Every second Wednesday, Ollie and I make the same trip from our house to the local Aldi. We stop off at a small park on our way, to allow little legs to have a run around and get a certain pregnant mother a steaming hot flat white. The park itself isn’t anything special (save for the fact that it has a fenced off model of a steam train that sends my son into raptures.. hence us referring to the park as ‘Choo Choo park’). Set flush against the main road there are plenty of fancier play spaces in our local area. The teeny, tiny shopping centre which houses a Coles, an RTA branch, a bakery and a cafe (where we go to get the steaming hot flat white) isn’t anything to write home about either. The coffee isn’t exceptional, nor is the ‘Barney The Dinosaur’ ride on thingy the best I’ve ever seen, though Ollie would probably disagree (it has a plane, a bus AND a 4WD type car so in his universe, we’re pretty much at Disneyland).
What IS fairly exceptional is the realisation I had this morning of just how much I enjoy this little Wednesday ritual. It only hit me when I was perched (awkwardly) on the bonnet of Humphrey B Bears’ yellow wagon, watching my son go around and around in the ride on the ‘boss boss’ (AKA the bus) and sipping my coffee that there was nowhere else I’d rather be at that very moment in time. I had the feeling that everything was just as it was supposed to be. I guess you’d call it a deep sense of contentment and ‘hell yeah, this is what it feels like when life aligns…’ It’s seriously one of the most mundane things we do as a duo; hit the park and do the groceries, yet I somehow take so much pleasure from the simplicity of it. From it just being Ollie and I, on our own time, doing our own thing. Maybe that’s what makes it so enjoyable, the fact that it’s an activity without all the bells and whistles that allows me to engage fully with my son and observe the way he engages with the world around him.
I’ve always found it challenging to live ‘in the moment’. Mindfulness and I aren’t always the best of buddies and I have always had a habit of creating or at least dreaming up complicated, extravagant activities to keep us both entertained. I’ve always thought that I struggled to enjoy the little stuff, usually because I wasn’t all that present for it, but after this morning, I’m now realising that there’s plenty of small stuff that I actually DO get an enormous boost out of. Amazingly, the majority of it is, like our fortnightly Wednesday outing, hugely mundane and basic. The core principles though seem to remain the same; a sense of routine, of practicality and of togetherness.
Here’s what’s made the list:
- Wednesday grocery shopping
- Making pesto with Ollie
- Sitting on the deck with a hot cup of tea while Ollie rides his bike around me
- Sitting down to dinner on a Monday night (after an always busy weekend) with my husband and son and watching them enjoy a meal that I’ve made for them
- Doing the dishes on a Sunday morning after pancake breakfast and chatting to my husband about nothing in particular while Ollie zooms around at our feet
- Early Friday morning car trips from our home to my parents in the city with Ollie strapped in the back, chatting to my husband about the work day ahead (I love Fridays as I spend the day with my family and Ollie, get the chance to knuckle down to work AND get fed by mum or our favourite local restaurant of an evening).