For me, I normally love New Years resolutions. I think a lot about them. I really love having a fresh start. It's January 6th and I can't believe I haven't set them yet. A lot of my resolutions are often health based and right now I feel like my body is completely out of my hands. I can't really diet. I can't exercise the way I want to. I'm just going to get bigger and bigger before I can start to work on that again. So I'm not even sure what I am going to write tonight. Maybe 2015 isn't a year of making a long list of resolutions. Maybe this year is simply about having positive outlook on what is to come.
In yoga, the teacher often tells us to set an intention for our practice. What do we hope to gain from the hour we are spending on our mats? I really enjoy this concept so I have started setting daily intentions for myself. During Christmas vacation my intentions ranged from "play" or "imagine" on days where I wanted to focus on Millie. Other days my intentions would be something more like "organize" or "patience". As a parent I feel constantly scattered. It's hard to try to incorporate patience, health, organization, play and pretend all in one day. Having a word really helps me. But I'm not sure one word will really relate all year. So...lets try this Becky. Lets set 5 words for the year.
1. TemporaryLast week I ran to Target. I spent a good hour wandering around the store, like I do. I thought I would try on some maternity clothes because it seems this pregnancy that nothing I wore last time fits or feels comfortable. Into the dressing room I went. Seeing myself in the mirror was really - well shocking. I know, I know, I'm pregnant. My body is supposed to be growing. It just was shocking to see how much it was growing. I was really upset and disheartened. I was upset because normally if I were to feel that way about myself I would jump back into a strict diet/exercise regime until things felt better. Yet when you are pregnant, most of this is out of your hands. Sure I can watch what I eat more strictly. Sure I can walk, or go to more yoga. But I can't really control this growing baby inside of me. So on the way home I just kept repeating to myself (through tears) "Becky, this is temporary. You will get back to yourself. It's temporary. You won't always look like this. It's temporary."
I think this word can apply to a lot of what I am fearing with a newborn baby. The mind-numbing exhaustion that comes, is temporary. The hormones that made me lose my appetite and cry constantly, are temporary. The knowledge that my body will be keeping this infant alive and feeding the infant every 2-3 hours, will also be temporary. Life finds a way to setting itself again. My big hope with baby Matilda is that in many ways things will be easier, because I have the perspective and know that things will get easier. They will get better. The hardest times are usually temporary. It's a good reminder.
At the same time, temporary is also a reminder. It's a reminder that I only have a small fraction of time where my babies are so tiny. Where they snuggle, coo, smell like babies and first share those first precious smiles. The newborn time is so precious and it is so fleeting. This word is a good reminder to cherish those times. To not wish them quickly away. Because before I know it, they are 3-years-old and don't want to snuggle with momma.
A new part of life that I am accepting as the norm is that things constantly feel out of my control. It's just hard to keep up with everything. It's hard to balance motherhood, work, health, friendships, home and family life. I feel like I am constantly behind. This year I want to try and be more centered. A huge part of feeling centered for me is to keep exercising. It took me a good year after having Millie before I really started to incorporate exercise back into my life. Once I did, everything changed. I felt so much better. I had "me time" and it was incredibly therapeutic. So, this is really the only tangible resolution I can make. I plan on starting to exercise regularly again in June. It will mostly be walking and going to yoga. initially, yet I will start exercising. I will wake up at 6am and run like I did two summers ago. I felt great. Finding that part of myself again improved all other aspects of my life. I was more centered which in-turn made me a better mom, wife, coworker and friend.
3. SimplicityOne of my big resolutions in 2014 was to simplify my life. I went through my entire house, drawer by drawer, closet by closet, in order to rid our lives of so much "stuff". This year I hope to maintain that simplicity. Not only do I feel better when my house is organized, but I feel better when I don't spend mindless amounts of money on stuff I don't need. Limiting what I spend will be great in many ways. Seth and I need to start saving more. Last year I had a week where I decided I wasn't going to spend a cent. Nothing. Not on gas, not on groceries, not on coffee. Nothing. I had to plan ahead for meals and such but I didn't spend for a week. Which sounds so silly really. But it was harder and way more awesome than I thought. The tangible resolution here is to have one week a month were I don't spend. It makes a big difference, it really does. It'll help limit the "stuff" and it will help in my efforts to be better at my budget and at saving.
4. BraveIt took me 3 years to really feel settled about being a working mom. It took 3 years for me to not feel guilty for being away from Millie. I worried that my relationship with her would suffer. I worried she wouldn't thrive. I worried and fussed and stewed over this. Yet, I have learned that I need to work. I do. I am not going to apologize to myself, my family, society or expectations what it means to be a mom anymore. Working is best for me. I'm a better mom when I work. That is just how I am wired. This year I am going to be brave as I figure out how to work with 2 children. It's possible. It's possible to find the right nanny. It's possible because Seth supports me working 100%. It's possible because my family is there to help when they can. I am going to be brave as I once again step out of the workforce for a couple of months and then step back in. I'm going to grab work by the balls and keep at it. Because I love what I do. I love that although it's a different kind of example that I am setting for my daughters, it's still a remarkable example. I am not going to feel shy, or guilty. I will be brave.
5. KindThis one is for Seth. Marriage is hard. Marriage with young children is incredibly hard. I have blogged about this extensively. Yet, I have learned that the #1 way to survive this time as a married couple is to just be kind. Such a simple and beautiful word and yet for me, such a hard word to abide by. We forget to be kind to each other. We nit-pick. We forget to give each other the benefit of the doubt. We place blame. We forget to put other's needs before our own. We are selfish. This year I really want to try and be more kind. Because when I am kind, the world is kind to me. When I take a moment to do something nice for Seth, he will reciprocate. When I show love and kindness to my daughter, she is sweet and kind back to me. It's quite brilliant this thing called kindness.
Temporary, centered, simplicity, brave and kind. Those are my intentions for 2015.
Now wish me luck....