Today was a day filled with Halloween parties. I will admit that I get a bit selfish sometimes on my days off of work because I have so much to do and I am usually exhausted. So when I am faced with all the parties on my day off it means making gluten-free butter beer cupcakes for my youngest’s party, making chili for the church party cook-off, and trying to whittle down the rest of my to-do list. All before the kids come home from school. And then I had to actually go to all the parties.
Let’s just say I had a pretty bad attitude.
But when I got to the school and saw how my child’s eyes lit up when I watched her in the Halloween parade, I knew I was where I was supposed to be, because I showed up. Honestly, as I have been writing every day about little ways to make my home happier, I have paid more attention to doing those things. I have tried to put aside my own stuff for longer, tried to be more patient with my kids, and tried to be less selfish about my own long lists of to-dos.
This whole Happier Home project has helped me see that all too often I give most of my time to things that don’t matter very much in the long view. While I know that it’s hard to find that balance because those things that don’t matter eternally do actually matter right now. I have to do my work and pay my bills and answer email. So it can be tricky.
I have definitely noticed a difference in my happiness this month as I’ve focused on the things that truly matter. But it hasn’t always been easy!
Tonight at the church Halloween party my bad attitude got even worse. I really was just so tired and all I wanted to do was crawl into my bed and forget about it. But, I went because I knew it was important to the kids. I even had a pretty nice time, though I still couldn’t wait to just get home and crash.
But then my friend, who is a DJ, hooked up her sound system and disco light. The tables from the chili cook-off (which I did not win) got moved out of the way, and the kids flooded the gym floor and started to do their whip and nae nae.
And I just couldn’t help myself.
Pretty soon, I was out there on the dance floor whipping and nae nae-ing with my kids. My youngest, who had hurt herself a few minutes earlier and was not so keen on dancing, was also having a blast. I am pretty sure I embarrassed my 15-year-old, but I also know she was having tons of fun.
Music and dancing are an essential part of happiness.
Really. I know it sounds so silly, but it is true! I have watched my middle daughter come home from school super upset about something and then have to go to a piano lesson. I have watched her as her bad attitude flew out the window as she played the music she loves.
I love nothing more than turning up the tunes and doing the dishes with all three of my girls. We have so much fun together when we do this. I love taking road trips with my kids because we have so much fun singing Bohemian Rhapsody and other favorites together as a family. (My brother tagged along on our last road trip and documented the fun! Click here: The Neves Family sings Bohemian Rhapsody.)(The teenager is clearly not a fan of being filmed…)
These are the moments we remember. The moments we left everything else to wait a little while so we could dance with our children. And I’ll even listen to their favorite music because we have so much fun doing it. (Don’t worry, they’re exposed to an awful lot of classical music and opera at our house, too!)
Speaking of classical music and Halloween, check out this great list of Classical Halloween Music!
Next time you have a bad attitude—or one of your children does—turn on the tunes and dance.
It will turn your whole day around.
This post is part of my 31 Days to a Happier Home series.
To see all the posts in this series, click here: 31 Days to a Happier Home
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