Reboot a Bad Day
Yesterday was one of those days. Ever have those? It had started out well enough, and I had plans to get a lot of schoolwork done. But it seemed like the more I tried to tackle our list, no matter the subject or activity, the worse it went. By 1:00 we were all irritable and I had already given several stern lectures.
No one was happy, and I dare say no one was learning anything.
My first impulse was to send them up to their rooms and spend an afternoon completely alone…not really productive. There were still hours left until bedtime so I really needed to fix the mood of the day. We needed a reboot–a way to give us a completely fresh start midway through a day.
I told them to get ready, we were heading to the woods. It wasn’t great weather: warmer than usual, but very windy, and instead of sparkling snow there was only mud and dead grass. But I know time in nature is like medicine. I don’t reach for it as often as I should, or I go by myself for time alone, but everyone must go or it isn’t effective. I can return to the house and catch a bad attitude again very quickly.
We walked, ran, explored and laughed at our dog gleefully tromping through every wet spot she could find. We returned from the fresh air renewed and refreshed.
At home we settled in the living room to listen to an audiobook. As always we became caught up in the story and the afternoon passed happily away as our hands busily worked on different things: my son played in sand and built with Legos, my daughter drew, and I cut fabric for a project we’ll be doing together. The day ended happily and productively.
My original plan was not completed, but I’m sure we’ll fit those activities in another day. Better to do them later than to do them and have the reason for doing them lost. I am a list-maker, I love to cross things off my list, and I can also be quite stubborn. Sometimes on bad days I push ahead, forcing my plan on the day. But I am convinced that on those really bad days if I forge ahead no real learning will take place. They won’t remember the information, experiment, or activity if it’s done with a cloud of crankiness over us all.
Try a reboot when you’re having one of those days. You may have many items left on your list, the weather may not be perfect, and you may even need to drive to find a peaceful spot, but you may find it is just what you need to restart the day.