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Sunday, January 01, 2017

New Year New You - a few quick ways to make 2017 the best year ever

Happy New Year!

Like many people I often get philosophical this time of year.  What have I accomplished?  What do I want to leave behind in 2016 and what do I want to bring with me and encourage more of in  2017?  What do I WANT in 2017?  Where do I want to be?  Do?  Become?

As a stay at home mom I’ve brought Ellie through potty training this year.  Success!  I’ve had baby number 2 - success!  I’ve gained 35 pounds this pregnancy and so far I’ve lost 17 pounds of it.  Wheeeee.  Seven of which was baby and at least 3 pounds were…other things  like placenta, extra liquid and pride.  You know, all those things you lose right away when you’re strapped to a gurney with your knees open to the wide world and someone is sewing your uterus back together.  Ah the miracle and magic of child birth.

So what do I want to leave behind in 2016?  I’d like to be more grateful, less complain-y.  I’d like to leave behind the ‘victim’ mentality that says I can’t change my own life in order to make me more happy and fulfilled.  I’d like to bring forward into 2017 more good humor, more light-heartedness.  

More yoga.  More meditation.  More focus and attention to what I really need to thrive as a full and complete human being.  I’d like to have a more spiritual focus to this year.  I’d like more connectedness and mindfulness.  There are things I enjoy doing that make me feel wonderful, more myself, and like maybe real magic actually exists.  

Those things are: 

!) Challenging my body and mind on the yoga mat.  
2) Being creative - whether that’s planning what my garden will look like or writing a poem.

I love doing these things and how often do I do them?  I’ve gone to about 4 yoga classes in the last 6 months.  Ditto being creative.  The blog is about the only writing I’ve done lately and the garden looks like a ghost town.  Some of this was pregnancy and recovering from the birth but not all of it.  I don’t think I’m the only one who does this.  We have these few things that really make us feel ALIVE and instead of doing them we watch TV, or do the dishes, or waste time trying to make other people feel happy and leaving ourselves drained and empty.

This year I really want to connect in a true way to the humans around me I love.  Like sitting down to play with Ellie and really focusing on what she’s saying.  Ben is only 7 weeks old so just locking eyes at this point is amazing.  (He SEES ME!  Look!  He’s looking at me!  I’m your mama!!  Ahhh this is so cool!)  Like stopping to really SEE Bill and thank him for all his help cooking meals and washing dishes while I nursed round the clock the last two months.

In 2017 I pledge to let myself go to a yoga class once a week, or at least 3 times a month.  When the urge to write hits, I pledge to put down the dirty dish, or the third smutty romance I’ve read that week, and WRITE.  Even if I know it’s not going anywhere and won’t make me money.  I pledge to allow myself to write, to practice yoga, to meditate, to connect, for the sheer JOY of it.

I want to be a real, real person this year.  I want to make real connections to the people in my life.  
Lastly, for the last few years I’ve been wondering what to do with myself ‘when I grow up’ - when the kids are both three or four and they’re better off in an environment with other kids their age than home with me and I can return to work.  (This is based on a couple studies I read but mostly instinct at least with my own kids).  

I was in a full time day care at age 2 and from what I remember I loved it.  So, no judgement to those who can’t stay at home either because of finances or because on-my-gosh you would have pulled your own eyebrow hair out ONE by ONE if you had to change ONE more diaper or listen to ONE more tantrum about watching the Frozen movie FOR THE 14TH DAY IN A ROW!!!  (Ah..not that I can relate…ha ha.  Ahem.)

Anyhoo - this year I pledge to finally discern what I really want to do, even if that means I won’t make much money and even if people think I’m crazy for doing it.  And I pledge to take concrete steps to attaining that goal whether it’s saving money to go back to school or volunteering to do jobs in careers I may be interested in, to gain experience.

So that’s my take on the new year.  Hopefully I’ve set some worthwhile and realistic goals, and I’ve inspired you to do the same.

New Year's Day. A fresh start. A new chapter in life waiting to be written. New questions to be asked, embraced, and loved. Answers to be discovered and then lived in this transformative year of delight and self-discovery. Today carve out a quiet interlude for yourself in which to dream, pen in hand. Only dreams give birth to change. Sarah Ban Breathnach