Some days we have regular, average, nothing special kinds of days — you know, when you drop the kids off, go to work, pick the kids up and then go home and make dinner and then do homework and then give baths and then read books and go to bed.
Should I say collapse into bed?
You know those days, right?
They are regular. Nothing sparkled. Nothing shined. It was OK — and you had plenty to be grateful for, for sure.
I call them Mondays.
I can’t live that way. I don’t expect my kids to live that way either.
Part of my awake journey is to ensure that each day has a little bling of living in it. We get this one great chance at a lifetime of love and wonder and I believe we have to grab it with a firm grip and not let go.
Because a busy life naturally leads us to disconnect from what matters.
Of course, I have to be reminded of this time and time again, especially when life gets hectic as it has most definitely been lately.
That’s why we love weekends so much and hate Mondays equally. So, a while back I decided there weren’t going to be anymore Mondays in my life. That every day should be as fun as a Saturday. That’s when I started this project.
Lately, I’ve gotten extremely busy again and I can feel myself starting to endure another bout of careaholic burning inside of me. I have had to remind myself that to live an inspired, awake life takes effort and creativity. It takes a lot of deep breathing. It takes a tiny bit of planning. But when we do take the time, the results are magical and full of awe and wonder — as life should be.
Such as tonight when we split two big cupcakes and each shared our best moments of the day. Not perfect moments but things we feel we did better today than days past.
Life is meant to be lived. That’s why we are here, isn’t it? That’s why we are striving to be Awesomely Awake. That’s why we wanted a family and children, right?
So, let’s take a moment and really brainstorm how to turn a regular day into a spectacular day with very little planning. First, return to that lovely Energy List you made Monday, and the “Think Outside the Box” box list on Wednesday and read them again …
Now, we’re going to write a third list. Write the things you love to do as a family, things that bring laughter, things that bring big smiles to your day; things that give you energy, that make your day as a family shimmer and shine. Write for a long time. Keep adding to this list when new ideas come to you. They will for sure.
Now today, this weekend, next week … start doing those things as often as possible.
Here’s our family’s 9 Ways to Make Any Day Better:
Celebrate — Light a candle for something ordinary and lovely like how you did the crow in yoga or how your child was brave during the school’s fire drill. Put that candle in ice cream, a cookie or even a muffin. Anything at all that’s on hand. Even an Eggo waffle would do! Of course, the best is always a delicious chocolate cupcake.
Get Outside — Days are just better when we get out for fresh air. It’s as simple as that. Even when it’s cold and snowy. Even when it’s cloudy and grey. Even if we just play with sidewalk chalk, being outdoors makes everything better.
Talk Walks — Explore, wonder, live in awe as you walk. Make up stories. Walk in silence. Hold hands. Definitely hold hands.
Read Together — Carve out one hour to just read together. Could be anywhere but make it special and make it an ordeal with blankets and pillows and special snacks. Talk about the books. Stop often and really embrace the questions and comments. Be patient to move on to the next page. Really patient. When you run out of books, tell stories.
Throw a picnic — At the park, on the back patio, in the front yard, in the living room. A blanket and some fun food is all you need. Day better already!
Be silly — Have a night of telling jokes. Or drawing funny pictures. Dance. Play follow the leader and put Dad as the leader. Wear silly clothes.
Go some place new — I only recently added this to the list. We went to a very old-school diner kind of place and it was so nice to experience something so different together. I didn’t realize until that moment that we had been stuck in a routine that avoided some new experienes — all because we were so used to taking care of little children. Now that our girls are older this will certainly be a top energy driver in our family.
Mix up your routine — I like certainty. I like knowing things. If you pick your kids up from school or after care as I do, pack your sneakers and head across town to explore. If your kids go home on the bus, meet them at the bus stop and go for a dice walk. Let the kids make dinner. Skip baths and just play games. Go off schedule. Do anything that allows you to do less than you normally do.
Creative boost — Anytime we use art materials as a family and create something we can be proud of it turns our day into magic. I love when we put a little family art into our day. Make a poster, a banner, special cards for family or church members who have been sick and need a pick-me-up. Or, just go with the flow and create anything.
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