One of my favorite scenes from the classic movie “The Sound of Music” features Maria (Julie Andrews) sharing her wisdom with the children about how to handle life when you are frightened, hurt or sad. Of course since it is after all a musical, she does it in a song. Even if you don’t remember the scene, my guess is that you do know the song: A Few of My Favorite Things.
To help jog any memories that need jogging, there was a storm and the children were afraid. They all seemed to converge to her bedroom. She needed a distraction to take their mind away from the storm and fear to something safe and good. I think we would all agree, that’s a good life skill to have.
I’ve come to think about it as having a set of antidotes in life. The key is to know what our favorite things are and develop our mind muscles to call them into action. It goes back to the value of being prepared. But this is a fun exercise – or should be! What would go on your list?
Here are my current top ten:
- A video call with my daughter and/or grand-girls.
- Going to lunch with my Mom or a friend and catching up on what good things are happening.
- Spending time with Bre (my beagle) and watching her delight just being with me.
- Cranking up the volume and listening to some favorite playlists on my iTunes account. And for added value – singing along!
- Watching the videos my grand-girls have made me over the years.
- Pulling out a treasured friend (book) and reading it again because some stories bear repeating.
- Going for a drive and listening to encouraging mentors.
- Escaping into a movie at the theatre I really want to see.
- Spending quality time in the kitchen making a favorite meal.
- A trip to my favorite nail salon for a pedicure – and maybe a fresh bright color on my toes!
When life seems to close in, even just enough to make us start to feel crowded, these activities can be just the relief valve we need.
Here are some bonus ideas to just incorporate into your daily routines that will give you a lift even before you know you need one:
- Smile at strangers.
- Have a conversation with someone that is serving you, make eye contact and say thank you.
- Be a friendly driver – let someone cut in front of you and smile.
- Don’t forget your favorite perfume, even if you’re just going to be at home.
- Take a few moments to look at the sky. Find the moon every night and look up and smile.
And when all else fails, have an emergency kit ready! Your favorite color scarf, a treasured photograph, a quote that lifts you up every time you hear it, a favorite scripture verse or poem – you will know what to put in that kit. It’s your own time capsule you get to unearth on demand.
What about you? What antidotes for life’s dog barks or bee sting moments work for you?