In a stay-at-home mom’s world, the little things are huge. But, what makes you glow, even amidst spilled crackers, toddler tantrums and stinky diapers? What small, simple joys add beauty to your life?
It’d been bugging me for weeks.
All of our plastic to-go coffee carafes had started leaking, so if I wanted to take coffee with me on the drive to preschool, I had to lug a regular ol’ glass mug. Which, of course, sloshed and spilled all over the center console during the drive.
I’d thought about buying another carafe from Starbucks, but the fact is, I’m pretty sure our old ones had cracked in the heat of the dishwasher wash cycle. And in all reality, I’m not going to hand wash a coffee carafe everyday, so why buy another one that’s just going to crack again?
It’s one of those pointless internal monologues you have with yourself, over something totally small and silly.
But still, it impacts you and frustrates you everyday.
(So is it really that silly? Isn’t your peace of mind worth something?)
If I haven’t totally lost you by now, I’ll keep going. See, what I really wanted was a nice, thick styrofoam cup to put my coffee in, just like they used to serve at the corner donut shop in the town I grew up in. You know, nice and tall, and nice and thick, and nice and perfectly wide enough to fit into my cup holder.
But I never got it. I didn’t know where I’d find cups like that. Plus, who has the time? I can’t even get to Target for diapers anymore, much less go on a specific hunt to a specific store to find styrofoam coffee cups.
But one day, I stopped and asked myself, Why am I not putting effort into something that matters to me? Even if it’s small and stupid, it bugs me. So why not fix it?
So I bought the darn styrofoam cups. (I couldn’t find the lids, but it works out fine.) And I can’t tell you how great it feels to drive down the road, on the way to preschool at 8:30am, with my hot coffee in a cup holder, nice and hot, just the way I like it.
Silly? Small? Stupid? Yeah kinda.
But the $1.89 package of disposable styrofoam cups I bought at Walmart impacts my day and improves my peace of mind. So, it’s worth it.
The kids were in the backseat, arguing about who dropped the trains book. We were running a tad late to preschool. But I was in the front seat of my Suburban, without a care in the world. It was a legit #momcation.
That week, I was on a roll.
Since most weekdays, I spend at least an hour writing at my laptop, I spent a lot of time at my computer desk. And ever since I started She Just Glows 11 months ago, I’d been using my husband’s hand-me-down work mousepad. Until one day, my mom emailed me a Shutterfly coupon for a free mousepad.
Instead of using that promo code to get an early start on Father’s Day gifts or sharing it with a friend, I used it on something crazy. Me.
And now, I have another little something that brings joy to my day.
Something that makes me glow.
A few weeks back, I really needed to find my glow (ya know, in the midst of Dog Gate 2015). The mob-like backlash after my sarcastic Facebook post about rehoming our dog was really rough on me.
So after cleaning up dinner one night, I asked my husband if he’d mind putting the kids to bed so I could go grocery shopping alone. I hit up our area’s new Trader Joe’s, and in addition to yogurt-covered pretzels, my favorite jalapeño Greek yogurt dip and tons of other snacks that I was throwing in the cart faster than a pregnant, hormonal woman trying to eat her feelings (wait, that’s exactly what I was doing!), I also bought something else. A beautiful bouquet of flowers. For $3.99.
Just for me.
When I got home, my husband’s face lit up when he saw the flowers (and all the amazing snacks, duh). He loves having flowers in the house, and I’m so cheap that I rarely buy them.
“What are these for?” he asked with a grin.
I didn’t pause. Because I knew my answer right away.
“They’re for me. So that when I wake up in the morning, I can remember that it’s a new day. And a chance to make a beautiful, fresh start.”
Yes, that beautiful reminder does make me glow. It reminds me that, no matter how ugly people can be, life is still beautiful, precious and sweet.
And that’s worth far more than $3.99.
The crazy thing about simple joys is that they’re just for you.
And you are so worth it.
No matter how much laundry you have to fold, or how many meltdowns over a red Cars race car you’ve had to neutralize today, you still matter.
When it comes to things that make you glow, think about what small things you can do today. Just for you.
What kinds of simple joys make you glow? They don’t need to be expensive. They just need to make your day better, even if in a small way. Share them in the comments section below.