This article was published in SeacoastOnline on Friday, October 30, 2015.

I was reading one of my favorite blogs the other day and the topic centered around wishing your life away — wishing it was Friday, wishing it was Monday, wishing it was summertime, wishing it was bedtime, wishing it was any day but today.

The problem with all this wishing is that we’re losing the enjoyment of the moment. So it got me thinking — how can we acknowledge and appreciate the joys we have each and every day? How can we hang tough through the typical daily grind of carpools, work and groceries and still have the wherewithal to find that beautiful moment that makes today awesome?

Here’s a few things I came up with:

#1 Have a Morning Routine that you Love
Every morning when my 5 and 7 year old wake up, they come directly to my bed. Without a word, I lift up the covers and one (or both, depending on who’s up first), crawls in beside me and we commence the snugglefest. No one talks, we just cuddle up and ease ourselves into morning. The warmth of their bodies, the smell of their hair, it is by far the most relaxing and gorgeous moment of my day. Find your moment, because a great morning is the best start to any day.

#2 Ensure that you take a Lunch Break
When I’m working in the office, my lunch break is the thing I look forward to the most. It gets me away from the computer, the phone, the “thinking”. Even if I have nowhere to go, I’ll just get in the car and drive around. Everyone needs some mental downtime to revive and re-energize—and believe it or not, you’ll be more productive.

#3 Take Time for your Interests
Spend a guilt-free 15-30 minutes a day doing whatever you love — reading a juicy book, online shopping, scrapbooking, painting, journaling, or even ironing. (I actually enjoy ironing — anyone with me?) Whatever it may be, it’s something you have to look forward to every day and it’s your time.

#4 Make Mealtimes Enjoyable
Forget the fidgets and whines that make family meals so unenjoyable, because I have *THE* solution—and if I could make money shilling for this company, I would because this dinnertime (anytime) game is the bessssst. Melissa & Doug Family Dinner Box of Questions-Mini on Amazon for less than $6. 1) gets your kids talking to you (and not arguing with each other), 2) gets them thinking, and 3) keeps them in their chair for the duration of the meal. Buy it. Today. I’m not joking. Go right now.

#5 Watch your Kids Sleep
If you’re one of those parents that checks on your kids every night before you slumber off, you know exactly what I’m talking about. When you spy those angelic faces and sleepy breaths, you forget all the sins of the day. It’s a quiet moment to feel the love and appreciate life’s gifts. If they were only this peaceful when awake.

What do you do to recognize the special moments of the day?

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