Déjà vu is defined by Merriam-Webster as
“noun: déjà vu
1a: the illusion of remembering scenes and events when experienced for the first time b: a feeling that one has seen or heard something before.”
We all have had moments of Déjà vu. No one can control or predict when these moments will occur. As parents, there are moments that feel like déjà vu many times a day.
- Déjà vu: The daily walk to the bus stop.
- Déjà vu: Watching the kids at sports practice.
- Déjà vu: Battling over which tv show to watch.
- Déjà vu: The length of time it takes to tie a shoe, especially when we are late.
- Déjà vu: Waiting for the kids to brush their teeth, before bed.
- Déjà vu: Writing an email to a client.
These are moments that we have seen repeated a hundred times, so much so that they might even become invisible to us as parents. These moments can make us feel like we are living in a circle of Déjà vu. These moments can become tedious and even monotonous.
I have stopped having these moments. Stopped altogether. I have broken the circle of Déjà vu, with a concept that is not new, but it was new to me - Vuja de. There are many versions and definitions of this phrase. The definition I use is “something familiar and mundane, viewed with a fresh positive twist”.
Here are the same examples above in a more positive light:
- Vuja de: The daily walk to the bus stop is because my children and I like the few extra moments we have together. I get to hold my little one’s hand, I know one day he will not want to do that any longer. I spend minutes chatting with my pre-teen about school and swim lessons. How is the new coach? Are you happy with your math assignments? The bus driver is friendly and smiles at me as I wave to the kids. Did she always do that, or did I just not notice?
- Vuja de: Watching the kids at sports practice is not so much about what they are doing or how they have improved. It is about being there in the moment. It is the ability to encourage them to smile at you and wave. The kids love to see that you are watching. It is about interacting with other parents on a personal level. I notice how big the baby is getting, is she walking yet?
- Vuja De: Battling over which tv show to watch is because all my children are becoming smart, independent children. I recognize that each of them has their own interest and are very different children. The ability for them to talk over their different opinions is something they will need every day of their life. This is practice on communication skills that they will need in their workplace. It also reminds me that watching a show is not what is important, but the ability to spend time together. This moment is about the talking that they do with each other. There may come a day in the future, that neither of my children desires to be together at all, so I need to do my best to help them enjoy being together today.
- Vuja De: The length of time it takes to tie a shoe, especially when we are late is not about the shoe or the time. It is about the ability to be independent. It is an easy way for my littlest to ask for a few moments of my time. I know he can tie it by himself. And I will let him do it. But as he does it, I sit down next to him and admire his technique. I watch his fingers getting stronger. I look at how his hair falls in his eyes as he focuses on the task. I smile as he sticks his tongue out for extra concentration. I remind myself of how much he looks like my husband as he solves a hard problem at work.
- Vuja De: Waiting for the kids to brush their teeth before bedtime is a chance for me to ask them about their day. Did you like the sub today? How many kids liked the hot lunch today? Did Jaime do anything funny? It is a few precious moments of undivided attention for each of them. I take the time to acknowledge how tall they are getting. I can study their hair and the shape of their faces. I look at them, actually look at them and reflect upon how much they have changed and yet remained the same.
- Vuja De: Writing an email to a client is not about the email. It is a form of communication, in which one person reaches out to another person. In times not too long ago this type of communication was delivered by postal service. It may have been carried across the country via train, car, and even horseback. I relish the fact that the communication now is instant, and I can help my clients faster. I acknowledge that I live in a first world country and recognize all the benefits I have at my fingertips.
I use the concept of Vuja De in all aspects of my life and have found in the months since I have started this way of thinking, I have become happier and calmer. I have taught this concept to my children now too. I am teaching them the value in having a brighter more positive outlook on the “BORING” moments.
I know I sound like an infomercial, and maybe I am. I now love the little mundane moments and try to put them in a better perspective. It can be a challenge, but once you get in the habit of it, it becomes easier and easier. So I challenge you… Vuja De! Get out there and change one repetitive moment into something brighter and better.
What are some moments in your life you've been able to look at from a fresh perspective? How has that changed your appreciation of that task or event? Tell us in the comments below! We'd love to hear from you!
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