Thursday, January 2, 2014

Defining who I wish to be

I love any chance to celebrate.  Big or small, I wish to celebrate it.

Some days, I feel like my ability to merely get out of bed is celebration worthy, because that's about all I can manage.

Some days, there are big things to celebrate, like babies or health or a new job (not yet, getting close) or a child's report card.  Every day that I manage to work, mother, clean my house, exercise, and offer some modicum of kindness to others is a day I consider a major victory, and I fall into bed on those days with a celebratory heart.

I celebrate birthdays, holidays, friends' successes, love....anything I can find to celebrate, I try to mark the occasion.  Katherine getting her braces off, the first day of vacation, the first snow....all celebration worthy. Setting up the Christmas tree is a celebration, but in its own way, so is taking it down (because I love the way the house suddenly feels decluttered and fresh and new again).

New Year's is a good chance to celebrate, and so I do.

On the actual evening, I celebrated with friends, dogs, kids.  I wore my sparkly top and my cutest jeans, and we spent the evening with friends, food, candlelight, Prosecco.

But I want to celebrate it more than that.  2013 was a year of incredible growth for me: a year when wonderful things happened, where there were also giant challenges.  2014 promises to bring more growth, more wonderful things, and likely some challenges as well.

New Year's is known for resolutions, and I celebrate that tradition fiercely.  The symbolic turning of the page fills me with happiness: we all need fresh starts, and symbolic or otherwise, New Year's is a chance to start anew.  I am so glad for the reminder to think about my life in fresh ways, to reimagine myself, to focus on what matters to me.  Here's a list, likely only a partial one, of things that I'm working on in 2014:

1.  Spending my reading time on things worthy of notice, spending my video time on the same.  This past year I fell into a sloppy habit on both, so tired that it seemed like all I could manage.  I'm weaning from Facebook and the internet rabbit hole, trying to spend my life on things I deem more important to me.  Classic movies, foreign films, indie films - that's my style.  Literary fiction, nonfiction, anything written well like The New Yorker or Vogue - that's my style.  The nonsense that I've wallowed in lately doesn't suit me and I'm opting out of it.  If I'm that tired, I should sleep, not waste my time.

2.  I'm going to move my body every day.  This is not a "get fit" resolution, because my body is leaner than ever, and I'm proud of my ability to run long distances, and excited to run a marathon soon.  But I have noticed that every minute that I spend moving, especially outdoors, improves my outlook and my life in general.  My dog can no longer keep up with me, and he needs walking, and I need the bliss of yoga, and I want to snowshoe, ski, hike, backpack, swim, cycle, boogie board....I will move, five minutes or five hours in a row, but I will move my body daily.

3.  I'm going to play more with Katherine.  We do a pretty good job of it, but I'm going to do a better job of it.  She's almost eleven, and every day she is more independent, and this is how it should be...but she's not done with me yet, nor I with her.  I refuse to get caught up in the busyrushrush to the degree that we lose the fun, the joy, the playfulness.  I value play, and I value it deeply.  I want to celebrate playfulness with my daughter: she can join me on all that moving of bodies, and there's a park with a zipline, and beaches for beachcombing, and museums, and ethnic restaurants with foods we've never yet tried, and movies and board games and weekend trips and exploring.  Big and small, I will celebrate life with my daughter every single day.

4.  I'm going to work at a job that feeds my soul and helps to save the world, while taking care of Katherine and I.  I'm going to start a trickle into my retirement fund again (my feelings on that are worth an entire post), a trickle into Katherine's college fund, and I'm going to rebuild my financial life to have the freedom to care for what needs caring for, with a little extra for skiing or weekends away or such.  I will not give up on that, and I'm getting closer.

5.  I will stop being a martyr.  I martyred myself within my marriage, and before that my family taught me how to do it.  Someone who has become dear to me through the miracle of the internet, a female friend (hello, H) has me thinking about this, has shared her story, and has reminded me of the importance of avoiding martyrdom.  I am extremely capable, and no matter what disastrous, festering stench is placed in front of me, I will find a way to manage it, to smile a little, and to try not to let anyone down.  Where am I in all of that?  Holding my head high because I have not let anyone down, but so lost, and feeling horribly unsupported.  Sometimes in taking care of myself and everyone else, I am lost.  I will stand proud in the future, and invite only those who wish to pitch in when help is needed to my life.  I know how to find these people - my girlfriends are amazing, strong, proud, incredible and help me so much, but my family of origin and my ex-husband....well, there's a book in there that I don't want to write.  I am setting that aside this year, working hard at remembering the lessons and learning new ones.  I am done being a martyr.  I matter, too.

I count my blessings constantly.  My life is good.  I can't wait to see what 2014 brings, and what my new resolve adds to my life.  I will do it all, every last bit, with joy and integrity, with growth and dedication, and I will laugh a lot.  I will keep redefining myself, shaping the person I wish to be.

And if love wishes to find me, I will remain open to it!

Again, happy new year.  Wishing you a beautiful, glorious, wonderful year ahead.

No comments:

Post a Comment