Saturday, January 7, 2012
This Year, No Resolutions...
A new year.
That usually brings about lots of new resolutions and new ideas to beat ourselves up over when they begin shift in importance. This year, I don't want to make resolutions. This year I feel like I'm finally at the stage of life where the value of wisdom and contentment has fully revealed itself as being so much more important than naming resolutions, making stress-inducing bucket lists, and worrying about being anywhere other than in this very immediate, present moment that I've been given.
Believe me, I've made lists about visiting Italy, losing a million pounds, running a thousand miles, traveling to the places of my dreams, starting businesses, going back to school, finding retreats for my tired mind, etc. When I look back on those lists I made, which were so popularly traveling around the internet and still are, they were full of dreams written out in ink on paper, nearly tangible, but yet they felt so very incomplete. I believe it is because the things on that list focused on all the wild, near-impossibilities and all the things that would take me away from the present moment that I have so graciously been given. I have begun to feel that the most important things to focus on, not only this new year, but every day of the year, are the moments that make up every one of my days. Instead of putting a trip to Italy high on my list of "things to do before...," maybe I'd be happier if I focused on things like: go on a date with my husband, take the kids to a movie, have a manicure party with the girls, listen to the boys' stories about hunting and football, and enjoy those fleeting moments of togetherness that change so often over the course of childhood before they are gone.
I know that not every moment of motherhood is perfect and wonderful. I know that most definitely. There are absolutely moments that make me want to scream and pull my hair out and basically run away to a place of solitude where I can clear my head for just a few hours (or days, depending on the craziness of the situation). And, if I'm being honest right here, right now, I'm in the middle of one of my cravings for a few days of solitude, sadly with no end in sight. I do know that this will pass and I'll forget all about it and wonder what had me in such an uncomfortable mood. There are absolutely moments that try me and make me wonder what is going on and make me wonder about some decisions I've made along the way. Things are not perfect, nor will they ever be. However, focusing on the good things in life and giving no more attention to the negative things than absolutely necessary is the only way I've found to shorten the duration of the effect they have on my everyday moments.
This very moment in my life and how I feel in it is so important. It is the building block for all the other moments (and moods) to come. It is important to say what needs to be said about these very real, negative feelings, then give them wings to fly away and be replaced by an attitude of gratitude for what I do have and for all the things that matter so much more than my momentary bad mood.
By living in this very moment and finding contentment and gratitude in the dailiness I'm blessed to have, all those other wishes on my list have honestly lost their immediate luster. This is not to say that I no longer would love to tour Europe or see the beaches of Fiji or build a cabin deep in the mountains of the Northwest, but rather, I think it means that my priorities and streams of thought are lined up just the way they should be because without this present moment and being grateful for the life I have now, none of the other stuff will ever really matter and will surely end up being empty endeavors while my heart finds itself void of all the beautiful things it unknowingly overlooked as mundane, daily routine while it searched for "the meaning of life."
I don't want to wake up one day when the kids are all grown and in the middle of creating their own lives and realize that I allowed my mind to spend too much time in fantasy land and not nearly enough time absorbing the enormous amount of love contained in every moment of my days, right now. I want to be here. I want these moments to top my bucket list, to round out my "to do" list, and be the things I look back upon as my most treasured possessions.
I wrote this post about a week ago and this morning as I took time to actually sit down and publish it, I also ran across this video about The Gift of an Ordinary Day by Katrina Kenison. It blew me away. It is so spot-on with what I was trying to express in this post. If you have a moment, listen. You won't regret it.