Monday, January 25, 2010

Not feeling blue anymore!

Well, you shouldn't be if you took the Blue Monday Challenge?  Did you?  Did you?  What did you do?
To be honest, this Blue Monday started out pretty awful - MORE snow, Troy sick with all kinds of things, nope...I'm not even going to continue.  But the weather ruined my grand plans for this Blue Monday, oh they were GOOD plans, too. Sigh. So those plans will be postponed and I decided to have lots of little impromptu "happy moments" instead.  The day only cost me $10, but it was SO worth it.  You've GOT to read all the way to the end of the post, ok?  Don't get bored quickly. It gets better.
Since I'm a mom, the homefront was high on my list to "happy-ize".  Very simple - donuts for breakfast - big treat!  Then we had a taco/nacho bar (Troy's favorite, yes, I know he's sick but he ASKED for them.  What sick person wants tacos, you ask?  The same sick person who wanted hot wings last night.  I don't understand it either. But he didn't really eat them, so he'll have to be happy-ized when he's feeling better.)  Then two happy boys who finished their nachos, applesauce, grapes, apricots and yogurt (can you tell which 2 year old pick the side dishes? Again, happy-izing!), received my favorite chocolate chip cookies for dessert. Very happy.  NEVER is it as quiet at the dining table as when everyone is eating dessert.  Ah, peace and happiness for ME! 

(Doesn't he look 16 in this picture? What in the world!?!?)

Then, we had a pool party.  On normal days, its just a bath...but today we had a BLUE pool party (a few drops of blue food coloring in the water and presto!.  No, it doesn't stain the washcloth, the bathtub, or the skin, I promise.)

 Quick!  Get in our jammies and head downstairs!  We finished off the night with the boys favorite 1-2 punch of happy:  pocorn and a movie.  On the big screen tonight:  Veggietales - Jonah!

Then stories, songs, and off to bed.  A happy day for two happy boys.
Outside the homefront....
Despite my sister's wicked attempts at darkening my happy mood....

I had hinted to co-workers that I would bring treats today.  "Treats" - sounds so 2nd grade.  Anyway, I made the aforementioned cookies (seriously good recipe) and told my super-duper friends at CG to eat them and be HAPPY.  They had no choice - it was a directive:  you will eat this and you will be happy.  And they did, and they were (I think).  Three cheers for all my awesome friends at CG:  "the best CPA firm in Iowa"!!!!
I'm sure you're wondering by now....I thought she said the day cost $10?  Well, since you asked...The very friendly 8 year old boy that checked me out at HyVee yesterday afternoon forgot to take my 2 $5 coupons when ringing up my bill - so my debit card was charged $10 too much.  After a 47 minute consultation with his 9 year old girlfriend in the next checkout, a call to customer service and a friendly pop-in by the manager, I walk away with a $10 bill.  Not exactly what I had in mind, but I'm ok with it.  So, I tuck it safely away and I DO NOT spend it at Carribou upon leaving the store.  On my way home from work today, I see a frazzled mom with a not-so-nice car getting gas across from me at Caseys.  She's doing the sqeeze-release-sqeeeeeze-release method to get up to $10 of gas (yes, I'm nosy and I looked).  "Interesting!", says Me.  She's actually talking kindly to her kids - who have opened the car door to shout all kinds of requests for after-school snacks.  She turns them down by saying she's spending all her cash on gas and that they'll have some snacks when they get home.  "Ah HA", says Me.  As she goes in to pay, I sneak over to the car and stick my $10 bill under her halfway-up-the-windshield-wiper. So I know she'll see it.  Kids were confused and a bit creeped out by me, but I gave them the look of death to keep them in their seats.  I drive across the lot and wait for her to come out. (Kids didn't touch the money.)  She sees it and SMILES.  Looks around...and LAUGHS!  Happy lady, happy me!!!!  I fight the urge to jump out of my van and say:  "It was ME!  Aren't I so nice!  Don't you want to buy me a coffee with that money!  You'd still come out $8 ahead!!!"....instead, I drive off, feeling happy.  (And NO, I'm sure she didn't go back in and buy lotto tickets, smokes or a 6-pack. That would ruin my exhilaration).
And then I started thinking that my little gesture didn't actually COST me $10.  I didn't have to pay it - it was simply the coupon money, right?  So, was I really that magnanimous and wonderful after all?  Hmmmmm....happy feeling starting to fade.  I mean, I wanted to do something sacrificial!  So I ran back inside Caseys, bought a $10 giftcard, rushed home, wrote a thank you note, and included the note, the giftcard and a book (Stranger on the Road to Emmaus - we have an extra copy), and put it in our mailbox addressed to our friendly postman.  Now tell me, who deserves a thank you more than our Iowa postman these blue winter days?  Wowzers, what a job.  Don't tell me there's some rule that they can't accept gifts or that he'll think its a bomb or something...  Anyway, I hope this is a act of kindness with some lasting and eternal value.
Yes, I know I'm being silly and flippant throught my very long story here.  Moral of the story:  we have SO MUCH to be thankful for and HAPPY about and there are people we see every day that could use some happiness.  I hope you fought off the Blue Monday by bringing happiness to someone in your life!!!


peter marie said...

Wow, what a great, HAPPY day you had! I love your acts of kindness and your heart to seek people out.

And yes, Ryan totally looks 16 in that picture. And cute. Just like his brother. And his mother.

SO, I took up your challenge and made brownies to bring to my "co-workers" at our Acts group tonight, but it got cancelled so instead am sending them to RJ's work tomorrow (but only after I ate 9 of them). So despite a 3 yr old tantrum, it was a happy day. Except for that stupid snow though...

une autre mère said...

I LOVE the Blue Monday challenge! And I love even more the thoughtful things you did! It even brought a smile to MY face, and no one even gave me $10! Thanks for sharing your story!

We also took on your challenge, but you'll have to wait for my next post to see what we did! :)

The Sneaky Mommy said...

Liz, you are the best! Seriously! You are just one beautiful ray of joy and sunshine wherever you go! I'm glad I get to copy your example!

Jenn said...

What a fun day! Thanks for sharing your ideas! It made me warm and fuzzy to read about it :o)

Jenn said...

Seriously though, I loved the $10 story. I am sure you made her week!

Anonymous said...

I was going to post some clever quotes but I just didn’t have it in me tonight. I will leave you with only my near empty “well of wisdom”. Over the past 9 or 10 years you have been a sponge in my “well of wisdom!” I don’t have much more to teach you that you don’t already know. It’s as if you have become a beautiful butterfly, spreading those wings and flying so high! Spread the power and joy of “The Monday Blues Challenge!”

You must be the change you wish to see in the world. (Okay just 1)
Mohandas Gandhi

Much Love,

#1 FAN