I could tell my girl was struggling.
She said school went fine and nothing specific was wrong, but I could see it in her eyes. Something had impacted her mood and emotions – she was down. As the night went on, tears welled up and she expressed feeling sad for an unknown reason. I’ve been there – I think we all have. All the little things that irritate us and try to pull us down accumulate and we sit heavy. I hugged her, reassured, tried to help he refocus but it was all futile. I could tell she was struggling to release it. So I decided to shake things up for her.
“Get your shoes, we’re going out!”
With no heads up or telling her the plan I took her to the Dollar General near our house and we got all sorts of random silly things. New fuzzy socks, sour gummy worms, discounted Valentine’s Chocolate, and a new set of markers. The total treats were less than $10 and she was visibly lighter; money well spent!
The shake up didn’t stop there.
Our next stop was a nearby walking trail. The sun was setting as we began to stroll – but not without first eating a Valentine’s chocolate of our choice. I opted for salted caramel and she went the strawberry creme route. Sugared up and feeling electrified by our spontaneous outing, she was free.
Whatever had held her down no longer had a hold on her. I watched her skip, laugh, twirl, cartwheel, and slip back into her best self; her joyful, carefree, weightless self. It was beautiful.
With fresh air in our lungs, I watched her hair catch the light from the sunset while she grinned ear to ear. It was everything – she was everything. I could tell she felt boundless and I joined her in that reality. The only words she seemed to have were, “I love you mommy.” Otherwise, the freedom she felt left her speechless.
I watched her float around that track, lifted by childhood joy. While motherhood often feels so messy and complicated, in that moment it felt sweet and simple. Just me, my girl, and the setting sun.
Are you feeling heavy?
Are you feeling heavy at this moment? If you are, please know you are not alone. Things are hard for a lot of people right now, really hard. I’ve recently shared about some of the hard things swirling within my own life.
My sincere hope is that you will find your way to a place that feels boundless and beautifully simplistic. That you will take your own spontaneous trip to DG to shop the discount chocolates or that you’ll run, twirl, and attempt a cartwheel just to experience the sensation of your body moving through space in a novel way.
I hope you’ll find simple and silly things that make you feel honored for who you are – not what you do, the title you carry, or the accolades you’ve accumulated. Silly things like fuzzy socks on your feet that make you feel cozy and grounded. Or sour gummy worms that remind you of summers in Maine with your brothers. Those kinds of simple, silly, and sweet things.
Not so Silly Things
Everything I have shared above is true, valid, and can lift your mood and brighten a bad day. At the same time, I wonder if you have considered how you are taking care of the deepest corners of who you are?
Harper’s tough feelings occupied a short period of time within one day. Maybe your struggles are not limited to one-day-only and you feel like you’re trying to maintain the demands of life while walking through quicksand. You are sinking. If so, I’d love to invite you to consider “soul care” rather than simply “self care.” This is something I personally lean into as a way to try to maintain a deeply rooted wellness.
Are you putting in the daily work to embrace God’s best for you? Are you centering yourself on gratitude? Do you begin your day in prayer? This is how I find my energy and endurance when life wears me out. I hold onto what is good and grab onto His truth about who I am and whose I am. I hope you’ll also consider it.
Like Peanut & Jelly
And as a fun bonus, the silly things and the not so silly things can go really well together. Like peanut butter and jelly, taking care of the deep corners of yourself is amplified by the simple and sweet things that put on a smile on your face. So go ahead, put on your comfiest pair of fuzzy socks, cozy up on your couch, eat some sour gummy worms, and practice soul care.