Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Resolutions and New Directions

Yesterday, I spent a significant portion of my day washing walls. I'd like to tell you that washing walls is something I do with regularity, but I'd be lying if I did. I washed walls yesterday as part of a completely consuming need to clean and organize. (No, I'm not pregnant again, but thanks for asking. Smile.) 

My son was at a sleepover with his auntie and cousins, and the two girls were sick- so sick that they were both quietly watching movies and listening to audiobooks without comment or constant demand for snacks. I suddenly had time on my hands, which is something I rarely have. Finding myself standing quite still in my kitchen at one point, unsure what to do next, I decided to dive headlong into the cleaning and organizing that my house so badly needed.

I love to clean and organize. (Yes, yes, I know. It's an illness.) The more I cleaned, the more energized I felt. Where I'd been feeling trapped by my house and circumstances of late, I began to feel content with what I have, and even proud that our family has been able to do so much with so little. (For a bit of background on that you can check out Our Story.)

The best part of this energy surge? I'll tell you that a sparkling clean house was super great, but the better result was the mental clarity it afforded me. I think well in clean, organized spaces, and the mundane repetition of cleaning walls yesterday really gave me a chance to think about life- big picture life- and my path in it.

I came up with a couple of truths that have been there all along, but that I've been burying deep because I wasn't yet sure how to handle them.

1. I have too many ventures going. They're fun and interesting and I like each one of them on their own, but all together they're more than I can reasonably do at this point in my life, with three young children.
2. I have to re-establish my life priorities, because I'm starting to let the little stuff crowd out the big stuff. ("Yes, I'd love to be on that committee, and in order to make that meeting I'll cut our school day a little short and serve frozen pizza...")
3. I need to have an action plan for my goals, which are useless without action needed to make them reality.

So, in between loads of "puke laundry" (lovely term, I know) yesterday, I sketched out my list of priorities. Then I added some action steps, and shared them with my husband when he got home from work. He added a few of his own, and we worked on our family plan together. The plan will likely take some tweeking over the next few weeks, but it's a plan- a starting point.

Do you ever make goals and action steps to achieve them? Do you follow through when, and if, you do? I admit that I have had mixed success in the past, but when I really take a look objectively, I see that the times I've failed to meet my goals my heart simply hasn't been in it. Sure, we're adults, and the reality is that sometimes we're going to have to do things that we don't necessarily love in order to ensure the "survival and thrival" of our families. And that's OK, because if life were all lollipops and gumdrops then we couldn't possibly accept the good times for the gifts that they are.

So this year, I'm doing things a bit differently. Rather than radically resolving to change some big aspects of my life in a (mislead) effort to make them what I want, instead I'll be making a series of small changes to make what I've already got going on more feasible. I'll be working on cutting out some of the things that I'm participating in that don't really resonate as important in my soul. I'll be working on some time management strategies to help me more effectively accomplish the tasks I do warrant as sufficiently important. I'll be taking the few real changes, and breaking them down into smaller, more "actionable" steps, in an effort to make the improvement of one woman, a wife and mother, a realistic and enjoyable journey within the context of family life.

I'll be starting my 2013 journey in January with a series on healthful, responsible eating. For those of you who have followed my blog for any length of time, you'll know that healthy eating/food production is near and dear to my heart. So what better place to begin my "baby steps" toward defining my priorities for my family and blog? In January we'll explore what GMOs really are, what whole food eating means for you, your family, your community and your earth, and we'll discuss some practical ways to make that happen for your family.

I hope that you will join me in my next food adventure in 2013, and all the other adventures I'm sure to find along the way. I hope also that you'll follow your gut toward your own truth and reality as we welcome a new year, full of wonder and promise.

Happy 2013 to all!

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