Night was falling, and in that sweet blue-ish haze, the moon was clear and bright; I was driving in my little car with the windows down as people switched on the glow of electric lights that diffused golden stars through the twilit night. Frank Sinatra was singing to a brass band "Fly Me to the Moon." I had chosen to leave my kids home with my husband while I ran to the store for a few minutes; it refreshed me and reminded me of the list I'd started about things that fill my well, things that keep it full so I can keep trying each day to be a better parent. Some of the things on my list surprised me:
1. Time alone
2. Volunteering at the school
5. Spending quality time with my kids
6. Dates with husband
7. Reading a good book
9. Nostalgia of old pictures/videos
10. Feeling pretty
11. Being in remote natural places like the mountains or the beach
12. Playing games late at night with extended family....we love Wildlife Adventure :)
13. Laughing (see here)...I get a huge lift from listening to Car Talk on NPR just because the guys are so fun, and not because I'm that interested in cars.
14. Time with friends
15. Organizing something
16. Cleaning or cooking can be enjoyable if the circumstances are right
17. Having a clean house
18. Any humanitarian work or service
19. I just learned that I love being involved at the caucus level in politics! Feel like John Adams for a day while still being a mom the rest of the time.
20. Listening to/reading great journalism. (ie, Wall Street Journal)
21. Going to church & having a close relationship with God.
22. Building and using talents-- music is a big one for me
The reason I'm surprised by some of these is that I typically think of well-re-fillers as requiring little work or giving me time away from my responsibilities, but I've noticed that doing meaningful things, like service or time with the kids, actually gives me a huge jolt of happiness and the motivation to be better (if done with balance).
As part of my project this month I'm working on getting more organized so I can clear the way for some of the more fun things on my list. I've noticed that organization plays a big part in how positive I can be with my kids: on crazy days or in chaotic moments its much harder to be patient and kind.
What unexpected thing fills your well?