“(Today) is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Make it a good one.” Brad Paisley
Amusingly enough, I never made New Year’s resolutions until now. Ironically, I live for fresh starts – the early morning hours when the whole world is still asleep, a new blank page to a diary, the start of the week, a new month….a new year. There’s something particularly seductive about the anticipation of a clean slate – fresh, uncluttered, uncomplicated and unwritten.
What’s even more inspiring is that there’s this incredible energy being being shared that 2014 will be a great year. I’m harnessing this energy, this bright, shining new year with endless possibilities, to make it my do-over-year. I’m sending in my official resignation to the Exhausted, Frazzled Hot-Mess Moms club. I refuse to become a martyr mother and not enjoy my happily ever after with my bundle of joy.
Now almost twenty-one months (+eight months if you count pregnancy) into the journey of motherhood, I’m ready to take control of my life. I’m tired of being tired, of finding myself burning the candle at both ends. How can I ever be the mother I want to be if I’m always almost running on empty? Motherhood shouldn’t be like this. Not for me and never again if I can help it.
In order to achieve all of my ambitious resolutions, I’m going to focus on one word for 2014 – Mindfulness. The idea is to “identify one idea, summarizing it in just one word, as overarching theme” that guides our decision making lives for the entire year. This year I am make the conscious decision to sincerely be mindful in my daily life.
Mindfulness is defined as “the nonjudgmental awareness of experiences in the present moment”. I’ve always suffered from inattentional blindness, surprisingly unaware of all the details of my present life and environment. I want to start seeing and observing. I’m one of those dreamers, thinking –always thinking but not really living. My son is growing up way too fast and I want to be able to look back at his fleeting childhood knowing that I was able to really enjoy his innocence and idiosyncrasies that only a mother could absolutely adore about him.
The first two years of my son’s life was spent not being 100% truly present but rather going through the motions, taking one day at a time as I struggled with severe sleep deprivation, lack of family support and rarely any time for myself. I’m also convinced that me practicing mindfulness will also allow me to practice daily gratitude – when I’m truly present, I can take the time to pause and reflect on all the blessings life has bestowed upon me and my family.
My 2014 New Year’s Resolutions
1. Taking Care of Myself
What New Year’s resolution wouldn’t be complete without promises of eating healthier, exercising more regularly and getting more sleep? With year-round allergies, chronic asthma, and gestational diabetes, I owe it to myself and my family to take better care of my body and my mind. Part of this taking care of one’s self business also includes monthly dates with friends and regular date nights with my husband without my toddler to chase around.
2. Practicing Mindful Parenting
With an au pair at hand to help me with light household chores and give me some regular ME time, I can now really give an honest chance at mindful parenting. While I like to delude myself into believing I’m a master at multitasking, I’m horrible at really being in the moment. My toddler son needs me right now and I want to give all of myself when I am taking care of him. Although I have made a concerted effort in not being a distracted parent, there’s all the other real life daily responsibilities that take up my focus away from him. This year I hope to continue parenting him being truly present.
This New Year I am giving myself the time and space to work on my writing. No longer will I have to write under the mercy of my toddler’s erratic sleep schedule. This mama is going to unleash the creative genius in her, mustering the bravado to get my work published. And even if this endeavor results in lots of radio silence from coveted publication networks, disappointment and heartache, at least I had fun trying and hopefully became a better writer because of it.
What are your New Year’s resolutions?
“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art – write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.” -Neil Gaiman