End of Year Reflections

Christmas is over and we’re wrapping up 2012. As with every year, it’s a time for reflection, and a time to decide what we want to change for next year.  It’s a time to create some resolutions, and to find a plan to stick to them.

If you’re one of my few loyal readers, you’ll know that I’m always griping about not having enough time to do what I want to do. I so admire my bloggy peers who can write more than once a month…even, (gasp!) daily. My favorite blogger just had a second child a few weeks ago and still manages to blog every single day. So what am I doing wrong? Is it because I can only write during the girls’ sleeping hours because M jumps in my lap and pounds on the keyboard every time I boot up the laptop? Well, with my unruly toddler and attention-seeking infant, almost everything I need to do must be done during sleeping hours. And it’s not very often that both girls nap at the same time. And it’s not very often that I still have even a smidgen of energy at the end of the day when I finally get them both down to sleep. That time is usually reserved for a glass of wine and a heavy sigh as I slump into the couch exhausted to watch TV with the hubbs. So, the point is this: One of my New Year’s resolutions will be to take the time to write more. How, exactly, that’s going to happen I haven’t quite figured out yet. But I’ll try.

And I don’t just want to write on this blog. I also have an idea for a novel that I’d like to fiddle around with. I also want to write in my personal journal. I also want to write in the journals that I have for each of the girls. I also want to get the baby books up to date. I also have a bunch of thank you cards to write. Maybe I’ll start there.

So I recently finished reading “The Happiness Project” by Gretchin Rubin. I picked up the book on Amazon after I saw it in People magazine or something. On my life-long quest for feeling okay, if not completely happy, I’ve tried to figure out some strategies for lifting my low-grade, blaaaaahhh mood, so I found the title and the cheerful book cover intriguing. It turns out that it’s an awesome book, and the author also has a blog. I’m kindof tossing around the idea of starting my own happiness project, based on hers. But, do I want to do it alone? Do I want to invite Hubbs to join me? Do I want to try to scrape together a few girlfriends who might want to jump on the bandwagon? I don’t know, but that’s on my mind.

I also want to take the time to focus more on my yoga “career.” It seems to be the only thing that I really like to do, and I’d like to do more of it. I’m not taking good enough care of myself, and I think it’s showing in my everyday life.

I also want to explore my doula career, but I guess I’m going to have to resign myself to the fact that I’m just not in a place in my life where it’s realistic. I just can’t be on call and able to drop everything to attend a birth. Not without childcare. Harumph.

If only we lived in the same town as family, or in a town where childcare were somewhat affordable. It’s hard to indulge in a couple of hours for a yoga class when it’s going to cost over $40 for a babysitter, or to plan to attend a birth which could be very long, when you have nothing to do with your little ones.

Anyways, on another entirely different topic, we just got back from a two-week trip to Cleveland for A’s baptism and Christmas with R’s family. Let’s just say I’m so glad to be home. Two weeks is a very, very long time. It was my first Christmas I’ve ever spent away from my own family, and I’m 35 years old. That’s nuts, I know, but this was really a great experience because it showed me just how much I love spending the holidays with my own parents and brother. You know all those romantic comedies where the girl goes home for Christmas with the husband/boyfriend/whatever’s family only to find that it’s pure chaos and she’s in the middle of constant family drama? Yeah, it was like that. Only there were also four to seven screaming children adding to the fun, depending on the day. I’ve never really liked the holiday season because I think it brings a lot of undue stress. I really only like Christmas Eve and Christmas Day because that’s when I get to relax in my jammies and spend quality time with my family. This year, if one brother wasn’t fighting with another, the other brother was fighting with his mother, or one kid had an ear infection and cried all day and all night, no one could find an acceptable sleeping arrangement, and it was 27 degrees and snowing outside so we were all in the house together, tension mounting minute by minute. And the worst part was that I was the only one who managed to stay out of the drama, and I was the only one who really couldn’t tell everyone to just chill the F out so we could all enjoy our time together. Normally, I’m the Christmas Scrooge who mopes around all through the season, but this time I was the one (ineffectively) trying to get everyone else to cheer up. And that’s not easy. So I was SO glad to get home to my own bed, in my own house, with my own little family.

It gave me such perspective about my own family, my own traditions, and how fortunate I am to have a loving, mellow family who doesn’t thrive on confrontation. It also showed me just how magical my own parents managed to make Christmas for my brother and me throughout our childhoods. Santa Clause and Christmas morning weren’t such a big deal this year at my in-laws’ house. Not gonna lie, I was disappointed that no one cared about Santa coming, or the kids running downstairs in their jammies to discover that Santa had come. It’s true they’re a little young, but that doesn’t matter to me. Going forward, I’m going to make sure Santa happens, even if I’m the only one who does anything about it.

Even with all of the drama, though, we managed to have a great time. A’s baptism was awesome because everyone was there. Even my brother came out for it because he’s the godfather. I took a gazillion photos of course, so here are a few just to show some highlights. Sometimes you just have to look at all the smiles in the photos to remember all of the good parts and joyful times that we shared. Only a Scrooge would let the drama of pointless confrontation cloud over the amazing family time we really did have.

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