Is it really 2013 already?
It sounds a bit like some futuristic date that belongs in a sci-fi movie. Like it can’t possibly be real… even though my calendar tells me otherwise.
I’m not sure I have the right words to describe this past year. It has been the most amazing and rewarding yet also the most challenging and difficult year I’ve ever had. There has been so much joy that I thought my heart would burst, but also some challenges that have tested us and pushed us to new limits.
Ah, 2012. It began with an extremely pregnant me racing to finish work in my dream job before the wee-bean arrived. I am so glad that I was able to experience what full-time work is like, even if it was just for a short time. And then it was over, and my darling Ruby arrived.
*Just to clarify one last time, Ruby is not her real name. Just as I am “Shop Girl” around these parts, my wee-bean is “Ruby”.
Even though her arrival didn’t happen exactly the way I expected, it all feels like a fuzzy memory that has now been surrounded by a haze of happiness and love. While I’m pretty sure I was a bit of a zombie-mom for the first several months of her life, I had no idea that a person so small could bring so much joy into our lives. It took us a while to get the hang of things and find our rhythm as parents, and we’ve certainly had our ups and downs and hit a few bumps along the way, but I am so in love with my little family.
So, I suppose if I had to choose a word to describe my year, that would be it: love.
I took a minute to review the goals I set for this year, and I am pretty sure I completely failed at most of them:
1) Take care of myself. (If I learned anything from the last year, it’s that I tend to take on WAY too much, stress out and overwhelm myself, then forget to find the balance I need to be healthy and happy. With the wee-bean’s imminent arrival, I need to take care of myself in order to properly take care of her and the Hubster and enjoy the life I want. I know this will mean learning how to say “no” in certain situations, something I’ve never been good at.)
2) Express Gratitude.
3) Eat well.
4) Exercise regularly & feel good in my clothes.
5) Run a race.
6) Read often.
7) Write often.
8) Set aside time to spend with my Hubster, that doesn’t involve working on our house.
9) Read the Book of Mormon.
10) Be a good mom.
I’ll be honest–I don’t feel that I excelled at any of these. But I’m okay with that. For me, I feel that my biggest accomplishment of 2012 is acceptance. Somewhere along the way I accepted that my house will never be as clean as I want it to be, I’ll never look exactly the same way I did before the baby, and I may not ever win the mom-of-the-year award for making amazing things off pinterest for my kids.
But I’m okay with that. Because at the end of every day, I know that I have done my best. Ruby is thriving, the Hubster is still the love of my life, and my family knows I love them. Everything else can wait. I’ve learned my limits, and while some days I can tackle the world, other days it’s all I can do to get through in one piece.
And I’m okay with that. Because every day is a new day, with no mistakes in in yet.
That being said, I still feel it’s important to set goals and have something to work towards each year. This year my goals are a little more personal, but they are things I hope to work on and continue growing as a wife, mother, sister, daughter and friend.
1) Show my family that I love them every day.
2) Focus on the things I love about my body, instead of the things I want to change.
3) Go easy on myself. Instead of viewing challenges as areas I am failing in my life, accept them as opportunities for growth.
4) Read. Every day.
5) Find the joy in running again. Run for pleasure, not to lose weight.
6) Have a regular date night with the Hubster.
7) Make time to go out with friends, but stop feeling guilty if I can’t do everything I want to.
8) Be the best I can be–Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter, Teacher, Friend.
9) Write something. Every day.
10) Love myself. Be patient, realistic, kind, understanding–try not to treat myself with less respect than I would someone else.
I spent a lot of time this year being very hard on myself. All I could see were the areas I where I felt I was failing, and I took those failures very hard. There were moments where I felt like I was a terrible mother, a terrible wife, and certainly a terrible friend as I navigated through the changes this year. I spent a lot of time feeling very alone, and feeling quite sorry for myself as a result.
It took me a while to really realize that those feelings were helping no one. It sounds so simple, but it took me a while to realize that I am in charge of my own happiness, and dang it, I’m taking the reins from here on out. I know life won’t always be smooth sailing, but I plan to enjoy the waves for what they are.
You know, it’s funny. I knew that motherhood would change my life, but I didn’t really realize just how much it would also change me.
So bring it on, 2013. I’m ready for you.