Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year, New Perspective

I'm not one for the resolutions.

They never work out and I feel like it's just this obligatory thing we do to trick ourselves into thinking this coming year is going to be bigger and better than the last. When really, we don't know what the next year holds and making/keeping our resolutions probably isn't going to change that. That sounded more pessimistic than I intended...

The last resolution post I wrote was for 2012. I think I actually did some of those things, and some I definitely didn't do. It's good to make goals. But it's also good to recognize the stage of life we are in and know our limits. And I think I'm growing in that area. I'm learning my limits and what's important for me right now. So this year is about resolving not to "do" more, but to have a change in perspective, and to accept life for what it is right now.

To Stop Feeling Guilty About Doing Things I Love. I've learned the things that make me feel refreshed and happy, and instead of feeling guilty that I'm not doing something more "productive" like laundry or cleaning or exercising or teaching someone how to properly pick up a playroom, I'm going to let myself curl up with a good book while the girls make a mess with the blocks. I'm going to cook a good meal, full of gluten and dairy and all the things we aren't supposed to eat. Because life is too short. Reading books and cooking meals and wearing jewelry and DIY crafts are things that make me happy. So I'm not going to overthink it.

More Hands-Off Parenting. Have I mentioned before that I'm a control freak? I need to ease up on my girls. Because they really are good kids, and I don't think I'm going to screw them up by letting them get away with things. But I could screw them up by yelling at them and expecting perfection. So instead of resolving to "yell less", which would just result in me continuing to yell and then feeling bad about it, I'm going to resolve to rip out the yelling from the root. To let it slide, and let them be. Let them play and make a mess. Let them ruin their one good pair of shoes because they stomped in the mud puddle. Let them make memories, and let myself be a part of those memories instead of controlling them.

More Hands-On Parenting. More hugs, kisses and snuggles. More reading books piled on the couch together. More carrying babies on hips. More hand holding.

Re-establish Friendships. I recently spent some time with some friends from high school and college. Some of these girls I have known for 18 years, and spending time chatting with them made me realize how important it is for me to have other women speaking into my life. I get so caught up in my own problems that I forget how good I have it. Hearing other people's stories and problems and joys reminded me that life isn't just about me. I haven't been a very good friend this past year. I have some amazing women just a few minutes away from me who deserve better, but still choose to call me friend. This year I want to re-establish those old friendships and better invest in the newer ones.

Stop Trying to Lose Weight. While everyone else on earth is resolving to be skinnier and healthier, I'm going to hang on to those last few pounds of "baby weight". Not because I don't need to lose the weight, but because it doesn't really matter right now if I do. My husband loves me the way I am, and everytime I look down at that belly-pooch, I'm reminded of the gift of pregnancy and childbirth, and those four amazing girls playing at my feet. That belly-pooch worked really hard to grow my babies. And for that, I've decided to let it stay for a while.

Slow Down and Live. Don't worry if Lucy skips a few days of school. Don't try and get them involved in sports yet. Enjoy our quiet evenings and weekends of nothing. Accept that this stage of life is busy enough on its own, and adding activities in will only take away from our time together. To be content with my life the way it is, with all of its imperfections.

Make our House a Home. Whether that means painting and rearranging some things, or not painting and rearranging my attitude instead, I want to create a home that is nurturing and comforting to my family and welcoming to guests. To live in the house we are in and stop waiting for the next thing.

There are other things I hope to do this year, but I'm not going to voice them or write them down in case I don't get to do them. Because this year is about living fully where I am, being thankful for what I already have, and investing in my family instead of things that don't matter.

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