reflections instead of resolutions

Sometime over the last several years I stopped writing New Year’s resolutions.  I changed my mind and made one this year. It is harder to fail when you only have one goal to make.

Instead of the writing up the traditional list of resolutions I decided that at the end of each year, I would look back and celebrate my achievements.  I wanted to appreciate whatever my journey had been in the past year, reflect, learn, and move on.  Here goes my list from 2011.

This year I:

1. Got fired for the first time in my life, because of my inability to keep my mouth shut and deal with difficult people in a mature way.  I suppose that makes me a difficult person, too. Therefore I will never again react in anger over email.

2. Lost the money I made from the job that I got fired from–because I spent it on orthodontics that I had to quit because I was allergic to the material.  After holding a grudge for a while I learned how to laugh and let it go.

3. Struggled with the notion of my ticking biological clock, increasing gray hairs, and the question of whether or not I should have another baby.  And suddenly I realize that it doesn’t matter; whatever happens is alright.  I don’t always have to know.

4. Celebrated one year of working for my home health care agency with a job that I love and gives me much more than extra income.

5. Slowly learning to love myself for who I am and who I have always been, and at the same time accepting that not everybody will love or appreciate all of me–and that is okay.

6. After my hardest year as a parent so far, I have learned to love and forgive my parents for their own parenting struggles.  I truly understand now that they did the best they could, and I love them for that.  This is the hardest job in the world.

7.  Fell in love with my “new” mini-van.

8. Had my first night without children in 8 years–with my husband!

9. Learned that the key to my happiness is to nurture myself and that I need nurturing every  day in various forms.

10. Felt deeply grateful for those who love and support me, especially in rough waters.

Happy New Year.

xoxo

today I have clarity.

After many nights of good sleep, despite being rather scheduled and busy for several days, I am feeling calm and happy.  The hardest part of the holidays has passed.  I actually enjoyed all of our Christmas and Solstice celebrations (thank you, sleep).  I am breathing peace and clarity. Once again, I am in the comfortable place where I appreciate and love my life.

Alan is off for two weeks.  I love that. This means I will have help with the children and housekeeping every single day for 14 days.  It means that there will be room for me.  It means I may catch up on last year’s photo album or clean out the art closet or organize the basement.  Or I may just forget about the to-do list altogether and simply be.  Heaven knows I need that.

For the new year, I have one simple plan: Nurture myself every day.

Nurturing myself makes me happy.  When I am happy I am my best self; when I am my best self, I bring positive energy into all of my relationships and my heart bursts with love.  I want to give that gift to my children so that they will remember their childhoods with warm hearts.  I want to give my best self to my husband so that our marriage will stand the tests of time and parenting.  I want to give my best self to my friends and family so that their journeys may be a bit lighter.

Happy day.

oh, how I love her and want to give her my best self.

welcome, winter!

This year we started a new tradition: a winter solstice party.  It was a hit and Mia and I especially loved it.  No pressure, expectations, or traveling.  Just our little family celebrating the darkest night of the year and welcoming winter (which so far has been very non-winter-like.)

We had grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup (Mia’s request).  We lit candles, made a wreath, had a bonfire, listened to Christmas music, cut paper snowflakes.  It was special and simple and lovely.

Happy solstice!

the most wonderful time of the year?

Since I started paying attention about 3 years ago, I believe I have had an emotional meltdown every year at this time.  It begins around Thanksgiving, increasingly worsens, peaks at Christmas and dwindles by New Year’s Eve.  This year it may have peaked a bit prematurely (last week), so I am optimistic that things will improve from here on out.  But looking at the calendar, maybe that it an unrealistic dream.  There is much more of this to come in the days ahead.

This is a hard time of year for me and my fellow vata people.  Cold, dry, hectic, not enough downtime whatsoever.  And so much freaking pressure from all directions. Add to that lots of unwelcome sibling rivalry (in response to mama’s bad mood), way too much on the calendar, financial stress, and little room for my simple dream of doing yoga and taking a warm bath each night.

I cry at the drop of a hat, yell at my children, and feel guilty and terrible and for it.  And also feel guilty for what I am NOT doing and wish I were: making holiday crafts with the girls and doing all sorts of special things with them.  But I have no idea how that is done. I have no idea how to balance everything I have to do each day with everything I want to do.

We made a gingerbread house and cutout cookies and I felt like a champ.  Rolling out that gingerbread cookie dough takes a lot of sweat.  Then I catch up on Soule Mama and feel as incapable and little as a person can feel.  How does she do it? And with so many children and animals and a blog and books to write? I am dumbfounded.  But at the same time, I am inspired to do better.

What I would like to do in my unrealistic world of dreams is to take the entire month off from work and other engagements and take a Caribbean vacation.