So February is hitting me full on in the face with some bitterly cold temperatures and the promise of six more weeks of winter. Yeah, I don’t think I signed up for that. I know I didn’t sign up for that.
I’m trying to find some type of redeeming quality about dark mornings, frosted window panes, and winds that disrespect my hat, gloves, and scarf. Haven’t found any. I think about the commercial I saw where this dad, in an attempt to recuse the family cat off of the roof, falls off the ladder. His daughter implores him to go to his happy place. Ahh, my happy place, my ideal spot that allows me to take a mini mental vacation. Funny enough, I actually have to think about it. While there are scores of places on my bucket list that I’d like to visit, when it comes to just closing my eyes and picturing myself somewhere nice, nothing immediately comes to mind.
Right this minute, however, my happy place would be in seclusion where I can finish this post. I’m working from home today while we’re having a few rooms painted. Turns out the paint I pulled from out utility closet has dried up, so I have to run out and get some more. Should I have checked prior to his arrival? Probably, but I didn’t. 45 minutes later, I’m home with a gallon of paint, ready for both of us to resume working. He goes to get started on the job and guess what? Wrong paint color. It’s not like I asked for blue and got red. It’s that what I thought was the correct color on the can that I pulled from the shelf was the wrong can for the room. Even though the dried paint on the can looks EXACTLY like the room we’re painting, it’s not even close when we did a test patch on the wall. All I’m trying to do it paint over one wall. So, gotta put a pin in this post for a minute while I go back out and see if I can get the right color based off a piece of the wall he chipped off as a sample. I know, #firstworldproblems, but this would be an example of jetting off to that happy place in order to regroup.
After further thought, I realize I’ve come to rely on my bathroom as my
escape pod hidey-hole happy place. The thing is, I’m trying to use it in real life, but it’s not working Every time I step foot in there to catch my breath, someone is hot on my heels. Even when I’m just going in to take of personal business or to hang up towels or maybe even wipe the sink — which on that last one, I wouldn’t mind the audience if they would eventually catch on and relieve me of this task, but I digress — doesn’t matter what I’m in there for, someone always finds me.
The other night, I got everyone squared away with dinner, cups of juice, their books, and the promise of desert if they’d keep their butts in their seats for 15 minutes while I put away some laundry. I was hanging up fresh towels in my bathroom, caught a look at myself in the mirror and decided to shape up my brows. No sooner did I unzip my make-up bag, I hear feet on the steps and a V’s little voice saying, “Mom? Mom? What you doing?”. She finds me, sees the make-up bag and declares, “Do my lips! Do my cheeks! I need cheeks!” I’m not even doing all that; I’m just trying to do a little brow maintenance, lady. And I prefer to be alone, if you don’t mind. I don’t know, maybe the Calgon commericals from my youth have me brainwashed into thinking the bathroom — at least the master bath — should be sole domain.
It’s not like my bathroom is an oasis. There’s not a rain shower head with multiple jets in the walls. There isn’t a soaking tub or a bidet with lavender essential oils infused in the water. There’s no wall mounted television or even an old Hollywood style bulb studded vanity. It’s double sinks and a water closet, and while the paint on the walls is a calming Stonington Gray, it’s not like I’m going to unfurl a futon and take a snooze.
Last week, my happy place would have been anywhere that there wasn’t snow. Snow-pacalypse preparations made me think zombies were going to falling from the sky instead of wet flakes. Truly, I didn’t think we’d even get snow this winter, seeing as I planned ahead and bought the girls snowpants, boots, and jackets. Still, they got to wear their snow gear for a fleeting fifteen minutes, half the time it took me to get them into it, before they came in ready for hot chocolate, cookies, and movies. At 8:12 in the morning, of course. As a kid, I loved snow days — who didn’t, right? But as an adult, I now know why her left eyelid twitched like a rabbit’s nose when school closings were announced.
I suppose your happy place doesn’t have to be limited to just one location. Maybe the place varies on the situation that makes you call up on it in the first place? Maybe your happy place could be anywhere but where you currently are. It doesn’t have to be Santorini or the English countryside or Krispy Kreme when the “hot” sign is on, although any of those would be nice.
Recently, I started employing this deep breathing technique I read about when I start feeling as if I’m about to “Hulk Out”. I breathe in through my nose for seven counts, breathe out semi-forcefully through my mouth for eight counts. I’m supposed to do this three times or until I’m feeling better, but given the demands on my time and usually the source behind the reason for breathing, I’m lucky if I get one cycle. When I close my eyes to take in my breath, I find myself in an room that is empty save for a chair. Maybe the chair is for me to sit upon, maybe it’s for me to put my stress on or maybe it’s just a chair. Whatever it’s there for, whatever the otherwise empty room symbolizes, it helps me to calm down with these breaths. Am I happier when I open my eyes? Meh. Calmer, maybe, but that might be a first step to happiness.
Do you have a happy place? Tell me about it in the comments!