Last year around this time last year I shared my new year’s resolutions. I think when it was all said and done, I fulfilled one – maybe two? And you know what? I couldn’t care less. I could not care less what my head-in-the-cloud, full-of-optimism self set out to do on the first day of 2017 because that person, or that small sliver of who I am, is supposed to dream big without taking reality into account. And the reality is that New Year’s resolutions are not for me, so this year I’ve finally given in to that fact of life and made none.
But since I do love fanfare and the idea of a new year and clean slate, I’ve come up with a few themes based on last year’s lessons that I’d like to make motifs in 2018.
Me first. Marriage second. Kids third. Everything else, whenever it comes.
While I was pregnant with Matty I remember reading an article in a magazine that escapes me now, but it said the best way to raise healthy and happy kids was to put yourself first, your marriage second and your kids third. It seemed like solid advice but then as soon as I had Matty, I couldn’t imagine putting anyone ahead of him – not even myself. Then we got pregnant with Abbott and I couldn’t imagine anything coming ahead of our family which at the time was Seth, Matty and Bot. I was the last priority on my list.
Today though, as we slowly but surely come out of the cloud that was becoming first-time parents and then immediately becoming second-time parents, juggling an infant and a toddler to juggling two toddlers and then struggling through a tough first year of marriage and maneuvering the new world mixing our friendships and our lifestyle, I am starting to see the light that is self care, personal successes and priorities, the re-emergence of a romantic relationship with my husband and an all together well-rounded existence. Of course it won’t be as seamless as that reads but there is hope and a little bit of light and, at the end of the day, that’s enough to carry into 2018. #AMEN
Emphasis on Feelings
A few weekends ago, Seth and I were sitting around at a holiday party with some of our friends when we got on the topic of controversial labels vs. politically correct labels (i.e., Christmas break vs. holiday break; criss cross applesauce vs Indian style, professional sports teams) and I couldn’t help but wonder something I’d been wondering all year, if it bothers someone else or it offends someone for WHATEVER reason and it carries very little substantial value to you, why not just stop being offensive instead of trying to tell other people how they should feel?
I don’t get it. There’s no way to win here. There’s just someone honestly expressing their feelings and someone else choosing to either completely disregard them or to respect them and treat them like their feelings matter. There is no in between. And everyone’s feelings should matter. Wanting to be inclusive doesn’t make us a bunch of softies, it makes us thoughtful and progressive. And same for personal relationships, feelings are important and valuable. If you aren’t respectful of someone else’s feelings or if you’re dismissive because YOU think they should feel differently, you’re simply being an asshole. Whether you agree with someone else’s feelings or not (as if they’re up for debate) they’re still going to feel them, so in 2018 I’m hoping to put an emphasis on the value of feelings and emotions.
Relishing in adulthood
This was probably the first year I’ve ever actually felt like an adult. I turned 33, I spent 6 months on unemployment, I spent hours upon hours thinking about where I want to send my kids to school, I sifted through bills with my husband and I even felt like a needed a cup of coffee on a handful of early mornings. I spent a lot of time contemplating what comes next, trying to pair down dreams into realistic possibilities. I think 2018 will be a transitional year for us as we think about preparing Matty for Kindergarten and Abbott for preschool and what type of community we want to be apart of, what type of impact we want to make and what sort of opportunities we’d like to pursue. I love the idea of relishing in the possibilities of adulthood rather than longing for the freeness and uncertainty of my youth so this year, I’m going to let it be a ‘thing’.
Less, lesser, least is most
It’s hard to be present these days. Even if I’m not near my computer or my phone, odds are my brain is reeling through a to-do list or a don’t-forget list or a did-I-do-that list or worrying about what my kids are doing in the other room. And if we’re doing something great it’s probably spiraling in a tizzy of ‘I never want to forget this, take it all in and don’t forget to TAKE A MILLION PICTURES!’ There’s just so much these days. SO MUCH. Everything is a moment and there are moments in moments and I’m not just trying to remember and live in the moment for myself but I’m trying to remember moments and live in the moments of my kids. It’s hard to focus and be present, it’s like I’m overstimulated on life. When I look back, 2017 feels like one gigantic caffeine buzz, there was so much to keep track of, so much to think about, so much content to consume, so many moments to curate and to remember and to be there for, so many life changes, so much interference and so much to worry about. There was just too much so this year I’m hoping to simplify everything with the mantra ‘least is most’.