A few of our most recent threenager melt-downs have been because something fun is ending – Halloween trick-or-treating/handing out candy, & then not getting to finish an episode on TV before heading to school.
In the midst of the meltdowns, and especially once she’s calmed down again, I’m trying my best to teach her that when we’re sad about something good ending, it’s best to just focus on the fun & stay happy. That when we get sad about the end, it adds in more negative feelings rather than just holding onto the positive ones.
I am completely aware that this lesson/reasoning is more advanced than a three-year-old can really appreciate. But I’m starting now in the hopes that as she gets older, this may be one of the lessons that really sticks & helps form who she is as a person. And let’s be real honest here, it’s a lesson I am still trying to teach myself.
Just in the past week, as I left California & all of my family, and again when I left Austin & two of my best friends, it was really hard to fight off the tears & the sadness at the leaving. But I really did try to keep my heart in the happiness that the trips brought long after leaving. And you know what? It helped.
So if you’re in the midst of an ending, leaving a place or a time or a season that you’ve loved & enjoyed, try to keep your heart in that place of gratitude & enjoyment rather than entering that place of sadness & mourning that comes so naturally to most of us. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll be able to extend that joyful season just a little bit longer.