Sunday, December 22, 2013

Resolution Fail. Life Success.

So with just under ten days left in the year, it dawned on me to revisit my list of resolutions from last January.  As I read though that (pretty amazing) list of resolutions, I was impressed with my enthusiasm and creativity for coming up with each item.  But then, I had the sinking realization that I had pretty much failed at most of them.  Here's how:

1.  Learn Something New.  I'd like to learn how to paint with watercolors-- more than what I learned in kindergarten.  Well, I didn't learn how to watercolor.  I honestly looked for a class and it never logistically worked.  I did learn a few things in my creative writing class though, so I'm going to count that for learning something new. 

2.  Continue something I made progress on.  Scrapbook-- I made a lot of progress on C's traditional scrapbook by working on it once a month.  Plus, it gave me a much needed creative outlet so I plan to continue this as well.  Nope.  I was the worst scrapbooker ever this year.  After I realized that "getting it all done" was causing me anxiety, I adopted the much more relaxed attitude of "Yes, a scrapbook of C's life would be nice.  But that's probably just not gonna happen.  Hopefully, he won't end up in therapy because of it."

3.  Create something new.  For the year 2013, I want to start a digital scrapbook of our daily life.  I'll leave the traditional scrapbooking to big trips or events.  Technically, I guess you could say I did do this because the key words are: "start a digital scrapbook". The problem, of course, is that I didn't keep up with it or finish it.  

4.  Organize something.  Videos.  Starting in 2013, I'd like to download our short videos once a month and burn them to a dvd.  Sounds simple enough.  Right?  Didn't even start.  Not even close.  Just thinking about our videos makes me nearly break out in hives.  

5.  Connect with Someone.  Send Birthday Cards. I'm terrible about sending b-day cards.  Horrible, actually.  I'd like to do better about sending cards to my immediate family members and nieces and nephews.  And ideally, they'll arrive on time.  I think I sent a card to my sister.  Her birthday is in January.  That's it. 

6.  Connect with Someone.  Write letters.   I liked this task last year and think I can do better in 2013.  I especially want to write my grandmother more often as she'll be 90 this month and I'm sure the mail is always appreciated.  Yes, I wrote a letter or two.  Not nearly one a month, and not always to Grandma.  

7.  Train for something.  I loved doing the triathlons last year and would love to complete another one this year.  But I've kind of lost sight of 5k's and how much I enjoy participating in them. This year, I'd like to complete 3 5K races. (Red Flannel, Run Like a Mother, and Snow Shuffle)  Um, nope. 

8. Help someone in need. Volunteer.  For something.  I need to make this specific but I haven't really decided how or in what capacity.  Plus, volunteering at this moment in my life is also a logistical difficulty and so I'd like to volunteer or help in a place where Charlie can come with me.  (this makes it difficult--any ideas?) Aside from buying food to donate to the food bank, I feel like I missed the boat on this one too.  

9. Be healthy. Plan Meals/ Make freeze ahead meals.  YES!  Finally, one that I have done well!  We eat fairly healthy, with our dinner meals being the best.  The trick has been finding something that C will eat, which is not always the easiest. 

10. Be healthy.  Plan and prepare healthier versions of snacks for C.  More fruits and veggies, less fruit snacks and chips. Argh.  No.  He's still the king of Bugles, pretzels, and pudding.  

11. Enjoy spare time/ Connect with others. Plan new activities to enjoy with C.  This will require some preparation on my part, but if I get in gear, I should be able to make a list for each month.  Then we can do one "new" experience or craft each week.  Yes! and No.  I've been much better about carving out time for myself, and letting go of guilt over spending time with my friends.  I have not been as good about planning little experiences for C & me to do together.  Gosh, it makes me a little sad to realize that this was a goal almost an entire year ago and I've done nothing to get better at it. 

12.  Enjoy spare time/ Connect with others.  Rent 12 movies to watch with M.  Ugh.  Absolutely not.  We have good intentions and then we just watch House Hunters.  I insist that we are not lame, we are just mature.   

13.  Enjoy spare time.  Read 20 books.  I read 27 in 2012, but sometimes I felt like I "had" to be reading, just because I needed to reach my goal of 25.  I think 20 is a more reasonable goal, and better pace for me to finish comfortably.  YES!  I've met my goal of reading books, and I've definitely enjoyed my free time better.  I've done more crafting and am no longer scared of my sewing machine.  This is a pretty huge accomplishment for me. 

Of course, the day after I wrote this list, we learned of Maddy's terminal cancer-- that she might only live for 3 more months.  Four days later, we had to put her to sleep.  Thirteen days after that, we learned  of the first miscarriage-- at almost 14 weeks, just a day before we were going to announce the pregnancy.  Work was difficult, Charlie was adorable and sweet but at times, very challenging.  The weather was almost unbearable for me.  It never-stopped-snowing.  Then, the sun finally came out and we seemed to have weathered the storm as summer approached.  We were hopeful and optimistic and excited about another new baby on the way.  Then,  the unthinkable happened at the 10 week checkup and our lives were turned upside-down again.  Picking up the pieces was much harder that second time and some days seemed excruciating.  There were many times I felt that I would never find myself in a place of peace and acceptance.

So rather than focusing on any resolutions, I focused on myself.  I ate well.  I walked. I meditated.  I relaxed.  I had fun.  In many ways, I found myself again.  I remembered who I had been and who I was.  I thought and re-thought and over-thought things.  I started attending church regularly.  I found a community.  I found a niche.  I felt little tingles of light and the slightest sense of acceptance in the unknown.

At this exact moment, I'm one-thousand percent grateful for the life and family that I have.  We are happy and healthy and thriving in Spahnville.   I admit to missing 2012-- I still miss Maddy.  I miss the optimistic & excited feeling I had last Christmas, when Mason & I were the only two people who knew I was expecting.  2013 has been so different.  It's been a year of surprises-- and a year of letting go of plans.  It's been a year of learning to accept the present, even if it's different from what we were envisioning.   However, in many ways, the events of 2013 have been quite successful life lessons-- ones that I'm sure will repeat as the years pass.  So as we prepare for 2014, I'm resolving to keep a heart of gratitude for the gifts and people we do have in our lives, and accept things as they are, however difficult that may be.

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