For years, like everyone else I have made a New Years resolution – most the time of the healthy persuasion. Like the never-ending line of people waiting for treadmills at my gym every January I always went right to the fail safe “lose weight” promise to myself come the strike of midnight.
That was until a few years ago.
Those of you that have been following my blog know that the past few years have been nothing short of rocky for me and my family. Having Addie early, losing my job due to budget cuts, losing my mom, getting my job back, having the boys REALLY early and then being laid off again…I don’t know anyone who could go through such an a time without becoming more aware of what is important to them. Or as my latin teacher used to say to me as an often unfocused teenager “getting their ducks in row.”
In the past few years Tim and I have created a tradition in our family that may just be one of my favorites of all of our holiday traditions. Each New Years Eve we sit as a family and talk over dinner about our new resolutions, and we help each other come up with resolutions that matter, that keep us focused on what is most important to us. (For example, Addie started with “make paper dolls of the boys,” but ended with “be better at sharing” and she was very helpful in creating Tim’s resolution with her suggestion of “love more butterflies”) During our “resolution dinner” I sit with the coming year’s calendar where I record everyone’s promise. And then later I write them on our chalkboard wall in our kitchen ( I will add a picture of our wall to this post soon) where they stay for the entire year for us to see each and every day. We were a little late getting to them this year as we were out-of-town on New Years (hence the late post) but thanks to Kennedy’s reminding we finally wrote our “revolutions” as Kennedy calls them – an appropriate word substitution if you think about it!
However, this year was different from me and I blame it on the general state of happiness I find myself in these days. I know it sounds sappy, but I can’t remember a time that I was more at peace with my life as it stands than I have been in the last six months. It goes without saying that my life would be exponentially better if my mom were here. but I have come to place of peace with her absence in my acceptance that my longing for her will never go away. And of course, life would also be easier if we had more money. But whose wouldn’t? I would like a time where I didn’t worry about bills but I am guessing that even millionaires worry about paying bills. And when it comes to money this is where my ducks are all lined up, the money duck is toward the back of the line! But I digress… Overall I spend most of my days feeling grateful and blessed. And to top it all off I feel good about myself, well, generally. Each year I try hard to develop a meaningful resolution. To create a promise to myself that will, in the end, make me a better person. Two years ago it was “to be less judgemental.” and last year’s was “to enjoy more of my days and embrace more moments.” But up until today, until I sat at the salon at 7:30 at night getting my hair cut for the first time in six months, could I for the life of me come up with a resolution that met the requirement.
So here is what I wrote in the calendar during our resolution dinner – prepare yourself for lame.
“Be more efficient at completing laundry.”
Yep, you read it correctly. In my state of contentment with my life all I could come up with to make myself a better person was to do laundry more efficiently!! I live in a house with five other people, laundry, like dishes, is a never-ending problem! But if I am being honest – I’m not good about putting clean clothes away. So I thought 2013 should be the year hone my skills of laundry. Lame. I know.
And then tonight happened. Tonight I took time for myself and I paid a professional, in a nice salon like I used to go to in the olden days (a.k.a. before I was a mom) to give me a great haircut. And as she cut my hair we talked about how I dye my hair from a box these days because the time and effort and cost that it takes for me to go to a salon was just too much on all three fronts for me to take on. Her response to my excuse, as she touched my brittle and cracking hair; “trust me, a lot of my mom clients tell me the same thing.” In that moment I made a decision. Next time I need my hair colored I am paying Suzie to do it, because darn it, I am worth it.
It was also in that moment that I finally came up with a resolution that has some heft to it. I am erasing my lame laundry resolution and writing a new one.
Here it is.
“To take more time for myself.”
It sounds so simple, yet I know it is easier said than done. It is easy during days of laundry, dishes, sippy cups, diapers, cooking, homework checking, carpool, baths and bedtime stories to forget to take just a moment to be yourself and not a mom. Maybe it is as simple as taking a moment to listen to a favorite station on Pandora, or paint my nails, or go for a run… I’m thinking it doesn’t have to be grand but it does need to be a priority. Hopefully having it on my chalkboard will remind me to make it so!
Happy 2013 - may yours be one that gives you all that you need and makes you feel proud of yourself at the closing of the year!