I have a lot of mixed emotions about 2016. On one hand, it was the year my baby turned 1. It was the year we finally started making long-desired changes to our tiny house. It was the year I witnessed so many great things happen to my family and friends. But it was also a year of a lot of strife, for me and so many others. I wear my politics on my sleeve, and as a result, I get too involved, too hurt and too emotional about it all. The election that seemed to last 10 years really wore Bobby and I both down in many ways. The daily anxiety, shock, disbelief, worry, and sadness seemed like it would never end. Then it didn't turn out like we hoped, and honestly, it feels like it's increased ten-fold since then. Needless to say, we are ready for a fresh start, a clean slate, to reorient ourselves into our unexpected reality.
I've never been big on resolutions. I can admit I have a hard time following through on things. So I've never taken this whole thing too seriously. But the past few weeks, I've really felt a need for some change in my life. This New Year's thing seemed like the perfect opportunity. My "resolutions" and hopes for 2017 are below. I'd love to hear if you have any suggestions for implementing and sticking to these, so please share your thoughts!
BEING PRESENT FOR/WITH MY FAMILY
I am a homebody and my favorite people are Bobby and Ro. My time at home with them is everything to me. That being said, sometimes I find myself removed from that experience. Sometimes I look at my phone a little too much. Sometimes I feel like I'm being a little too selfish. I want to be more present and engaged with Bobby and Ro. I feel like our time together is too short, and I don't want to feel as though I have squandered it. Instead of watching Ro play sometimes, I want to actively play with him. Instead of watching Bobby cook, I want to help him. I need to remind myself that what I have and truly need is with me in the room.
BEING A ROLE MODEL FOR MY SON
This past year has really brought out the nastiness in people. I have witnessed people be so malicious toward complete strangers. My heart has broken so many times, and I'm worried it will only continue. Ro is only 16 months old, but he has already shown us how much he is watching us and following everything we do. He does so many little things just like us already. I know he is already cognizant to some degree of our words and actions. I want to lead by example and raise him to be a good, kind person. A person who respects people's differences and listens to them instead of judging or rejecting them simply because of those differences. I want to him to be open-minded and experience the richness in diversity of people or thought. To that end, I'm going to be kinder, more compassionate, and show my son there is a world outside our home and neighborhood. Start em young, right?
SIMPLIFYING MY LIFE
There is something to be said for purging. Closet, fridge, negative thoughts. We have too much stuff in our tiny house. Stuff we never use, stuff we really don't need. I want to make more of an effort to not only donate things we no longer need, but to also stop buying things we don't need. A clean, decluttered space for me means less mess, less stress, and more mental clarity. It's hard keeping your house clean and together when you have a toddler who moves everything from room to room all day. That being said, if we have less stuff overall and less stuff just sitting out, it would certainly give him less stuff to hide in crazy places. I am surrounded by stacks of paper and computer screens in a tiny little office all day. I think my overall mental health would have a significant bounce if I could come home and simply see less junk. If I could come home to a clean, refreshing, open space without distractions like I have during the day, I think I would go to sleep with a greater sense of ease. We have been working on this for a while and we have made some progress. But we still do that thing where we put stuff in a box and say we need to go through it and then let the box just sit there. So I guess a part of this resolution is for Bobby and I to also be more proactive, less lazy and push each other to just go ahead and do it already.
I also need to simply what gets my attention. I strongly believe in indulging what your passionate about. I've always loved politics and government, so I follow 2000 political sites and pundits and reporters on Twitter. But after this election, I wish I didn't. Every time I open the app, it's more bad news after the next. More and more things out of my control that just make me depressed. It's hard for me to let go of all that because I also believe in educating yourself as opposed to accepting what your parents or your partner or your friends tells you is true and important. I also believe in fighting back and staying vigilant. I truly believe now is the time for people to be aware of what is happening in America and the World more than ever. There is no way I can give all of that up, but I need to let some of it go. It's hurting more than helping at this point. It keeps me up at night with worry and that doesn't help me be a good wife or mom. I'm going to work on letting go of things outside of my control and focus on extending my efforts to where it can matter the most. Instead of staying up all night worrying about voting rights, I'm going to do what I can to support organizations protecting those rights.
ALSO, SIT UPS....
But honestly, I am really going to try to use these resolutions to change my life for the better. If you hear or see my struggling, help me, remind me of all this, and give me your advice. What are your resolutions? Are you struggling in similar ways? Are you turning over a new leaf too? I'd love to hear it. Happy New Year! :)