Time for the requisite New Year’s post, which I agree is both a little surprising and a lot ridiculous since I’ve been AWOL for a while now. The holidays approached and I realized my time was best spent trying to figure out how to get through them with grace and humility and . . . bleh. Grace and humility didn’t exist for me, but I did get through them and I am happy to say that as I sit on this second day of 2014, jammie-clad (day two of jammie day . . . so far, 2014 is a win!) with a caramelly coffee at one side of the computer and a purring ball of fur at the other side. Twenty feet to my right, Sophia the First is discussing a 100-layer cake while a mostly naked four-year-old is stuffing his face with popcorn (should I mention it’s 7:34 am?). Twenty feet to my left, snow is falling (well, driving, really) over the driveway, sidewalk and front walk that I dutifully shoveled at 8 pm last night. “They” say we Toledo-area residents could see up to 12 inches by 4 pm today. I say, bring on the snow and wash 2013 away in the glittery puffs that swirl around 2014.
For me, 2013 wasn’t bad. We bought a beautiful house with my dream kitchen, sold our old house in a very blessed three weeks (though in the frenzy of cleaning for showings with three boys I would not have said that!), moved to the Toledo area over a weekend with no rain (and 90 degree weather – beats the last move in the dead of winter with a three-month-old!), started my blog, met a bunch of new friends, spent a large chunk of July in the beautiful Northwoods of Wisconsin with my parents on their farm (and no one was mauled by a bear or contracted Lyme’s disease this time!), found out our family will be on the receiving end of, finally, a little baby girl in the form of a niece, and genuinely reveled in rebuilding a new life in a place where I knew not a soul. The downsides of 2013? The parts of the year that I am glad are over? The stress of Hubby having to find a new job after his company folded, losing our beloved big fat black cat Manny to illness (and oddly enough, he was named for Nelson Mandela . . . who also died in 2013), declawing our kitten (read: DO NOT EVER DO THIS. SADDEST THING EVER. I will never have another cat declawed, even if it means we can’t have a second cat. And I want one. Badly.), starting over in a new place and having to find all new therapists, pediatricians, dentists . . . I know, small potatoes, but you never realize how comfortable your life is until you don’t have/know good doctors.
Back to the New Year’s post. Every year it seems that I make some pseudo-intellectual and life-changing resolution designed to better myself and every year I forget it within a week or two. I’m sure this is not an unfamiliar problem. I usually consider the eating-better-weight-loss-stop-screaming-be-a-better-mom-get-on-anti-anxieties-do-laundry-every-single-day approach and I always, always fail. It’s like I set myself up to disappoint myself . . . is this rampant in moms? I think so! This year, I vowed that my resolution was to not make one, but now two days in I am thinking/obsessing about the fact that I am not doing anything to better myself! It’s like I can’t win! I’m sure my hubby can come up with some aspect I can change to make myself better (clean the house all day, say only sweet things, get a high-paying job that takes no time away from the family – sounds impossible, but perhaps I shall give it a go?).
Looking back solely on my blogging pursuit, I can see that the number one thing I should do is stick with something once I start it (ahem, Mugshot Monday and whatever Friday was supposed to be . . . oh well.)
So, amidst the many ideas running through my head that really only benefit myself (make a reading log for 2014, organize all three chaotic, haphazard storage rooms, spend the twelve hours it would take and create a master grocery/menu plan on excel – and use it regularly, deep condition my hair every night, read my way through the dictionary) I think my resolution is actually going to be one that haunts me every day of my life: say what you mean and mean what you say. Words/actions are all we have as portals to our souls . . . so often I find myself wishing I could go back thirty seconds and not say something that I didn’t mean, whether it is a criticism, a false compliment, or just a complaint. The saying, “speak softly and carry a big stick” has stuck in my head for a few weeks and I think it is a subconscious hint to myself to think long and hard about what is about to come out of my mouth and how it is going to affect the person I am speaking to. Like when I tell Number Three, “Put your peepee away!” . . . like I couldn’t say instead, “It’s inappropriate to stand on the barstool at the counter with no undies on. Please go and put some on.”
All that being said, I still feel that if I make a resolution this year, I will follow my own path and not stick to it. Like I need to show myself that I don’t have to do anything I tell myself to . . . am I still a 17-year-old attempting to exert my own independence from my overbearing self? Or maybe I should just do it and show myself who’s boss, for once in my life.
Maybe my resolution will be to make a decision . . . I’ll let you know how that goes.
This is how a beautiful year begins.