We are all trying to stay positive these days. It’s what helps our immune systems stay healthy. Yet, some days are more challenging lately. One of the tools I use to help keep me positive is thinking of my childhood. Being a creative only child made for a magical childhood. Recently, I had remembered an activity that I would do at sleepovers at my grandmother’s house…
On Saturday mornings when I was about 8 years old, my grandmother and I would go shopping after our chores. Oh, how I would love finding little trinkets! Remember those goodies in the toy vending machines – those magical red metal boxes with the silver slot? Excitedly, I would drop my hard-earned coin in the slot, and would eagerly await to see what would shoot out! Trinkets would include shiny and glittery rhinestone rings, purple-fuzzy-wiggly trick toy worms and miniature coloring pencils. All weekend at my grandmas would be spent enjoying the thrill of my surprises.
By Sunday afternoon, as the time to go home approached, I searched for ways to harness the joy that these trinkets had brought to me. I would gather all my little goodies and wrap each one of them with whatever I could find: paper, Kleenex, wrapping paper, paper towel and lots of tape. When I finished, I would then tuck them in the bottom drawer of my grandma’s dresser for safe keeping.
Of course, as a busy kid, weeks would go by and I would forget about my treasures… until one day, during another adventure at grandma’s house, something would spark my memory. Rushing to the bottom drawer, I would find all my treasures tucked safely where I had left them. I would be so excited to open them, as weeks had chipped away at my memory of what was inside. Oh, I would be so delighted and surprised, yet again, by these sparkly, fuzzy, colorful toys! I guess you could say that hard-earned coin paid out twice.
As I reflected on that memory, I could still remember and experience the joy that it gave me. I thought, hmmm, I bet I can still do something like that now. This time, though, I grabbed different things that bring joy to my heart. I grabbed an old greeting card from my husband with a sweet sentiment, a picture of my son when he was a baby, a wish bone bracelet from a dear friend, and a note of hope to myself. I carefully wrapped each one and tucked them into a drawer.
In a few weeks, for Self-Care Sunday, I will open them up and enjoy a delightful reflection of my goodies that warm my heart. I wonder what treasures you could hide or what positive thoughts you could write down for yourself. Put them in a place that you will remember, and we will find our surprises again in a few weeks.
Michele Kreft, LMSW