Happy new year!
Well, it was another low key New Year’s celebration in our house. It used to bother me a little bit that we were so boring year after year, but now I’m totally okay with it. We had a nice taco dinner and piled on the couch to watch a movie together. Then we watched a plethora of Netflix countdown videos around 8:30 and put the boys to bed. Someday, verrrry far down the road, maybe they’ll actually be able to handle staying up until midnight. Right now that would turn them into total monsters for a week. So after they were settled, Greg and I watched another movie, shared some jalapeno popper dip, started a second movie, and then I declared myself desperate for sleep at 10:45. Normally I really do try to stay up until midnight (doesn’t always happen), but I’ve had a terrible cold the last few days and thought if I could actually fall asleep for once I needed to go do it. I think Greg spent the last hour of 2016 playing a video game. We’re super exciting people. 🙂
Overall, the last week of the year, our Christmas vacation, was quiet and nice and a little disappointing. Greg and the boys had bad colds through Christmas and nobody was really their best selves. I was psycho stressed in the beginning of the week trying to deal with all the new toys and stuff that needed to be put away and organized. Then I was gearing up for some fun activities the second half of the week, but I caught the cold and didn’t want to do anything. I spent the majority of the week reading and resting. Caden played video games all week. Shepard built legos all week. Greg spent his week helping everybody else with their stuff and working. I regret not being able to do more fun things, like I saw all my friends doing on facebook. But I’m also kind of REALLY ready for my kids to get back to school and get back into a routine. I miss being home alone.
Anyway, I’ve been trying to think about the new year and how I’d like to improve my life in 2017. I sat down to write a list of aspirations for myself and realized everything I hope to change can fall into two main categories: Balance and Wellbeing. In the last few months I’ve found myself stressed over and over again by how imbalanced I feel. I really struggle with organizing my time throughout the day in a way that makes me feel fulfilled and content. I also just want to take better care of myself in general.
Time for Work
This has probably been my biggest struggle in the last four months. I want Heartstring Annie to basically be my full time job and I want it to be successful. I want it to be the priority of most of my days, but also be able to step away from it at 3:00 and not feel the need to keep working late into the night because I didn’t do enough during the day. I want to keep searching for new inspiration to try sewing new things, while continuing to work on dolls and bears that I know my customers will love. I’d like to actually keep my etsy store fully stocked at all times by putting out new creations week after week. In theory, this should be pretty easy. My problem is DISTRACTIONS. I waste so much time mindlessly trolling the internet every day. Facebook is the worst, but I also get trapped by pinterest and food blogs and amazon way too often. Maybe I need to turn my computer off every day. Turn off all notifications on my phone. Some sort of physical step I can take to keep myself away from the temptation of wasting my time. Once that’s eliminated, finding time to work should be easy.
Time for Writing
I’ve loved starting this blog up again. It’s something I’d like to continue working on a couple of times a week. It doesn’t feel like a job or something I have to tick off my to do list because I’ve been writing when I want to and when I need to. As long as it comes easy to me, I want to continue. But I’d also like to do more personal journaling and focus on the couple of daily planners I got myself for this year (more on that another day!). Writing has always been immensely therapeutic to me and I want it to be a higher priority, even if it’s just a few minutes here and there every day.
Time for Family
I’d like to work on this by breaking out of the parenting routine we’ve established in the last eight years. I’ve always been a stay at home mom so for many years it made sense that I “put in my time” during the day and Greg took over when he got home from work so I could have some much needed me time. This dynamic doesn’t really make sense now that the boys are in school all day and I’ve only been alone with them the hour before and the two hours after school every day. Though those after school hours are really rough!! 🙂 I’d just like to try harder to bond with my kids in the evenings and weekends. Not obsessively try to spend every minute with them, but I’d like to be more open to setting aside my own agendas to sit down and play a game with them or take a walk with them or go sledding or cook something – anything that we can find to do together. I want to stop feeling like the odd (wo)man out in my own family.
I’d also like to focus more on my marriage. I want Greg and I to take better advantage of the times we do get to be alone together. I’d like to go on more actual dates because we always talk and connect so much better when we’re out of the house. And I’d like to try playing more board games together, the way we used to. I love our tv times every night because they’re comfortable and easy. But it’d be fun to switch things up every few days!
Time for Friends
Time for friends has gotten easier for me in recent years because my kids are getting older and they have a very capable Daddy that is totally supportive and encouraging of me going off and having fun in the evenings. The problem is that very few of my friends seem to have that same availability. I’ve kind of given up on even trying to go out anymore because it’s so frustrating trying to schedule an outing. So I want to try and find more creative ways to see my friends that will also fit their schedules. I don’t want to just give up, the way I usually do. It’s harder now because nobody will be inviting me out on playdates with no little kids at home! But that doesn’t mean I can’t invite somebody over to see me. Or out to lunch or something. I just want to try harder. I’d also like to continue having little get togethers one evening every couple of months, the way I did with my Favorite Things Party. It was really awesome providing a space for everyone to gather and just have fun without the kids for a few hours.
Time for the Mundane
This is going to sound really dramatic, but lately I feel like such a slave to everything that needs to get DONE around the house. Just the constant mundane tasks of making food, cleaning up after meals, tidying up clutter, and never ending laundry can just feel so all consuming and overwhelming. I realize that every person alive has to also go through all of this and it’s nothing special to me. But it still overwhelms me. Greg is helpful with a lot of household things, but the boys basically do nothing. I think this is the year they need to start being held accountable for regular household chores. I’m sick of feeling like the weight of so much everyday STUFF falls on me. Not only falls on me, but holds me down and wears me out so I have no time or energy left to give to the things I want – like sewing, reading, and FUN.
Time for Me
This moves on to the Wellbeing category, but yeah – I want to take better care of me. I want to prioritize the things I need and want to do with my time. Not ALL the time, but here and there on a daily basis. I’m important too.
Okay, I’ll try to keep this portion a little shorter. 🙂 Basically, I want to focus on being a healthier person, inside and out.
I want to start up my 10,000 steps a day walking goal again. I got really off track in December, but that’s no excuse not to start up again. I felt a lot better after those daily walks and they need to be one of my highest priorities.
Weekly Exercise Class
I love my Drumfit class and plan to continue taking it as long as it’s offered. If for whatever reason it stops being offered, I want to find a different class to try. Maybe Zumba, or maybe something fun at the Y. I just want to do that one night a week boost of something cardio based, yet fun.
I’d like to start doing yoga at home a couple of days a week. I’m always tense and sore and a ten or fifteen minute session of stretching always helps. I’m just too lazy to sit myself down and do it most of the time. Not anymore.
Breakfast is supposed to be the most important meal of the day, and I usually just have a piece of toast or bagel or whatever other carby thing I can find. I’d like to try harder to make myself protein rich healthy breakfasts that will fill me up until lunch, instead of leaving me starving an hour later.
Better Meal Planning
Life goes so much more smoothly when I know what’s for dinner every night! Shopping lists are a breeze with that tiny bit of extra planning. When I scramble for meals I get stressed out. I want to spend ten minutes a week actually looking at the food we already have and planning meals for the coming days.
Time for Fun
I don’t have a lot of fun in my life. I want to find ways to smile more, laugh more, relax and restore more. It’s as simple as taking ten minute reading breaks in between tasks during the day. I just want my happiness to stop being ruled by how much I can achieve during the day. That’s not what life should be about.
As always, January 1st brings a lot of clarity and hope. I plan to come back to this list often to try and recenter my priorities and do what I need to have a most fulfilling life.
Unlike last year, this upcoming year has very little on the schedule. And I’m good with that! I don’t think we’ll be going on any vacations and there shouldn’t be any major life changes. We’ll just continue to settle into life with a house and focus on making the most of things!
There’s just one thing coming up in July that I can finally mention – I’m going to be an AUNT! My brother and his wife announced their pregnancy on Christmas Eve and it was about the greatest news ever. I’m so happy for them and really excited that my kids will have a cousin. 🙂 That alone will make this year awesome. Congrats!