This is as good as it gets

I read something somewhere about — do I start all my conversations like that? I think I do — allowing more time to do the things you want to do, and how it makes you happy. Or happier. Or something. Today I was making lunches for school and kinder and checking the cuff of Elsie’s school jumper to make sure it wasn’t too bad, because I’d pulled her entire uniform out of the dirty clothes basket where it had sat for the last ten days. And I thought, ‘Oh yeah. This is what my life was like. I remember.’

Because for the last ten days, we have been doing more of what we like to do. We’ve been on holidays.

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(Okay, I’ve googled the quote. It’s actually ‘Do more of what makes you happy’. I wasn’t too far off – just off enough not to do the quote justice. That’s standard.)

On holidays you still work out what to eat and do washing and find your kid’s other shoe, but you’re also doing a whole lot more of what makes you happy.

So you come home and sprout about how wonderful your holiday was because the weather was great and it was so nice and blah blah blah. But let’s face it, the reason it was great was because you were doing more of what makes you happy.

Like building a sandcastle with your kids:

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Showing them how they could stick the shells onto a coconut to make ‘Mrs Coconut Head’:

(and letting Maeve stick the nose there)
(and letting Maeve stick the nose there)

Placing breakfast in front of your kids and then sitting down beside them to eat yours, rather than walking off telling them to hurry up and eat it.

Helping them to find the prettiest shells and pieces of coral.

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Reading.

Actually listening.

Swimming.

(There’s no doubt that the sun helps with the happy thing. I’m sure it does.)

We got home last night. This morning I shipped the girls off to school and kinder and decided that the suitcases can wait. One of them is open because we got the toothbrushes out, but the other three are still zipped up and sitting just inside the back door. The wet bathers and towels in them aren’t going anywhere. The plaster dust on the bench and kitchen floor from the plasterer patching a few holes on the day we left isn’t going anywhere either. And my online orders can wait a moment too.

The pre-holiday me would have arrived home and looked at the state of the kitchen table and the plaster dust (which doesn’t wipe off the first time, did you know) and the amount of washing and the fact that it’s not going to dry in this weather and there isn’t enough clothes horse space. And I would have probably decided I’m getting depression again.

But the post-holiday me is quite happy. Like a pig in mud. Today I’m going to do more of what makes me happy because I saw how well it works. I’m going to sit here and write and look through our holiday photos and enjoy it. Not feel guilty. And I’m going to try to work out at what point I changed the saying to ‘Doing more of what makes you happy makes you feel guilty’. Why building a sandcastle with your kids is magical, but riding your bikes down to the hay shed so that they can jump on bales the week before the holiday wasn’t magical. So busy. Okay, we’ll do it, but it’ll have to be quick. Just three more jumps then we need to go.

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Where did I have to get?

Colin Hay nailed it in Beautiful World; perhaps this is as good as it gets. Listen to it on YouTube if you’re not familiar with the song. I think you’ll love it.

2 thoughts on “This is as good as it gets

  1. So beautifully written Larissa. So honest and so true! One of the best days I had recently started off as a guilty thought the night before “I’m so exhausted I can’t be stuffed getting up early tomorrow to get school lunches ready and kids out the door. We’ll all stay home.” (Is this posting thing anonymous..??) I switched off my phone, bought sandwiches from local milk bar and we spent the day playing tennis, riding bikes, listening to bird calls and really looking at each individual footy card. No yelling or screaming that day – neighbours must have enjoyed the peace x

    Like

  2. So important to take time out – especially as stay at home mums. Your holidays look like lots of fun – sunny fun. Once all the stressful preparations are done to get away it really is nice to take time away. PS – love the first sandy photo!!
    Christine

    Like

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