we take the time to interact with consciousness and recognize the value and importance of everyday moments together. This weekend we went to the natural history museum. I am a little tired of dinosaur museums, but I went and tried to be pleasant and make the best of it. So hopefully next time when we go to the art museum, others will be equally pleasant and make the most of it. (Set the example...)
I am saying I love you and giving hugs and little squeezes more and holding hands and rubbing feet. Making more eye contact, giving more smiles and compliments and trying to listen well and offer compassion and understanding are part of it too. I am trying to say better, more loving hellos and goodbyes. These things all sound so simple as I write them but they can be very challenging when days are busy or one is tired or worse not feeling well.
This clearly all affects my ability to find happiness and contentment in life and for my family to do the same. I don't want to forget that powerful lesson I learned last week and let that supreme feeling of contentment I felt be forgotten or fade. So I want to keep it present and do everything I can to make each day more of that. It is fleeting without conscious effort...so I'm trying to help it happen every day.
A couple of notes: the photo above is the view out our bedroom window on a Saturday morning. Every Saturday morning I find myself sleeping in a bit more than normal and waiting for the sun to hit the trees outside. Then I go back to sleep a while longer. Knowing I have to get up and put on my cast and spend another day on crutches, crutch and scooter and being tired from a long week of work and family time, it's tough for me to want to get out of bed. So I linger a bit and enjoy the view, watch the airplane contrails streak across the sky and then eventually I am itching to get up and go out and do something. The sun always encourages me to make a day of it. I love that view, night or day. It definitely brings on those feelings of contentedness.
Secondly, speaking of the darned cast, Saturday was the one-month mark since I broke my foot. I intended to make a party of that day but we ended up out and running around most of the day -- thanks to my knee scooter that I just got a few days ago. We were all wiped out by the time we got home.
I'm not sure I shared that on my two-week check up the doctor found another fracture in my heel area. Since the treatment is the same, it was sort of no matter other than interesting. He also said I might be able to start putting some weight on my foot about six weeks earlier than originally expected and I can't tell you how excited I am about that! (A thousand exclamation points here!)
I'm not sure what is up with me and the first week of January, but you may remember that in 2011, this happened. Last year I moved to ABQ the same week. Two years before that we sent The Man back to Afghanistan the same week. Not sure what to think about facing the post holiday season next year! Yikes.
Thank you for all the lovely comments I got on FB about the contentment post last week. Always appreciate your comments & encouragement. Sending you my warmest wishes!