The Power of Sunshine: How Five Minutes Turned My Day Around

Photo by Morgan Sessions

1:35 p.m. Wednesday

That’s what the clock on my remote desktop screen said. I lowered my head to the desk and sighed. I still had two more hours of work left, but I’d reached the end of my energy supply and the thought of staring at a computer screen for another 120 minutes made me groan in pain. I didn’t even want think about all the never-ending housework I needed to get caught up on after I clocked out.

I hated my life. I hated the responsibility of being a mom. I hated that I had to be a working mom. I hated that we couldn’t live in a bigger home. I hated my job that had the glorious benefit of working from home. I hated my family for not being rich enough so I didn’t have to work. AND I hated my body for not having enough energy to hate anything else. The spiral of suck was in full cyclone mode.

I hardly noticed the bright sunlight streaming through the open window of my home office. Birds flew by, chirping a joyous chorus, and here I sat inside bemoaning the time I had left to work. All I wanted to do is to finally give in to the urge to crawl back into bed and forget the rest of the world.

Really, Mel? My inner critique chided, The one day you get to yourself and all you want to do is go to bed?

My daughter was staying with her grandparents for a couple of days because I had loads of writing to do that night and an early office meeting the following morning. While I was grateful to have this time to myself, I often dreaded it because I don’t know what to do with myself and often crawl back in bed when I don’t have to care of a very active two-year-old.

Ever so slowly I lifted my head from the desk and turned towards the window. Go outside. Just for a minute. No, go get a glass of water and go sit outside. Don’t come back in until you’ve drank the last drop.

What? I don’t even have energy to stand up.

GO OUTSIDE. That’s all you have to do today.

So I did. I gave in to the little voice yelling in my head and went outside on our large balcony with a tall glass of water and one of my daughter’s little chairs. Oh, the sun felt marvelous on my face. With each breath, the warm air filled my lungs. I gazed at all the blooming spring bulbs in the planters. So much color. So much beauty. 20150217_120906

Five minutes. That’s how long it took for me to drink the entire contents of the glass. With each gulp, I felt more and more alive. By the end, I suddenly had the urge TO DO SOMETHING.

I went back to my desk and responded to some time-sensitive emails before changing into my running clothes. I only had 20 minutes left of break time for the day, which meant I could go run around the block a couple of times.

2:25 p.m.

I returned to my desk once again and sat down. In the last hour of work I got two more cases done that normally would have taken me two hours to complete. BAM! I was on fire.

After I clocked and logged out of my work computer, I took a blissfully long shower—something I hadn’t done yet that day. I even used my favorite face scrub and shower gel. As I dried off, my stomach gave a loud growl. That 15-minute run had worked up my appetite and a green smoothie sounded so good right then.

Throwing random things in my blender, I created a Green Kombucha Smoothie that came out amazing. I slurped that goodness down outside on the balcony. The surge of energy that followed blew me away. Within two hours, I cleaned the kitchen that looked like this— 5minofsun1

–did several loads of laundry, cleaned out old clutter, cooked some dinner, AND then sat outside for the rest of the evening by the fire and watched the full moon come up over the trees.  5minofsun2

When I went to sleep that night, I felt like a goddess. Sure, there was still more laundry to do, the floor needed vacuumed, I hadn’t written a word, and the list goes on, but none of that mattered.

All the hate I felt earlier had transmuted into love. I loved my bed. I loved the little fireplace we had outside. I loved the moon. I loved my home, small as it may be. I loved my daughter and missed her deeply. I loved my husband, who was off working that evening, and everything he did for our family. I loved my family and my heart overflowed with gratitude for all the support they gave me. I loved my job because it allowed me to be a mom and do what I needed to get done. I loved my body. And most of all I loved myself.

All this love because of FIVE minutes of sunshine.


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