"Do...or do not. There is no try."
Resolutions invoke pressure within me.... not the promise that things will get better. But Yoda is right - it will either happen or not, and it begins with you. You will either follow through.... or you won't.
You can't make positive change if you don't know where you are coming from - so a time of quiet reflection must come first. This year has been a difficult, yet richly rewarding period of growth. I began with intense baby blues. Colin turned One in early February, and - just as it happened with the other babies, they hit the one year mark and I felt sad and longed for another baby to be on the way. It was made even worse because I knew it was no longer possible. I think the finality hit me rather hard and I felt a little lost as to how to proceed. It worsened throughout the spring. Colin had hit the age that I dislike the most. I know a lot of parents rejoice at seeing their older babies learning and doing in leaps and bounds... but for me it just takes them further and further away from that precious babyhood that I loved so much. He was also mobile and into everything. It is a dangerous and nerve-wracking time for me - I just felt like I was running from one fire to the next. It was no longer fun to go anywhere because all I could do was either chase Colin or Owen around. Isolation doesn't help when you are already feeling down.
I went into therapy at about that time - and I thought it would help if I talked through all that was bothering me. I also began to write (blog) again, in earnest. Guess which avenue was most therapeutic for me? The one that doesn't require me to leave the house. I suppose feed-back helps, but I think that writing it all out helps me sort out my feelings and figure out how to proceed, much better than someone who doesn't really know me trying to tell me what to do.
As the year has progressed, things have changed quite a bit. Colin has managed to get through those tough months unscathed, and now it is just a matter of keeping the heavy furniture bolted to the wall, and all sharp implements locked up. No problem.... (ahem). We can go to the park and I know that the kiddos can roam freely and climb to their hearts content - and Colin can safely keep up. We ditched the diapers for Owen. We've ditched the bottle and the binky for Colin. Colin's potty training will begin in a month or two. Life has gotten much easier for me in a very short span of time - and I am rejoicing in my new-found freedom. This helps to permanently kick the baby blues to the curb - I can't even fathom the upheaval a newborn would bring to the family dynamic now. But this doesn't mean that my heart won't ache every time I see a newborn - I seriously need to just turn around and walk away because I am certain I make the parents uncomfortable with the way I just stare at their baby as I imagine how it would feel to hold that little sweet bundle. (damn... now I am starting to cry) You think you are cured and your issues just smack you in the face! I am done with that stage of my life - I love my sleep too much - and I want to care for myself now. I have neglected my needs for five long years now... and my priorities need to change. It is my intention to improve my quality of life - I have four busy children to keep up with!
It's been a year of growth for Jordan. He eleven and testing the waters. Not in a disrespectful way (for the most part), but he is asserting his independence in small ways. He watches over all the kids for short bits of time and earns some spending money doing so. It's nice to be able to run to the store for some milk and know I don't have to drag everyone with me. Jordan makes good decisions most of the time. He is kind, he helps his younger siblings out and he doesn't talk back. He will argue, but most of the time he has a point. He has even taken on a pivotal role in the potty training - he will often dump out the potty and give it a rinse. Now, that is saying something. Jordan has had a hard year. An important friendship came to an abrupt end, and he is struggling to find his way. So one intention for this coming year is help him do that. And give a good deal of coaching on how to be a good friend.
Homeschooling is and always will be a constant challenge for us. Not because it is hard, but because we have such a span of ages and abilities. I will do my best to use it as a strength. It is my intention to make nature studies, science and art the subjects of intense focus this year. Writing will really go in hand with that. I am taking a step back from all things political with our homeschooling group this year. I'm tired of it. I will keep up my friendships and support my children in their quest for quality friend time, but it won't go much beyond that. I've fretted and stewed over many issues over this past year, and it just wasn't worth it.
We have a low-key year ahead - our main focus is continuing our path to financial freedom. We blew our Christmas budget to smithereens... but the good news is we did not use the credit cards. We haven't touched them since August. The bad news is is that our Emergency Fund became the Christmas fund. There are no vacations in the works, save the occasional Boy Scout outing and summer camp, family hiking and camping trips and a trip to OKC at some point. The only BIG events this year are Owen's first OFFICIAL birthday on Leap Day (wahoo!), and my dad's 70th birthday in September. It is on my list of 40 Things to hike a fourteener some time this year. If I keep with my intention to take care of myself, that very well may be a possibility.
Now all I have to do is reconcile that intention does not equal 'try'. It is a deliberate decision to go ahead with something... I just can't let life derail my good intentions. So I am putting it out there to the Universe - I intend to continue to grow, heal, learn and love this year.
Happy New Year!