I heard this quote on Rich Roll‘s recent podcast episode with the creators of Strava, and it really struck me. In a movement-oriented sense (to put it in the context of this episode, Strava is a platform to track your workouts on a social network), each workout, each physical endeavour, each decision to get up off the couch and move or summit a mountain is indeed a story. This line struck me because I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my workouts lately; I’m feeling stronger again 18 months after having Abigail, I’m loving squeezing in at-home Street Parking workouts before my day begins, and training for FemSport has been a fun challenge and focus for me lately. There’s a story behind every one of these workouts, in addition to the walks I take, short runs I go on, and ski days we enjoy on our free time. (Why the ski example? Probably because it snowed all weekend here and I’m thinking about winter activities again!)
We can view all the events of our days as stories – that first crawl out of bed when you decide how you will start your day – with gratitude, prayer, or a strong cup of coffee; that meeting you had with your boss and all the emotions you had leading up to it; the interaction at your son’s baseball game with other parents. All stories. And I think it makes the mundane or frustrating things in life a little easier to deal with as it changes your perspective on the moment you’re living.
…and today’s story involves a little 18 month old girl.
Abigail is at an age where she is comprehending basically everything we say but not able to verbalize back to us her feelings, which can be cause for some equally hilarious and frustrating responses from her! It’s really caused me to slow down, ask questions and try to listen, which can be hard in the moment of her own frustrations, cries and reactions (and mine!). But I love the challenge, especially when viewed as a story, because there’s always something to learn from these interactions.
Abi had her first overnighter at grandma and grandpa’s house over the weekend, and they had a blast! Stuffed animals, babies, play dough, good food and lots of laughs. “Mama” and “Dada” were MCeeing our friends’ wedding and had a fun and late night out!
But coming back home she seemed to have a bit of an attitude and I could tell was feeling a lot of emotions – maybe being away from us for the first night, waking up somewhere new, meeting me at church and not home, Mikey being gone – maybe she didn’t want to come home! Who knows! But she needed to process them, just like I do if I have an “off day” or something throws me out of my routine. Right after this cute and smiley picture above was snapped, there were tears. She wanted to go outside but it was so close to nap time and I didn’t want to get us bundled up for the snowy weather excursion…so I let her cry, tried to talk to her, tried to distract her, tried to nap her… All to no avail. Here’s the thing – she had told me she wanted to walk – and I should have known from our chilly excursion on Friday that she loves being outside and moving!
So we bundled up and went outside – and both enjoyed it! A story of persistence, of understanding, of patience, of putting someone else’s needs first. I was tired and didn’t really want to go outside, even though Abi had expressed what she wanted to do. And I wasn’t doing anything anyways – why not go walk? She loved it and I always like the chance to go move, even if I’m sometimes reluctant at the start. 😉 We came in, ate some food and she went down for a nap.
A few hours later, I had a happy babe and we played on the living room floor together.
Now I’m not saying that you can always do what your kid wants at any time (certainly not!) or that their desires trump yours, BUT I was honestly being lazy on a Sunday and just didn’t want to go outside. But I saw another story when I stopped, put our boots and hats on, and went outside. Reading my friend Sally‘s new book about Mindful Mamas and Papas is really starting to leave its mark on me, I guess (much more to say on this later, but I’m loving this new focus!).
I guess what I’m saying is, we always have a choice in how we view our greater circumstances, the moments in each day, and the activities we pursue – they are all stories and part of our larger story. How can you flip the script in your daily, mundane or even frustrating moments with toddlers, friends, or work? What story will your next trip tell, or next workout reveal about you?
Go live and tell some stories, in the quiet moments or the big exciting ones. Live well & be well,