real life and our summer playlist

Dear me, life is a battlefield.

We've had more than our share of difficult days lately, the fault of busy peopley weekends, my husband getting called in to work extra, the extreme heat, late bedtimes for the kids, and still not really having a clear  schedule for summer days that works.

When you smash up my easily overstimulated, introverted self with pretty intense feelings of overwhelm and anxiety and then add a dose of angsty, overtired kids, you get a powerfully explosive combination. My tear ducts are aching and I've been taking a lot of really deep breaths.

I think we'll survive. Newly added to the schedule is an hour of alone time every day as soon as my husband gets home. Earlier bedtimes for everyone and more regular morning exercise for me. Following a routine as much as possible. Getting us out of the house even when I desperately want to hibernate.

Pessimism comes too easily to me. It's not a trait that I want to pass on to my children. There are many times when I hear myself using superlatives and taking personal fault for things not completely within my control. I talk about how hard things are and that they probably aren't going to get easier. I berate myself out loud. It feels like the whole sky is falling sometimes.

Did you know that pessimism/optimism isn't necessarily something you're born with? Rather, it's a skill {or what I like to call a "happy habit"} that is learned.

Here's a sneak peak from chapter one of my still-being-written-and-may-take-a-decade-to-write ebook:
"People who have developed their optimism muscle now can expect the best out of a situation, rather than the worst. They are able to find positive meaning even in the midst of something difficult. They believe they have power to positively impact a situation. They don’t doubt their ability to cope." 
I need to do some weight training to exercise my optimism muscle.

And music. Music helps a lot. When I'm in a slump I forget about it's healing qualities. Here's what's on our summer playlist so far:
Summer Tunes by Pete and Buzz on Grooveshark
What tricks do you use to stay optimistic? Is music a big mood booster in your home too?
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