I love New Year’s Eve. I love the run up to the end of something, the changeover, the anticipation thinking about something new. My feed is full of year in review book lists, movie lists, items in the news, things we learned, people we lost. The new year forces you to think about what the hell just happened these past few months.
On the Weiner homestead, it has been a year. A year like any other–full of high moments and low moments, rest, fun, sadness. To say it has been a remarkable year would be overstating things. All years are remarkable.
Among the more remarkable moments: my husband and I went through some professional transitions–mine came at the start of the year and his came at the end of the year. The uncertainty forced us to confront some important questions about what we want and need in our life together–some of the conclusions we reached were deep, others were shallow. It was good to take the temperature of things in our life–we needed it.
Our kids kept growing and changing, surprising and challenging us. Our oldest is almost seven and our youngest is four (“and a half” she would remind us) and they are growing to be great allies and friends (most of the time). The little one will start kindergarten next year, the big one is in first grade. And as they get bigger, I find myself totally stunned by them. They can sing and dance, they can entertain themselves (and us). They love their friends fiercely and are starting to choose things they love to do. It has been a fun year (an honor, really) to parent them.
But there is no way to look back without wondering what I could have done differently, what I should have done differently, or better, or not at all. I was trying to avoid a total look back but then WordPress sent me my blogging stats for the year. Oddly, it was a slow year for Rogue Cheerios–12 total posts including this reflection. It certainly did not feel slow–at times, I felt like I could hardly catch my breath.
The researcher in me could not let it be and I clicked through to see 2014 in review (38 posts), and then 2013 in review (46 posts). The overachiever in me finds it hard to believe I’ve posted a dozen times. I have been writing in other places, working on new projects, staying afloat. I have spent much of the year in self-preservation mode, working two jobs then transitioning to a new organization.
Besides the transitions, though, I felt stretched, guilty, absent. For much of the year, I felt like I couldn’t see past my own nose. I wanted to do more for others, with others, but felt like I had to focus on myself first.
I found that I could be present if I fully dropped out of everyday life. We went to the beach for a few days over the summer. Right now we’re on winter break with our kids. Cut off from the interruptions presented by a feed of news and updates, I could focus on myself, on my girls, on my husband. And in those moments of self-preservation, I felt more like myself, and in turn, like I could be someone for other people.
So I have a simple resolution for myself. My goal this year: be thoughtful. That’s it. Be more menschy, my husband and I say to ourselves. Do the right thing when you can, extend yourself to others, be kind, do something unexpectedly thoughtful.
And I have come to discover that being thoughtful does not necessarily mean being selfless which is why I have a few strategies I’ve tied together in a little mantra for myself. Because without a few places to focus my energy, being thoughtful is a rootless endeavor. To be thoughtful, I have to make sure that every week I write, read, eat, learn, move and recharge.
I am not being so prescriptive that I set myself up for failure, for inducing more guilt. And I am leaving things loose enough to remind myself that what I need for self-care (rest, time to think, exercise) are available to me if I can commit to them.
Be thoughtful. Remember to write, read, eat, learn, move and recharge.
Onward to 2016….