It's that time of year again! The changing of the calendar can either bring on the feelings of "oh, please, it's just another day" or "I'm going to completely revamp my entire liiiife!" I'd say I definitely lean towards the second extreme, but only because I love an excuse to reevaluate and think of new goals. (I'm futuristic and an achiever for any of you who know about that... So it only makes sense that I'd be really into NYE ponderings.)
This day last year, I made some very specific goals... some of which --even though I thought they were realistic-- were not the easiest to complete.
1. DINNER! Learn more go-to meals - Yeah this one didn't turn out so hot. Does it count if I discovered that Trader Joe's has incredible flatbreads??? No? Okay, didn't think so. Positives? I got better at grocery shopping and couponing, and I think the fact that I eat tons of salads gets me extra life points.
2. DONATE my hair - YES! DID IT! I donated 14 inches to Children with Hair Loss, and thanks to Wheelhouse Salon, I did not hate my short hair! Woohoo! Now do I ever want short hair again? Naaaah, I think I'm good for another couple of decades. It turns out being a long-haired girl my whole life made short hair adjusting a little too high maintenance for me. Mama needs braids and messy buns, people! But I'm really happy my hair had a greater purpose this year!
3. No more DEBT - ANOTHER YES! Also it turns out that having a baby and eating at home way more than you ever have in your life makes getting out of debt a whole lot easier! Praise. Hands.
4. DOCUMENT Rowan's 1st year of life - Well well well, once we got past that pesky cooking resolution, I started beasting it. I started this blog, have a chatbooks collection, and even squeezed in a teeny bit of scrapbooking. CHUH-CHECK!
5. DARE to do nothing or dare to go big - I probably only got a C with this one, but I'd still say I passed. It was still very difficult to even *feel* as if I didn't accomplish anything in a day, but I think I shifted my perspective enough to realize the magnitude of mothering. I had a big educational project idea that I pitched this year and made a little progress. But that is still in progress, so no news yet unfortunately. Both of these were really big ideas , so one year of life just ain't gonna cut it!
Then at the last second I added a bonus goal last year to visit the places in our hometown (Birmingham) that we had never been. Especially since our traveling was going to be minimized this year. On New Year's Day we decided to take the stroller down the Vulcan Trail and look out over the city while we talked about our resolutions. We said something really cute like, "This shall hence forth become a Lindsey family tradition! We shall forevermore take a walk along the Vulcan Trail upon the first day of the new year!!!" Then some NYE-hungover crazy man was yelling obscenities up at The Club, stared at us as we passed and mumbled, "Oh. A stroller." And then we said, "PEACE OUT, VULCAN TRAIL, SEE YA NEVER!" Just kidding, just kidding. But maybe 8 am on New Year's Day just isn't the best scene down there.
It turned out that we still squeezed in a lot of local-ish trips to Atlanta, Nashville, and Fairhope... And we actually became more acquainted with which downtown restaurants have highchairs, the McWane Center, and the Birmingham Zoo than anything else.
So now that I'm done going on and on about 2015...
Moving forward to the NEW YEAR...
I've been thinking about this quite a while, ever since I completed my first year of parenthood when Ro turned 1 in October. -- 2016 is a year to be strong and brave.
That may sound a little cliche and a little bit random, so let me have a serious moment and explain.
Motherhood is an amazing experience that makes you realize you are a lot stronger than you might've thought or wondered. Mama Bear tendencies start to make their way out, you've grown and birthed a human and that can be pretty empowering.
But then whether it be actual PPD or just those lovely hormones, all of that strength God let you experience through Him can come under attack in a flash.
I don't know if it was just those hormones or being an extrovert who's had to be alone more than normal, but I have had insecurity and negativity shoot out of the roof this year! This blog is an awesome, therapeutic outlet, but sometimes it can cause me to second guess everything I post or actually just delete or censor myself for sounding silly or saying something unimportant.
"Have I not commanded you? Be STRONG and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." -Joshua 1:9
For 2016, I want to focus on the word strong...
Mentally - By choosing to squash all the pessimistic things I say and think everyday. My perfectionism raises its ugly head and when one thing goes wrong, I immediately think something so ridiculous and extreme like, "I'm not domestic enough to be a mom! I can never have another kid!" Yeah, ridiculous... and it can sound pretty hilarious to recall, but in the moment I truly think it!!! And I know thinking before you speak is necessary, but I want to stop letting pessimism be my filter.
Emotionally - By punching my emotionally-driven responses in the face. Haha, okay that sounds so extreme and that's what I'm trying to get away from! To go along with my optimistic thinking goal, I want to stop responding to my pessimistic thoughts with radical emotions. I'm want to stop letting one thought make me sit in a pit of emotion that I'm incapable of having more kids. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of a SOUND MIND.
Relationally - By not taking things personally when this phase of life causes friends to have a thousand hurdles between them. Just because some of my friends don't have kids and don't know when to hang out with me doesn't mean they aren't still wanting to. Also when your babies aren't the same age or someone is pregnant again and you're not, your schedules can be thrown in opposition. My personality lends me towards being the initiator-friend almost all of the time, but I'm really done this year with taking it personally when people don't respond, don't invite me, decline or cancel. Who cares! I'm a great initiator! Let's move on! But also know that I'm going to be gravitating towards more initiators in 2016.
Socially - By lifting up others. With so much time at home and so much time being focused on a tiny human... All that's left is a tiny space to barely think about what's going on with your husband and yourself, too! I never like to think I have clinical only-child tendencies, even though during childhood I was an only-child, BUT OH MAN DO I EVER! But that's another post for another day. Let's just leave it to say, I can get very hyper-focused on Rowan and work and daily life, and people can fall in the background until I need them for my extroverted fix... if that makes any sense. All of this semi-vague rambling to say, I want to take this next year to encourage and build up others more... to be intentional about showing love and positivity to close friends and extended people in my community.
Physically - By focusing on STRONG health. So heeeere it is, the kind of resolution we are all used to. Except my only goal as far as exercise and body image is to be STRONG. Just like all those other areas listed above, having a baby can weaken your body in a lot of ways. I've never had any serious back issues, but pregnancy + sciatic nerve + carrying a baby in my body and then in my arms or carriers for over a full year all amounted to me feeling like my back was made of broken sticks that would shift and crack... or something. Whether it be barre or yoga or climbing or whatever, I have no other goals besides increasing my strength and flexibility.
So that's it! If you made it this far, I'm really impressed. Sorry, not-sorry for the long-windedness! Now I'm going to have to raise my hands reeeally high everyday, because I won't be able to do ANY of these 2016 goals without God's strength.
In 2015 I might've censored this thought - BUT NOT TODAY hahaha - I'm picturing Jesus standing at the top of a lightly snowy mountain looking over an orc-like battleground, and I'm standing next to him as a mama wolf with my pack... ready to kick some butt. (STRONG BICEP EMOJI!!!)
HAPPY NEW YEAR from the Lindseys!