I'm not about the "I'm going to do this by this date" quantification-sort of resolutions. If I did those things, I would probably be setting myself up for failure. But I am about evaluating the status quo of my everyday life, and taking the opportunity to look for ways to grow and, hopefully, improve my daily living.
This year, I have three things that I'm making my primary focus.
1) Take Better Care of Myself.
2010, particularly the last half of 2010, I kind of let myself go. Physically, I felt lethargic. Spiritually, I felt a major disconnect. Parenting trauma kids had me spent. Maritally, a lot of stuff has kind of caught up with us and we need to push up our sleeves and do some hard work. And in everything else? I felt a day late and a dollar short.
Dec. 2010 kind of was a breaking point for me where I knew I needed to make some major changes. I joined a gym around the corner from my house. I LOVE it. I go 5-6 times per week. It includes kickboxing (on bags. No swinging at the air here like they do at the Y. I can't believe how good it feels to punch and kick the snot outta that bag!!!), interval and circuit workouts; boot camp; and strength/resistance training. It is kicking my butt and I LOVE IT. I have been truly sore the past two weeks (in fact, I nearly wrote a post entitled, I can't blog because my glutes are killing me!, but in fact, I was too sore to even write that.) It is an awesome feeling.
In addition to the working out, I'm taking more time for myself each day to knit or read or connect with a friend. I'm working on finding a church for spiritual feeding. I'm going to therapy to better deal with all the "stuff" I'm dealing with.
I want my girls to grow up into women who take care of themselves. The best way to do that is to---gasp---set the example by taking care of myself. And since I'm sidetracked so often when I don't truly intentionally do this, I'm now making it Priority #1.
2) Make Time Every Day for Creativity.
Isn't that SO type A of me? To schedule time for creativity, which, in theory, seems like it should happen spontaneously?
But if I don't schedule it, it likely will never become a happen. Not likely. It just plain won't become a habit.
When I think about the most interesting people I know, and the most interesting children I know, they tend to be those least immersed in world of gaming/texting/video technology. They are those who take the time to read, who love to learn new things, explore new worlds, discover new joys.
I have to Unplug myself and my children (and truly, we're not even a super plugged-in family), but I need to purposefully set aside time each and every day to explore.
That means getting out the paints. Iif we use them up, we can buy more. If we make a mess, well, who gives a crap because the house is trashed by the end of every homeschool day anyways, right? Encouraging journaling, knitting, yarn arts, fabric arts, drawing, sketching, etc. Giving my children the tools, the time, the distraction-free environment where they can just explore, discover, create.
So within our homeschooling day, I'm carving out a set amount of time each and every day after lunch to do this.
Type A of me? Oh, yes. But at least I'll be the Creative-Artsy Type A mom in the bunch ;)
3) Reclaim my love of cooking/feeding my family.
9 years ago, when I was pregnant with Atticus, we were very, very poor. Our grocery budget was very meager, and I had to find a way to feed us well on what we had. Through the internet and many trips to the library, I discovered that cooking from scratch is the best way to accomplish those means.
Truthfully, at first, I felt a bit bothered by it and I wished we had a bigger grocery budget. I remember one time making a chicken, broccoli and potato casserole and giving the Mister leftovers for his lunch at work. His boss at the time went into the breakroom and made a HUGE stink over how much that meal stunk and looked disgusting. I think he even offered to buy him Taco Bell if he would only through that garbage away. I was so offended and hurt.
Later that week, I was outside talking to my neighbor. She had two beautiful girls, one Hattie's age and one a bit older, and she was the kindest, most gentle, most sincere person I have ever met. I looked up to her hugely (still do.) I remember lamenting a bit over our grocery budget and learning how to make all this stuff from scratch.
"But isn't that wonderful? Feeding your family whole foods that you labor over, it nourishes both their bodies and souls. Homemade meals are such a wonderful, loving way to take care of your family."
At that moment, my entire paradigm shifted. Her entire person emitted such warmth and radiance, and the way she said "nourishes," I can still hear that in my head and remember how it all suddenly "clicked" for me.
Feeding your family, well, homemade foods is important. It is an act of love. It does nourish. And it can be accomplished on a meager budget.
After learning that, I LOVED being in my kitchen. Hattie was always my helper. Some of my most wonderful mothering memories were the times after dinner when I was cleaning the kitchen, Atticus on my chest in a Baby Bjorn, with music on and laughing and dancing.
I want to reclaim those moments. Feel that way again. So I'm going to refocus on mealtimes. Not only as a means of connecting, but also as a means of educating.
I love Rachael Ray's philosophy that in 30 minutes you can make meals that are far healthier and taste better than anything you can get in a restaurant. I have become really, truly boring in the meal department. I'm aiming to start shaking up the menu, trying new things out.
2010 wasn't the best year on the books by any means. But, we lasted through it. We jumped over obstacles and crossed the finish line into 2011. I love the start of the New Year and this season of reflecting and aims for improving. And I'm going to go into it, one kickboxing punch/ knitting hour/and new recipe at a time.
Happy New Year!