I felt pretty beat up the other day. I created one of my “what do I want to do with my life” fixations where I obsess about what I want my legacy to be, how I can create a start-up business that will help the world, how I can be more creative. I shot down any belief that I could make progress on anything that I wanted to do. All in all, pretty daggone depressed. The kids played in the other room while I scoured the internet for articles that would bring some glimmer of light into my downtrodden day. Nothing.
The sun even beamed through the window; typically a welcome visitor. Eventually, I knew I needed to get outside and at least take a walk. Walks generally put me in a little higher state of mind. I yelled to Maria and Mario to put on their jackets because we were going to take a walk to the library. After a few sighs and begging to use the car (I do not know what happened to my “green” kids – I think they revert to motor vehicles once it hits below 50 degrees!), we slipped on our jackets and headed outside. Much to our chagrin, the sun and lack of clouds brought the temperature to close to 60 degrees. Maria whipped off her jacket and Mario ran in glee.
As we approached the corner of our street and First Avenue, I still felt gloomy even though the sun’s rays warmed us up. Another block up, Mario reached up and took my hand. I looked down at his sweet, round face.
“Mom, I have an idea. Let’s skip! Come on, Ria, you too!”
He started the skipping, skipping to his own little beat. Maria followed, skipping to a completely different beat on the heels of her brother and eventually up to his side to hold his hand. I took a deep breath and dove into it. And so we skipped down First Avenue. And my gloomy mood began to wash away.
How could I not smile as I lifted my feet to skip down the street like I used to do when I was 8 years old? How could I not find pleasure in watching Maria and Mario lift their little feet and skip down the street with wide smiles on their face and genuine laughter pouring from their mouth?
Such a simple act to perform and such a huge difference in mood. I could have talked until I was blue in the face to a girlfriend or read twenty articles on improving my mood but they would have not had near the effect on me that skipping to my own beat produced. And all because of my 6 and 4-year-old kids who sensed my funk and knew just how to bring me out of it. My kids are able to teach me just as much as I am able to teach them, and often times, on a much more grounding level (and to their glee, they got a library vending machine snack out of it since I was in such a good mood!).