Sally applied Brenda’s advice and created this revised ideal day:
The sun is coming through the drapes and I can hear the sea close by. Ray comes in with a breakfast tray, and as the door opens I can hear the kids laughing downstairs in the games room. The smile on Ray’s face reminds me how great he’s feeling since I fired his boss! His fingers and knees feel flexible and healthy, and he’s always full of energy and well-being. He’s in such great shape now, he so enjoys doing sport the way he used to when we met, and he’s playing outside with the kids a lot. When he sits with me as we eat our breakfast, and he talks to me about this and that, I realise this is what I missed most about us when we were both working so hard – just having the time to connect and share little things together. I never realised back then that even the best things in life aren’t free – there’s a price tag on sitting and having breakfast with your husband at 10am on a Tuesday, there’s a price tag on us both being home to raise our kids.
When we finish breakfast I take the dishes down to the kitchen and get a warm feeling stacking them neatly on the side knowing our housekeeper will be here in an hour to take care of some housework. Ray and I take a swim in our pool with the kids. I catch my eye in the reflection on the windows and I feel so proud of myself. I’m at my ideal weight again and I feel over the moon! Seeing that reflection I realise I’m slender again – it feels so great! There’s a lot of laughter and shrieking when we’re all in the pool – I love it. I catch sight of Millie’s two extra swimsuits hanging over the pool furniture and I smile to myself thinking of how things have changed. The kids are totally thriving on having both Ray and me around so much, and I think it’s because we’ve had the time to invest in us that somehow helps Millie and Andy feel more secure. We go out for lunch in the little row of shops and cafes close to the beach. It’s so delicious to be comfortable spontaneously ordering what I want to eat. It’s neat as our meals arrive to realise that I hadn’t looked at the price today. Going out to do fun things with the family is such a different experience – the feeling of abundance around our finances as well as our health is so exhilarating.
I take Millie clothes shopping for an hour after lunch, and Ray takes Andy to a game for the afternoon. Millie and I go home and she takes a couple of hours to get some study done, and I do a couple of hours coaching with some key team members over the phone. The housekeeper brings me a cool drink mid-afternoon, and I sip it as I read over some notes for the charity projects I’m working on.
The boys get back from the game cheering and going over the highlights. I admire Andy’s new fan’s shirt and give Ray a big hug.
Over dinner we all look sun-kissed and healthy. Millie talks through what she was learning this afternoon, and we ask her about all the things she’s studying. She’s so bright, it’s been wonderful to give her the chance to study with a private tutor, she’s enjoying her work so much.
We talk about Nana’s visit next week. That’s been one of the most satisfying parts of this journey – bringing Nana into a quality retirement home with genuinely caring staff giving all the residents so much mental stimulation and lots of gentle physical exercise. She’s made so many friends and really appreciates the cozy, clean home she has there – she feels independent and yet supported. I feel teary knowing that she’s got her dignity, that she is enjoying life. We visit with her as much as she will let us and she stays with us here for a week three times a year. I’m so glad I’ve been able to help her like this.
We also talk a lot about our upcoming vacation to Europe where I’m going to be visiting with some of my team members in London. It’s so exciting – we’ve all been talking about it for months. The kids can’t wait to visit Buckingham Palace and the Eiffel Tower, and Ray and I are looking forward to the 10 days we have in the cottage we’re renting by the sea in Ireland. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m awake when we have conversations like this.
That night as we climb into our bed with its crisp, clean sheets, I drift away to the sound of the sea.
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