I saw a rainbow this morning, a perfect semi circle on the horizon, I could see all of it from start to finish and it looked beautiful. Bright, colourful and clear, toddler P squealed at it, we smiled and sang a rainbow too. It was the start of a nice day. It was a small, fleeting moment of fun and happiness but gave me that much needed fuzziness inside and reminded me that more often that now it’s the small fleeting moments of joy and the simple things that make life good.
It’s not big things, it’s not, it’s really really not. It’s the little gestures, it’s the look on toddler P’s face when she’s dancing in the kitchen, her giggle as she flies down the slide or her quirky comments as she pretend plays with her teddies and toys. It’s my favourite song coming on the radio unexpectedly or finding a hidden chocolate digestive in the biscuit tin when you thought there none left. It’s little flickers of surprise, fun and excitement that make day to day mundane life fun. We need to take more time to fully absorb and enjoy them.
That said, it also only takes a small thing to spoil something, like not any milk left in the fridge for a cuppa, not enough time to finish your breakfast and chomping in the last cold slice of toast as you bundle the kids in the car. It’s the photocopier taking too long or getting jammed when you only need one extra copy of the worksheet for year 8. It’s a mid-interpreted text, a badly timed comment, phone call or a quick glance at a work email you didn’t need to read. It’s a throwaway remark, a small back handed compliment or hurried conversation. A rushed goodbye at the childminders or a fall and grazed knee on the way to the park. It’s all these small things that in the grand scheme don’t matter, can be resolved, brushed off, forgotten or sorted that can also ruined your day if you let them. It’s so easy to fixate on the negative, the annoying and the mundane. It’s easy to let yourself over analyse, get worked up over or get bored with these trivial small things. It’s easy to let them build up and get on top of you and stop you from enjoying the just as small but so much nicer and much more important things.
Work can be a good example of this, as a teacher no matter what school or institution you work in, you will come across a variety of children, personalities and behaviours. Some more challenging than others. It’s easy to fixate on those more difficult to handle, it’s easy to forget the larger proportion of students that do the right thing all the time, that are polite, pleasant and eager to learn and to remember the cheeky chappy, class clown or naughty one, because they’re the one that tested you, your patience and your boundaries. Yet all pupils are important as each other and the the larger proportion are doing the right things, you just focus on the wrong things sometimes. It’s life, we all do it, we all sometimes forget to remember what really matters, forget to see and take notice of the good things and allow ourselves to fully enjoy them.
We hang on to the bad things, even the little ones and let them taint our view of the world, an event or particular day, when in actually fact the good probably out weighed the bad.
So today I saw a rainbow, then a listened my girl laugh, in fact I heard her squeal and scream as we splashed in the swimming pool. She finished the play session with an overtired and hungry paddy as we got dry and dressed which I could let spoil what’s been an amazing morning but after my rainbow thought, I paused, scooped her up, cuddled her and walked her outside whilst she whinged then bundled her into the car with a soothing snuggle and came back to watch her nap and listen to her snore. It was lovely, so relaxing to watching her long eyelashes rest on her cheeks that it made me forget her tired frustrations at being taken out of the swimming pool. It made me remember the right small things and forget the negative small things.
Take some time to spot a rainbow, splash in a puddle or enjoy a hot cuppa. Take some time to forget the rain, block out the traffic jam and file off the broken nail. Whether it’s the greeting warm smile from the lady on the coffee bar, the high five from a year 10 student walking into class or the excited scream of “mummy” as toddler P runs to me as I arrive home, it’s the small things, her face pressed up against the window waving me off and watching me pull up on the drive that make a day in the life of me worthwhile, it’s these little things that make it good and I need to enjoy and put value on them a lot more.