I was reading some of the posts I wrote this time last year, and noticed a theme. So, I looked back to the year before and the year before and I see it again. This time of year, the January and February posts, are a lot of pep talks to myself. Spelling out my goals, reminding myself of some simple truths, and identifying where I can stand to focus more attention. It must be the time of year, I figure. Winter's cold days and dark nights calling me to turn inward, to not lose sight of where I'm going.
In looking back over the last few Januaries and Februaries I am reminded of the simple place I started. When Hailey and Robin were born, I cleared out everything that wasn't necessary to our daily survival. Slowly, over the years, I built from there. I added in family outings, craft mornings, baking bread with my little girls, little activities that became part of our normal. Somewhere along the line, though, I regarded those things as necessary. I felt like a failure if I spent another morning of -30 weather watching a movie with the girls instead of doing something more "interactive." Kids watch too much TV, right?
But, who cares? If the bread doesn't get baked, we can pull out a loaf of store-bought stuff from the freezer. If we don't paint pictures tomorrow morning, we'll play blocks or watch a movie or whatever else we want! As I do this time each year, I need to remind myself that there's no one watching me. No one really cares how good a mom I am, in terms of enriching activities and a homemade lifestyle. What's important is making my girls feel understood, important, and loved. If I don't act like the best version of myself today, I will ask forgiveness, wipe the slate clean and try again tomorrow. I will keep working towards goals I may never achieve. That does not make me a failure. The journey towards that place is what's important.
So, I begin again. Trying to remember a few things I will probably need to be reminded of this time next year, again.
One thing at a time.
Smile, breathe, and go slow.
My love is bigger than anger.
Be the calm in a storm.
Wait to react.
Show them you're listening.
Make time to sit quietly and process.
Show appreciation, and stop to feel it.