Here’s what I learned last week:
I learned much last week: mostly that I don’t kiss my husband often enough or deeply enough; that I need to swap crap TV for more music; that I’ve missed too many sunrises; and that my ordinary life is freakin’ extraordinary because I bother to pay attention to it.
Dressing up is fun but only if I stick to a style that is me. Of all the challenges last week, the dress up day was perhaps the most uncomfortable for me. I was surprised to find just how out of my comfort zone I was, in a pair of tights and a little frock. I dressed for success my whole career, so to find how far out of that habit I actually am now was surprising.
But it did give me a lift and I’ve made more of an effort every day since and feel better for it.
Day two, the love letter, showed me that I don’t kiss my husband in a way that reflects how I feel about him. A quick peck goodbye and hello is not the same as a kiss. An I ‘mean it’ kiss. And life is too short for pecks alone. I learned that a simple note of appreciation and love goes a long way. That we all need to hear occasionally that someone is grateful to have us. And what we give, we receive.
Taking notice – real notice – of our most precious relationships and connections is an amazing thing to do for ourselves and our loved ones. When you nurture love, give it air and recognition, it develops. It deepens. An everyday, ordinary love becomes extraordinary.
On day three, I recognised just how deeply I crave connection with my outside environment. I’ve always known I enjoy it and feel better when I’ve been outside, but I noticed a deep craving to spend more time outside. To walk freely and breathe. I’m now acutely aware of just how strongly I react to my outside environment, how profoundly affected I am by it and how important it is to my wellbeing. It has moved up my priority list even further.
Last week I also learned that I watch far too much crap television and listen to far too little music. I learned that dancing in the kitchen should not be some random thing, but an extra ingredient to every dish and dinner. That a music collection is worthless until it is played. That singing Taylor Swift with my daughter on a hairbrush microphone is a memory that will stay with me long after she has left me. That there is not enough time in a life to fully appreciate the joy of music and dance.
Last week, I learned that we dine pretty well around here for the most part. That our dinners as a family are already pretty close to where I want them to be. That we all appreciate the time around the table and that the setting of the table, the placing of food to share, and can be extraordinary when done together. Yes, the kids don’t yet fully appreciate the food in front of them, but it will come. Dining, as opposed to eating, will always be a focus to me, and one that I hope will stay a part of our family life always.
Last week, I learned my instincts are right – that the peace at sunrise is the best peace there is and that I need more of it. That I have been trading that peace and beauty for late nights and rubbish TV. That extraordinary is what you see and experience when the rest of the world is sleeping. New priority.
And finally, yesterday I learned that a little adventure is necessary on a regular basis, for the whole family. That an old-fashioned Sunday drive is the least that we can do to shake things up.
Thank you to all of you who joined in over the week. I loved hearing about your efforts and how you felt amazing after making them. I know I’ve come away from the week with a new appreciation for so many different aspects of my life.
I’d love to hear your recap – did you learn anything about yourself, or your life? Did you find some challenges easy and others difficult? Can you see how ordinary can be extraordinary?