Hello again, imaginary friends!
I missed you so while I was away, but I did enjoy a much needed break from my blogging grind stone. I have been soaking up time away from work and responsibilities and just focusing on playing with my kids, spending time with my sweet hubby, and hanging with my family. It has been refreshing and renewing for my mind, body, and soul, let me tell you.
I’ll post about what shenanigans were had over our Christmas break soon, but the New Year has been on my mind this past week, as I am sure it has been for many of you, too. New Years is always a cleansing, hopeful time of year, isn’t it? A time to clear our slates and start fresh. And who doesn’t love a new beginning?
A few years ago, I gave up New Years resolutions because I failed miserably at keeping them. I think the highlight of my resolution failure was the year I decided to “be happy” as my resolution, and then I proceeded to card catalogue my life in an attempt at structured happiness. It worked for about three weeks.
This year, for the first time in forever (that was an unintentional Frozen reference. My sincere apologies…), my mind wanted nothing to do with a fresh start. As New Years Day crept up on me, I kept trying to force some newness into my life, but my heart would have nothing of it.
I pulled out my planner, which is always my go-to place when I want to implement a change because my planner is my brain, but it was already set up and ready to go for 2015. I looked around my house for things that could be improved (and, really, isn’t there always SOMETHING that needs working on in the house?), but we are in the middle of our downstairs renovation, so the house is pretty much underway. I thought about my job. Surely, I could make some changes there that would have a lasting impact in 2015, but I just overhauled my classroom about a month ago and established all new policies and procedures to adapt to this new Common Core structure, so I’m good to go there, too. Finally, I turned to my family life. But my kids are happy, healthy, and goodness knows we see enough of each other to drive us all insane. We’ve had big adventures this past year and small day trips and experiences. There really isn’t much for wanting with my children right now.
Then, it had to be Chris. Lord knows my marriage can always use a facelift. But when I stopped and thought about it, Chris and I are doing better than ever. Aside from the normal daily text to my sister about how he’s driving me insane, we’re really happy.
“Well, shoot!” I thought. “Everything is going great! What am I supposed to do now?”
And so, I made a decision. A massive decision. A decision that will impact my entire year ahead.
I’m not doing anything different. I’m not making one resolution. I’m not setting one new goal. I’m not changing a thing. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Nope. Not a thing.
2014 was a banner year for me. Everything wasn’t always roses (remember that little stroke I had?), everything wasn’t always happy (grief continued to kick my butt on random days). Could I have been happier? Sure.
More generous? Yep.
But those things are endless improvements we make to ourselves over the course of a lifetime, right? The year I stop trying to be happier, healthier, kinder, or generous, would be a terrible, terrible year. No one should have a year like that.
But, generally speaking, 2014 might have been the year I hit my stride. I finally managed to get a handle on my kids school schedules (I even remembered teacher birthday gifts! Woooo hoooo!!!). I bought and used the same planner for two years in a row because I was using it so regularly, which, seriously, has NEVER happened to me before. I meal planned almost every week, made it to church MOST weeks, and even managed to sneak in a few girls nights out and dates with my sweetheart. My kids were finally well behaved more than they were not (which is a win in my book) and outings and adventures with them became worlds easier because they just needed less. I made some girlfriends whom I adore and I said goodbye to a few people that were maybe not the best for me. I said no for the first time in my life to my boss (sorry, Amy…), volunteer opportunities, and even things that were good for me simply because I didn’t have the time to give it my 110%. I cutback in all the wrong places and I felt myself bloom in all the right places. I gave most of my decisions – small, medium, or large – over to prayer and finally felt the sweet relief from some of my anxiety and worry.
Was this all done flawlessly? No way, man. And it wasn’t done overnight either. In fact, a lot of it was unintentional. But when I look back over 2014, I realize that there isn’t much about my life right now that I want to change.
And so, my #oneword2015 is CONTENTMENT. To seek contentment, to know contentment, to relish contentment in my life. To be content with what I don’t have, to be content with what I do have, and to be content with knowing (or – yikes! – NOT knowing) what might come in the future. To find peace in that contentment and to know that things don’t have to be crazy and busy in order for my life to be lived purposefully. Contentment to me is looking at my home – filled with loud children, a lazy dog, a wonderfully imperfect husband, fantastically funny friends and family, and piles of laundry and bills – and to breathe in deeply with satisfaction. The kind of satisfied that fills your heart and makes you want to take long, lazy naps under the covers. That is my word for 2015.
What about you? What is your #oneword2015?