5:15 am is just too early to get up on a Sunday. Or any day in my opinion. Sure, maybe you get up early to train for a triathlon or nurse a baby or go to the airport, but none of those apply to me right now. My 2-year old daughter does not seem to comprehend. What she does understand though is the grumpiness that kicks in around 3:00pm when the early start begins to affect Mommy’s mood.

For me this weekend, it was more than cranky, and it lingered into the evening hours. I spent too much time indoors and specifically in our home (a lovely home mind you) surrounded by the laundry, the toys, the dishwasher awaiting an Emptier, a backpack filled with work screaming to be opened, two kids, and my husband. Granted, I love my kids and my husband, but hours inside can blur your perspective and then layer in guilt too while you’re already feeling down. Finally, after nearly falling asleep putting my daughter to bed, I announced that I needed to take a 15-minute walk before it was Round Two with my son’s bedtime routine.

With the onset of summer, the sun was still in the sky even though it was after 8:00pm. Living in San Francisco, I am able to walk out the door and down to the Bay. I do enjoy being only a few blocks from the water, yet I had not walked down there by myself for quite a while.

When I saw the sun just starting to tuck behind the headlands, and the light reflecting beautifully off the water and the sailboats, I lit up inside. My worries faded and I began to connect to that energetic aspiration feeling you get when you start focusing on Your Big Picture (you know that one — it is THE BEST). When you give yourself permission to dream. When you get out of your daily monotony and lift your head and look around. When you see and appreciate the beauty.

Yes, this is age-old wisdom. If you have a toddler, you know its power — if you change the scenery, you can circumvent the imminent meltdown. You can do the same thing with your finances. If you have not glanced at your Big Picture in a while, take a look. What do you want? What do you aspire to for your family? What needs to change?

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About the Author: Linda Clevenger

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