It’s what you make it. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? But, right along there with the Greener Grass Syndrome, perspective is what you make of it. The things that you choose to focus on (the negativity, the annoying habits, the little things you do to pick a fight) are the things that you’ll constantly be aware of.
Take a moment to appreciate what’s right there in front of you. Look beyond your nose at the others around you, and what they do for you. The little things they do to make your life easier. Take a moment to think about what you’re not giving those people in return. Time. Gratitude. Appreciation. Attention.
Take the time out from everything, to do nothing. To really do nothing. Appreciate the peace and quiet, where you can find it. Even if it’s for five minutes in the car, on the way to the supermarket. Appreciating it in small doses is far better than not appreciating it at all.
Fall behind in your to-do list, every once in a while. It really makes you cull the unnecessary, in order to get only the essential done. There’s nothing like a little stress, to give you that extra kick to make things happen on time. That being said, being ahead of your to-do list can be rewarding in itself. But don’t kill yourself trying to make it happen. Sometimes it just happens.
Be more patient. Even if it means shutting your mouth clenching your teeth, sometimes it’s better that certain things go unsaid. Be more encouraging and understanding. Even though your nearly-three-year-old still has a violent dislike of underpants and is refusing to potty train. Attempt to understand that everything will happen in its own time. Remember that it’s not a race, and that unnecessary pressure isn’t helpful.
Acknowledge all the other achievements. He can hold a better conversation than most grown-ups. He has a better memory than I’ll ever have, and the memory associations he makes with smell/sound/taste/touch are pretty amazing. His sense of humour is far more developed (and just as clean/dirty – farts are pretty hilarious) than most adult males. He can run, hop, ride a plastic motorbike and jump the shit out of a jumping castle. He’s polite, and cute and loves being the centre of attention. He’s loving and affectionate and strong-willed.
Appreciate more. The non 9-5 job. More gadgets and hardware than I know what to do with. The pretty little easy-to-drive mommy car. The nice house in the nice secure complex. The dependability of having someone that will have my back no matter what. The reliability of a person who’ll move mountains for me, even if I’m in the wrong.
Realise that you can’t always expect to receive. Realise that no one owes you anything, even if they’ve made you a promise. Realise that those you depend on should be few and far between. Make sure that the people you depend on, are worth you placing your faith in them. But realise, and remember, that it’s a two-way street. That you gotta give a little, to love a lot. And that giving, becomes easier, the more you do it.
And remember. Things are never quiet as bad as they seem. Nor as complicated. Take the time to simplify.