- Earlier this week, my sixth grade son came home from a play rehearsal with an unwelcome friend: a fever (with chills). I was worried. His opening night was only a couple days away. That night—his and mine too—was all tossing and turning and tears.
And the morning after, I awoke with two surprises. My request for a substitute so I could stay home with him was unfilled. I wasn’t 100% sure though—it was difficult to focus my vision because one of my eyes was bigger than the other. (Not my normal appearance.) I’m not talking a little pink. Imagine full-on Creature from the Black Lagoon eye —not a pretty picture.
I also have hallway duty all this week.
But I’m happy to be able to say that I did not freak out, rush around, or worry myself silly.
When you’re focused (ok, obsessed) on being happy—not just fake smile happy, but deep down centered and joyful—the unexpected potholes in the streets of your life don’t take over. Over the past several years I’ve instilled habits that keep me calm and HAPPY the majority of the time.
My happiness habits are simple. I’ve written about them before here, but I want to point out the ones I used in particular so you can hold your mood steady during any of your big eyeball, sick child days.
Step 1. I set my alarm early to make sure I have time to meditate and write in my gratitude journal.
After meditating, I felt peaceful. I know that my son’s illness will pass, a substitute teacher will appear, and my eye would be fine.
In my gratitude journal, I recorded my thankfulness for a healthy body, my family’s fundamental health, and a quick recovery for all.
Step 2. I took the supplements necessary for brain and mood health. I learned about these a couple of years ago from a physician who is also super-focused on brain chemistry that produces happiness. For more insight, read “Spontaneous Happiness” by Andrew Weil.
Step 3. I repeated reminders to myself, like “All the time I need is here for me”. Rushing is not required. Through repeating that mantra, I always have time. Feeling like you never have enough time—and telling yourself that—actually takes away what little time you may have.
My point is that you never have enough time if you think you never have enough time. Besides, rushing makes you stressed out and doesn’t do anyone any good.
Can you begin to integrate these habits into your daily routines today?
I’m happy to tell you that my son’s fever disappeared by mid-morning, and he will be ready for the opening night of his play.
The teacher who job-shares with me picked up the extra day and covered all the lessons for the whole day. And my eyes are now the same size. . .it just took a couple hours to get back to normal.
But if I had stressed out, focused on my worry and everything that was not what I wanted, would the circumstances have turned out so well? I don’t know. I do know that no matter the situation, I remain calm, thankful, and happy. Wouldn’t you prefer that too?