Tiny Happy Tuesday: 3

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Before I share my tiny happies, I want to say thanks to everyone who's joined me so far. Last Tuesday started off on a good foot and quickly spiraled into WTF?! territory. Following the hashtag and reading about what was making you happy gave me a much needed dose of perspective. I was reminded of how lucky I am all day and I'm truly grateful.

So! Let's get happy. I'm struggling a bit this week (anxiety + no sleep = zombie Hillary) but I'm doing my best to hang onto my happy lifeboat and ride out the storm.

  • Sunshine! Oh my goodness, you guys. We've endured a miserable winter and yesterday, on the first day of spring, we had a bit of sun. It wasn't warm out by any stretch of the imagination, but it was pleasantly mild and dry. We spent the morning at the park and then Grady helped me wash my car in the afternoon. It felt absolutely fantastic to be outside, breathing fresh air that didn't burn the inside of my nose.
  • Spring cleaning. A few weeks ago, Shawn and I watched Minimalism on Netflix. You guys. I was fully prepared to roll my eyes and was shocked to actually feel compelled to purge after watching. I tend to hang onto things (I'm sentimental about objects) so it's always been hard for me to get rid of stuff. I attempted to KonMari my life a few years ago but it stressed me out because I could "find joy" and justify keeping all of my possessions. One line in Minimalism has stuck with me: "Love people, not things." It's been so freeing for me to sort through my belongings and acknowledge that getting rid of stuff doesn't mean I'm getting rid of people or memories. Six giant garbage bags of stuff has either been donated or trashed in the last few weeks and it feels good. My kitchen has never been this clean and I'm motivated to keep going.
  • If you follow my Instagram Stories you may have seen me talking about reading How to Talk so Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk. I'm still only about a quarter of the way through (I have found it difficult to stick with books for long in recent years; the lack of sleep has killed my attention span) but I'm finding it really useful. One trick I've implemented that's been bizarrely successful so far (no really, I literally rolled my eyes when I read it) has been getting Grady to write stuff down. For example: I took Grady grocery shopping last week. Since he started kindergarten, I tend to do my grocery shopping while he's at school so I only have Poppy to contend with. Anyway, last week I took both kids. It was poor timing on my part (late morning when we were all hungry and a bit grumpy) and Grady made my pay for it by whining his way through the entire store. We passed a display of Hot Wheels (why you gotta do me like that, grocery store? Why have a Hot Wheels display randomly in the canned goods aisle?) and Grady became transfixed on this orange van. He wanted it. He needed it. Never mind that his Hot Wheels have been sitting in his closet, untouched, for months. Now, I could have given in. It cost $2. I had $2. But that wasn't the point. We were there to pick up groceries. Instead of getting frustrated or trying to use logic on him, I suggested he write it down in his notebook so he doesn't forget about the orange van. I didn't promise he would get the orange van. I didn't suggest he ask for it for his birthday or Christmas. I just told him that if the orange van was that important to him, he should write it down in his notebook. And it worked. We finished grocery shopping. We got home. He made a few scribbles in his notebook. There were no tears. No exasperated whisper yelling in the canned goods aisle. Just an acknowledgement that the orange van sounded pretty important. An explanation that we were there to buy food and not toys. And a suggestion that he write about the van so he doesn't forget about it. It wasn't easy (it took everything in me to not explain to Grady for the hundredth time that we don't always get what we want) but it was effective and I won't hesitate to use it again.

It seems my tiny happies aren't so tiny this week, though maybe that's a good thing as taking the time to write this all out has been soothing. What's making you happy this week? Want to play along? Join the Facebook group and share your happy! Or share on Twitter or Instagram using #TinyHappyTuesday so we can find you.