Once per week my daughter spends the day with family friends in Georgetown. According to Google Maps their home is a mere 2.5 miles from ours, but in rush hour traffic, the evening trip back home frequently lasts 30 minutes. And while she has improved markedly in the past year, my daughter HATES the car. It isn't just that she becomes bored, or restless, or uncomfortable - after an indiscriminate interval only she understands, my sweet girl transforms into someone (or something!) completely unrecognizable. As a result, I dread these drives every time we set out.
Last week, when I scooped her up at the end of a long day of teaching and planning, I caught myself wishing we could fast forward and skip the agitation completely. But no sooner had I strapped her into the car that it occurred to me: I can spend this 30 minute window wishing to be somewhere else, or I can find a way to make it a memorable, enjoyable shared experience.
I wish I could tell you the commute instantaneously became a delightful bonding opportunity, but the truth is somewhat more anticlimactic. There was some singing and some storytelling, but there were also periods of mutual frustration. Improving the experience for us both remains a work in progress, but the simple act of setting a positive intention helped shift my perspective from dread to determination.
Is there a regular piece of your day/week/month that causes you anxiety? Can you find a way to change your mindset and give the time new meaning?