Do More To Make You Smile
What makes YOU smile? Seriously. What makes you smile? Other than your kids, your family, or anything that requires someone else. What can you do, for you, that makes you smile. For some that might be getting out for a run, reading a book, going to a coffee shop alone, having a nap, painting, drawing, gardening, cooking, baking, laying in the sun. (These are just some of my favourites too). But stop, think, and choose something that makes you smile, and DO IT.
This is what made me smile this week:
Summer is here, and there are so many things that are making me smile. Most of them are about my kids. But this one, this one was just for me. I have been spending lots of time at my parents place on the weeks when my husband is working a lot, and it just so happens that they live on a lake. And where there is a lake, there is a paddle, and that is my happy place.
When I was a teenager, and into my teens I loved to camp and canoe trips. In fact I would go on several of them a year. I loved everything about it. I loved the long hours of paddling, building fires, open fire cooking, sleeping in a tent, and everything that came along with camping. Every summer I would go for long canoe trips, up to two weeks in the wilderness and I LOVED it.
I would canoe as often as I could. My favourite though was paddling out to the middle of our lake, lying down in the canoe and floating back to shore. My parents bought me my own paddle built specifically for me.
And then something happened. Maybe life got in the way, or I forgot how it made me feel. Whatever happened, I stopped paddling. In fact I can’t even tell you when the last time I was out on the lake with a paddle in my hand. More than a decade ago for sure.
This past summer our family has been blessed with my older brother moving back home from living on the other side of Canada. We decided that together we would buy a stand up paddle board (I will pay you my half, I promise) from Canadian Tire. But when I agreed to share the purchase I had no idea how much joy it would actually bring. This is the one we decided on.
On my last day with my parents, after a swim on a very hot, very calm day. My mum was kind enough to watch my kids for me so I could take it for a test drive. Now I have gone on one before, but just for a minute or two.
But that day, I took it for a real little trip. I wasn’t gone much longer than 15 minutes or so. But I was able to paddle across to the island in front of my parents place, and I investigated the shore. Saw some wildlife, enjoyed the peace and quiet, and not being able to hear “Mum”. But I was paddling, I was doing what I loved.
I was amazed at how quickly it came back to me, and much I LOVE to be on the water. For a brief moment. I felt like the old me again. I didn’t feel like a mum, or a wife, or a friend or daughter. I just felt like me.
I enjoyed the peace and quiet, how my muscles felt in my arms and shoulders after a little paddle, and I started my way back to my kids. Who were waiting sitting cross legged on the dock, waving to me. Saying “wow mommy, you look great…you did so good”. And that brought an even bigger smile to my face.
They also got to see me more, than just the mum who cooks them dinner and takes care of them. It was almost like when you see your teacher out at a store, and not in the classroom. They aren’t allowed to have their own lives. And sometimes kids feel like parents can’t either. But for a few short minutes, thanks to my family, I was able to smile, and remember who I used to be, and what I used to love so very much.
If you have any goals for yourself, I suggest you do the same. Find something that YOU can do for you, and do it.
What makes you smile?