Yep, I have actually said that, to my kids. And today I think it is time I took my own advice.
I will admit, when I first shouted this at the children, I knew what I was saying, and it was an attempt at getting my daughter in particular to stop being so negative about things. We were in the car on our way to a nearby forest, to get out and enjoy a bit of fresh air between rain showers. I do remember “fresh air” being massively over rated when I was a child, and I remember the annoyance of being dragged away from a good book and forced to tramp through some boggy field or up a hill, to satisfy my parents’ desires to see us all leave the house at least once a day.
My parents were right, of course. Children do need to be blasted with air and surrounded by nature. It is calming, soothing, and good for the spirits. Although I always protested, I did enjoy the mud, the wind, the ocean waves. So I torture my own children with forced outings, knowing that they will not fully appreciate them until they have kids of their own. Some days they do hop into the car without a fuss, and get excited about our trips. Other days, there is a lot of whining from the back seat of the car.
I usually do the parental deafness trick, whereby I can zone out the whining while still enjoying the radio or humming to myself, but if the kids are particularly cranky I will try to make a joke out of it, pretending to get angry and snapping at them to
“Get out and start having some fun, right now! Go on, enjoy yourselves. I am not seeing smiling. I am not hearing laughter. If I have to come over there and make you happy, so help me…”
The kids are old enough to understand that I can’t force them to be happy, they get the joke.(Otherwise that looks like some kind of dreadful psychological abuse! That is not me, I promise.) There is the occasional chase, possible tickling, a scream or two, but it usually has the desired effect, and nobody ever comes home in the same scratchy mood they went out in. Good times.
So, today? Today I take my own advice, finally. This feeling of unease that is hanging over me the last few days about our current situation, the money worries over Christmas, the feeling that I should be studying a little more often than I am doing, the constant desire to over-eat, the loneliness that visits every now and then (which is my own fault, as I have kept my friends at arms length lately due to the emotional drama going on in our house,) just how are those feelings doing anything to help me? They are not, they just linger around like a big black cloud and prevent me from getting the most out of my life.
So what if things are difficult? There are a lot of good things in my life that I am not fully enjoying because I am sitting around waiting for a better day. Well, today can be that day. I am off out for a walk in the fresh air, and I am going to enjoy it, whether I like it or not!
Oh yes, and some pictures of crocheted hats that I just felt like sharing.