In Search of Eternal Optimism

My older son is the eternal optimist. He is perpetually looking forward to the next great thing on the agenda and then thoroughly enjoying it from start to finish.

Like what, you may ask?


Picking Aunt Victoria up from the train station? SO FREAKING EXCITED!

Picking Aunt Victoria up from the train station? SO FREAKING EXCITED!

Getting his first pair of glasses? EXCITED!

Getting his first pair of glasses? TOTALLY EXCITED! (He got really excited for the burger he had for lunch this day too.)

First summer youth band concert and his grandparents coming to listen? OVER THE MOON EXCITED!

First summer youth band concert and his grandparents coming to listen? OVER THE MOON EXCITED!

Yes, he totally loves and embraces each and every single day. And recently I’ve been thinking that I need to take after him.

It’s not that I’m having a particularly bad life right now but I have been more stressed than usual. Things that I used to find fun or exciting? Well, right now they sort of feel like a burden, and not for any particularly good reason either.

I guess I’m just overwhelmed with life lately. And I know that’s okay and you can’t go through the daily routine feeling one feeling all the time (we saw Inside Out earlier this summer so feeling all the emotions is fresh on my mind).

There are changes, potential changes, and injuries that are holding me back from having that happy-go-lucky feeling lately. But I don’t like feeling overwhelmed so in an attempt to change that, I’m trying to refocus, redirect, and remind myself of a few key things.

1. Live in the moment, or at the very least, in the day!

Man, this is a tough one for me because I’m such a planner. My calendar has subsets and categories and while I know that this is important to keep my family running, the planning ahead makes it difficult to enjoy what I’m doing in that very moment.

I would be lying if I told you different. Right now I’m writing this blog post but I’m also thinking about the other things that I should/could/will be/would be doing. Laundry, I’m side-eyeing you.

Yesterday I was able to go with my kiddos on a trip to a local amusement park. It reminded me just how much fun that can be and for a few hours I was able to shut off the little voices reminding me of what I “needed” to be doing at my house.

Perfect day was perfect.

Perfect day was perfect.

Every day can’t be as fun as this one and I realize this. But when these days do come around, I need to embrace them!

2. Establish a more solid routine.

Wait, what? Doesn’t that go against the “live in the moment” thing I was going for in the first point?

Yeah, it totally does.

However, during the summer the routine tends to go out the window and then when I do have things I need to get done it’s basically “OH! I have this! AND THIS! And crap, I have to get this done too.”

So maybe, at least for my own sanity’s sake, I could have a bit of a set schedule. My calendar is mainly for family events but not Meridith events.

I do a few freelance jobs and since they are done at home, I tend to do them whenever I think about it. Which is often because I can never turn my mind off. Perhaps if I had a certain time of day that I dedicated to these jobs, then I could live in the moment more during the other times.

See, that makes sense, right?

Additionally, I feel like while I have my two mornings a week that I always set aside for the gym/trainer, the rest of my workouts have been falling by the wayside, due to injury. If I set the rest of the days of the week up with different activities, I would feel better which would lead to more productivity all around.

3. I can be a leader, but I don’t have to lead every charge.

Okay, this is a tough, tough one for me.

I take on too much responsibility. And I spread myself too thin.

There, I said it.

There are things that I have to do and there are things that I want to do. But I tend to take projects on simply because I think that no one else will step up to do them.

And maybe no one else will. But I need to stop saying “yes” so much. I need to rely on others, who are just as capable. My way is right for me, but it’s not the only way (oh my gosh, it pains me to say that!) and if someone offers to help with something, I need to take them up on it! It will make me happier!

Even if it’s not my way.

I suppose.

Now to get my dog, Gemma, on board.

Now to get my dog, Gemma, on board.

What things make you smile? Do you have any tips of the trade for looking on the bright side of life?