Happiness

How to get lego out of your vacuum cleaner

By July 16, 2020August 31st, 202015 Comments

About two months ago, Hakavai was gifted a secondhand box of lego from a friend of a friend. And, he frothed on it. Every morning, for like a solid month (a decade in toddler time), he was playing with his lego.

Initially, I found it annoying.

Have you ever stepped, barefoot, on tiny little lego pieces at 6 am in the morning, before coffee? Have you ever tried to vacuum around little lego pieces?

(Don’t kid me, you minx. You sucked ‘em straight up into the vacuum, just like I did, didn’t you?!).

But the lego fascination seemed to be a lasting one, so one morning I sat down with him and tried to build something. But I couldn’t, cos none of the sets were complete. And also, he didn’t really want me to play with “his” lego pieces either.

Which suited me fine, cos the next day I drove down to the shops and purchased a shiny new box of lego. The police station set, not anything cool like the Star Wars ones (that sh*t is expensive!!).

And that night, I patiently waited until Hakavai went to sleep before excitedly busting out my new lego. A glass of wine at the ready, I relaxed into a world of tiny, intricate construction.

There was something soothing about following someone else’s instructions, and building the pieces block by block. I got to zone out, unwind, temporarily forget my responsibilities.

That night, I slept not like a baby (they wake up a lot. Very needy to be honest), but like a tiny, plastic policeman – flat on my back, in the same position I dropped down in.

To focus so singularly on a task is a form of mindfulness – a topic I explore inside my new book Happy.

See, for years I really rejected my counsellor’s suggestions when she would recommend mindfulness. It seemed too woo-woo for my engineer brain to really appreciate.

But being mindful doesn’t have to involve crystals and chanting and yoga pants.

It’s really about relaxing into the present moment.

And over the years, I’ve discovered I can actively practice mindfulness when I’m surfing, when I’m reading …. and now when I’m playing lego without my kids!

And you? What activity helps you slow down and focus on what’s happening right now, in the present moment?

Maybe you crochet? Maybe you cook. Whatever it is, I’d love to know.  Let me know in the comments below.

And if you don’t have any activity or hobby that helps you to be mindful, take a look at the gang’s answers here in the comments! You might find an idea to start with.

If not, there’s always lego.

Now, to figure out how to unclog my vaccum cleaner.

T x

PS – I unpack the idea of mindfulness and how it can boost your energy, and make you, yes, happier inside Happy (and other ridiculous aspirations). It’s available for preorder right now. Yes, now!

Get your mitts on a copy here.

15 Comments

  • Sue Batten says:

    I have started Knitting Beanies! I never dreamed I could do it and I’m on my 9th one now and loving it 🙂

  • fran says:

    Oh wow go you with Lego – I tried earlier in Iso and found it too precise (one piece has to go before another ) Jigsaw puzzling is my relaxing place as can do what I want and if cannot find a piece can move onto another. Plus can do with other people. Just last weekend a girlfriend and I sat all afternoon doing a jigsaw puzzle.

  • Monique says:

    Hi Turia,

    I lovvvve the adults colouring books! Every night for an hr I colour in, and I find it really relaxing and it helps with any stress and you can get some awesome books, atm I am doing an amazing animals book X

  • Jo says:

    For me it’s drawing…or teeny tiny doodling to be more precise

  • Jade Kearns says:

    Through meditation the past few months & working with my trauma counsellor on mindfulness activities, I have found how to be mindful in every activity (instead of overworking as a coping mechanism). At 37 I have finally found a love of reading, learning psychology, I’ve always found running a form of meditation for me, also loving journaling and cooking. But I have actually fallen in love with things I used to roll my eyes at like oils and many indoor plants lol

  • Jeff Murphy says:

    I like to learn languages. Some of the apps, you can use in short bursts throughout the day, even while on the toilet say!

    I don’t know if this helps anyone else, I read something a few years ago which really helped me out with my mindset to having a hobby like learning a language. It’s good to have a hobby, so when you have a bad day/time at work say, as you can come home/tune into your hobby (I learn daily) and, really focus and excel at that instead. I found it great for mindfulness and giving me confidence by not completely writing off the day 🙂

    Hope this helps!

  • Annie says:

    Podcasts are a great escape for me as well as crocheting (shopping bags are my thing). I also find going for a run helps to clear my head when it feels like there are so many things to do and no clear place to start.

    Looking forward to reading your book.

  • Nicole says:

    I purchased a jigsaw puzzle when we went into lockdown and didn’t get to it. Now we are in lockdown 2.0 I started it and have it so relaxing (ok, & frustrating!) but completely zone out when doing it. And it’s very nearly finished!

  • Naama says:

    For me it’s skydiving. Right here and right now, nothing else, just a dance with the gravity. But yoga it’s quite good as well.?

  • Deborah says:

    Hi Turia,
    I love your blog !
    My mindfulness ‘treat’ is poetry: reading and writing. I can cope with anything when this is factored into my day, and is achieved! ?

  • Christine Ulichney says:

    I have been quilting. Selecting a pattern and then the fabric to display the design has been rewarding. While cutting and piecing the fabric, I often can’t even have music on or the tv in the background. It takes (for me) a lot of concentration to be sure I’m following the instructions carefully. During this time, I feel I am being very mindful. The reward is that a beautiful quilt is produced, and I have a baby gift for my nephew and his wife and their future baby. One other thought is that I am eager to return to the making of the quilt each day. Being pulled to work on it is sign that it is a good thing to do.

  • Faye says:

    You always make me laugh, Turia , I love to garden, I go into my own little world, I leant to Kayak , ride a bike at 74yrs, so relaxing,

  • Lisa Dwyer says:

    l find riding my exercise bike helps me to feel good mentally and physically having a calming relaxing feel after a feeling of success that l completed another hour once again. Sweating profusely most days! Love it!!
    Another hobbie l have is gardening looking after about 40 roses can be quite challenging as they are very high in maintenance, they are a beautiful flower with so many different fragrances., definitely worth all the hard work!
    Take care
    Lisa x

  • Geraldine says:

    I’m enjoying knitting for our first granddaughter, due at the end of August.
    Also find colouring books are a great way to find your zen!

  • Mellissa says:

    I find being still very hard. I don’t drink coffee or have a cuppa or smoke but things that really keep me focused and in the moment are gardening, baking and a also colouring in with my kids (both active boys). It gives us a chance to just sit and chat. Also reading kids books, they are so easy to get lost in!