I have never been a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions. Actually, to be totally honest, I think they are kind of silly. The idea of waiting until a certain day or time to make positive changes in one’s life sounds kind of counter intuitive. I mean, what about the 72 cigarettes you are going to smoke BEFORE January 1? Or the big macs you plan to eat? It’s not like all those bad habits are exempt from causing adverse effects in the meantime. Like some kind of magical amnesty that is bestowed on us UNTIL we are ready to quit, make amends, or undo whatever it is we don’t want to do anymore. For me, it makes more sense to identify the “bad” habits and change them THEN- or at least make an attempt to. It just so happens that this year my desire to improve my life and myself coincided with the same time when everyone out there is resolving to make changes in their own lives.
My reason for making these changes now, has nothing to do with a ball dropping in Times Square or a brand new wall calendar on our laundry room door. My reason is this: I have goals, and in order to achieve those goals I need to make adjustments to the way I spend my time. The other reason is because we just got home from traveling for the holidays and I had a lot of time to think about what needed improvement in my house and in my day to day life. We are also moving very soon, and with Mr. Wright’s commissioning, we will be off to the next great adventure as an Army family. That means getting this entire house cleaned and ready to pack in the next three weeks! Talk about stress right?
Overall, I am pretty happy with the person I am character wise. Sure I could listen more and better, and be a little less catty from time to time, but I am convinced that my heart is good. My organizational and time management skills however… leave MUCH to be desired..
As I was perusing my Facebook feed today, I saw post after post of folks summing up 2013 and making goals and resolutions for the New Year, it was then that I even realized that my ideas to make changes fell right at the time when everyone else was doing the same thing- I started typing my own recap/wish list and realized that I might as well just blog about it- and explain in detail why I hope to make these changes, because let’s face it- Facebook is SO impersonal. Hahaha….In all seriousness though, here is my list:
1. Facebook- Spending MUCH less time on it. Recently one of my friends joked with me about how there is always a green dot next to my name on Facebook, meaning I am always online. That was a major red flag for me. I really do always have my phone in my hand and spend a LOT of time reading about what everyone else does with their lives-with barely any room to enjoy mine. I would actually just continuously press the refresh button, just in case I may have missed something in the last tenth of a second. That CAN’T be healthy.
While I was home this last week (Boston, that is) I barely had time to check FB. I was too busy visiting family and spending time with my children, aka living my life. There just wasn’t time to sit and scroll mindlessly through my newsfeed like I usually do. I think my phone actually died overnight and I didn’t even charge it! The first day or so I found myself itching to know what was happening, but by the end of the trip, I actually almost forgot it at my mom’s house. It was so freeing not to feel guilty for not responding to a comment or a personal message, instead I watched my daughter open her presents, and say bye- bye for the first time. I held my son while I nursed him and watched him blissfully sleep in my arms instead of reading posts over his head with an outstretched hand.
Don’t get me wrong- I LOVE my Facebook communities. I love seeing what my friends from home are up to, and those snapshots of brand new babies with their weight and height proudly captioned. I LOVE my groups- both the ones I started and the ones I simply partake in. I love the shopping I can do, and the archive of pictures I can look at that tell my story and the story of many others- but I need to scale it back some. I need to set aside some time for Facebook, and rightfully allocate the rest where it belongs: to my family, to my house, and lastly to myself. I am not going to shoot myself in the foot and suggest a time limit or anything though, I know myself and a limit will hang over my head like a nagging black cloud- instead I am just going to leave it at “less” After this week, I already have a great start- Which brings me to my next amendment.
2. Flexibility- Believe it or not, this one actually pertains a lot more to myself than to others. With two children, five stepchildren, a husband, and a four bedroom house to take care of, it’s really easy to get overwhelmed. I have a really bad habit of expecting way too much of myself. Not even super-woman could clean an entire house, do all the laundry, and organize the closet in one day, and yet somehow I expected that of myself. Of course I was setting myself up for failure-there is no way I could do all of those things at once! The result was a bunch of half done tasks and a really sad NSMM. For a re-cap of some of these sentiments, feel free to scroll back through earlier posts in which I enumerate the countless shortcomings I have noticed about my domestic engineering skills. My new adjustment in this area is that I am not going to try to build Rome in a day. Being on bed rest for almost half of my pregnancy while Mr. Wright finished his culminating semester of college threw the house quite out of whack. Aside from losing our routines and division of labor- (Read: Mr. Wright did EVERYTHING)- we also lost our momentum which in caused our home to become a disorganized tumbleweed of chaos. I of course blamed myself for this breakdown of productivity- being that it was my job to keep the house in order. When Baby Giant finally arrived, I was really anxious to get the house back in order, but of course that wasn’t advisable so soon after giving birth. I began making lists in my head of things that needed to get done, keeping in mind that in addition to cleaning and organizing, we had tons to do to get ready to travel for the holidays as well as packing for moving. To say that these tasks seemed daunting would be an understatement. They seemed downright impossible! It wasn’t until Mr. Wright put it in perspective that I started to feel better.
“It didn’t take a day for the house to get like this, and it won’t take a day to get it back in shape.”
Somehow that silly little statement changed everything. No one else expected me to do everything all at once so why did I expect this of myself? I decided that I just needed to put things in perspective. I needed to set reasonable goals for what will get done in any given day, and if I don’t- then that needs to be okay too! Some days will be more productive than others. The worst thing I can do is stress about it.
So I’m not. Sure I will still make my lists and set high expectations for myself, but from now on I will not try to do everything all at once, and another thing I plan to do is to give myself a REAL break! Read on…..
3. No more delayed gratification/Making ME time- I never relax. Even when I am supposed to be relaxing, I manage to stress out about relaxing. I envy those women who can sink down in a tub full of rose petals and bubbles surrounded by candles and dive into a magazine for an hour- that will never be me. However, I could stand to set aside some time to take care of myself. My current habit is to leave any kind of enjoyable task until after all my work is done. It’s like I am my own wicked stepmother because with the tasks I give myself, there is no way I could ever finish them, which means I never get to go to the ball…well you get it.. The result of this is tons of unread magazines, unwritten letters and countless other activities I don’t allow myself to do. Not anymore. I am going to set aside some time (that unmeasured amount again) to myself every day. Maybe I will play with my make-up, maybe I will read a book and make a really neat dessert. Heck I might just meditate! The key is to reserve a spot in my day for myself. I am actually looking forward to that one:)
4. More mommyness/less everything else: Perhaps my least favorite and the most often comment I hear from people is this:
“Enjoy them, They grow up so fast”
I hate this phrase so much and recently I figured out why; It is because I am deathly afraid of what it means; because deep down I know it’s true. I DO remember when Tiny was a newborn and I can’t believe how big she is now. My itty bitty little girl now asks for cookies and hugs and even gives random kisses. When I look at her brother asleep in his swing, it is bittersweet because at two days shy of a month I know I will blink and he will be walking. Though I can’t stop my babies from growing, what I can do is spend more quality time with them. This means getting into the play yard with Tiny while she plays and reading a few more stories. Not always being so quick to comfort them and continue chipping away at my endless to-do list. In a finite amount of minutes that my children will be babies, I know I can’t spend every minute with them. I can make the minutes I spend with them fulfilling and worthwhile, and that is exactly what I plan to do.
So that’s it. That’s my list. I might add more as I identify other changes I can make to enhance my life. Some changes might happen quickly, and others I may be blogging about years from now. Either way, the work starts NOW.