Happy weekend, my lovelies! I can honestly say that this week has been the most mentally taxing in my career vacation adventure, yet so full of sunshine. I won't burden you with the seedy details, but I will share some things I have learned. But, first....behold....the final photo and the spring version of my hair pictures with Kel-Z Photography. Rose petals, pink, sunshine in Ogden, happy Ray. I loved shooting this one because the sunshine was peaking through the trees and we had to get a little creative to make it just right and not too glary (totally a word) and squinty.
Life tends to make us glary and squinty at times. I try really hard not to play my redhead cranky bitch card ALL the time, but man, it's not easy when life is turned upside down and I just want to crawl in a hole and cry. I've had a lot of people tell me that I've handled this latest adventure with grace and poise. Oh, if only that were true. I mean, my life seems pretty super awesome on social media because I get to sleep in and do whatever the hell I want; however, that is such a sliver of my life. In reality, it has been a ginormous test of my coping skills that I learned in organized therapy as well as a religious fundamental test to the nth degree.
There is a hymn in the Mormon hymnbook that has the following line, "when sore trials come upon you, did you think to pray?" Whenever I sing the song and come to that line I think about the long list of prayers that have been said by me and for me when I have had sore trials in my life. I am always a little leary when people say "we're praying for you!" because I tend to question it with some, especially on social media, because it can come across trendy and fake. But, when I see blessing after blessing falling out of the sky and the sunshine that lands in my lap, I have to eat my words and ask for forgiveness because then I know someone (probably everyone) is praying for me.
This week I learned a really great lesson about creating my own sunshine. I am a creature of habit (thanks, Mom), but at some point the MUNDANE of habit gets to me and I take a polar opposite approach and go a tid bit batty. I'm sure you can relate. Be honest with yourself....we all have that in us about something. Dishes? Cleaning the guest bathroom? Sorting socks? Anyway, my biggest survival method during all of this adventure has been routine. As much routine as I can have to stay on task, but this week all of my usual routine was so painful. I picked up the phone to call my mom and this is what she said, "You need a change of scenery adventure. Your usual routine is making you crazy (ier) so figure out a way to change it up so that you don't go nuts this week. As soon as she said that I started thinking about coping mechanisms that I haven't used a lot during this adventure, but have worked in the past. At the top of this list is coloring. I am talking about straight up kiddie coloring in a princess coloring book with fresh new Crayola crayons. Let me show you....
The change of scenery adventure that day turned in to a grand scavenger hunt of super secret locations that I knew nothing about before that day. I was incredibly grateful for my tour guide that sent me to some of the most beautiful places in our area. I was also grateful for a new Disney Princess coloring book and a peaceful spot to color away my troubles. Who says Cinderella, Snow White and Sebastian the Crab don't cure the crazies? Like I said before, if there was ever any doubt that prayers weren't being said and answered on my behalf, times like this proved me wrong. Oh. So. Wrong.
The second coping mechanism that I haven't taken a lot of advantage of during this adventure is being around kiddos. I've seen my auntie loves a few times in the last five months, but not a ton and I was starving for the simplicity and hilariousness of kid world. Lucky for me, I happen to know a super cool kindergarten teacher with the BEST group of 5 year-olds and she has been quick and grateful to have me in her classroom to volunteer and participate. This week I spent 3 days in kindergarten. To most that sounds insanely exhausting (IT IS), but for me it was so much sunshine. There is absolutely no time to be worried about the future when you have cute faces telling you how pretty you look (apparently they DO notice when I put on my eyebrows and mascara), hugging you at random and letting you test them on ABC's, numbers and sight words as well as lead a construction paper craft with googly eyes (eek!). And let's be honest, there is a lesson to be learned when you have a little person who has a meltdown over glue stick and you think, "Honey, you're 5. Your life is glorious and gives no reason for tears over glue. Let's stop crying and continue on with the craft."
When I knew that this moment of sunshine was a true gift from God was on Thursday when a student presented me with a thank you note and treat from his mom that thanked "Miss B's fantastic friend" for being in the classroom in her absence. As I stood there and read it I had to hold back the tears (there's no crying in kindergarten) and it made my whole week. So much sunshine right here, my lovelies. So very much.
The cure to my inner uneasiness this week really was crayons, super secret change of scenery adventures, mamma thank yous, cute kiddos of the 5 year-old kind and SO MANY construction paper Pete the Cats with googly eyes (someday I will write a whole post about the joy I find in googly eyes).
The future is bright and my emotional bucket is filled because I took some sound mamma advice to heart. Shhhh....don't tell her I admitted she was right on social media.
The moral of the story: Sunshine doesn't just come from the sky. It comes from all around us and can turn an upside down week right side up in NO time.
Until next time, my lovelies.