I'm starting to understand what people are talking about when they talk about the chaos of the holidays. We had some serious chaos over the last couple of months, but also some serious down time (strep throat and a Christmas Eve fever will do that to a family). There's chaos I make time for, like cooking huge quantities of food:
I've been blogging here for a long time, so anyone reading knows how much I love a good list. Every New Year I get annoyed when people post anti-New Year's Resolution downers such as, "Why your resolutions are bound to fail", and "Why not choose to be a good person every day, not just January 1?" I get that, but I have to say that's just not the reality for me. I love making New Year's Resolutions, and very often keep them. So take that, haters.
I've been thinking a lot about my 2016 list, so here goes. Subject to change, as always:
Yup, you knew that was coming. I'm a big ol' yoga hippie now, and meditation is extremely difficult for me. I'm going to aim for two minutes a day. That's it. Two quiet minutes. I hear the benefits are amazing-- we shall see.
2. Teach independence
I have these wonderful, wise, and kind neighbor friends, who (lucky for me) have older children. I went out with them last week and we talked about the importance of teaching kids to do things themselves and understand natural consequences for their actions. I AM TRULY TERRIBLE AT THIS. I spend so much of the day chasing after my kids, picking up after them, doing things for them that they should be doing themselves. No more, 2016!
3. Look for the 'value add' before saying yes to anything
This is an extension on my revelations in my last post, but it's worth making a priority this year. I'm getting much better at saying no to things, but still struggling with seeing each and every moment as valuable. Often, I'm trying to fill my days (and I do-- I fill them to the absolute brim). So, before saying yes, I'm going to look at the value it adds to me, my community, my family. If it's something that's just filling time and keeping us busy, then it's a no.
4. Stop feeling responsible for other people's happiness
Ah, this is the biggie for me this year. You know those people who have a party, and the whole time they're going around asking people if they're having a good time, if they need anything, what else they can do? That is me. I come from a long line of people like this: always caught up in the feelings of other people. It seems noble, but it's actually a huge energy suck and waste of time. A woman in her thirties can't make other people happy-- she simply isn't that powerful. I'm going to let go of that this year, if it kills me.
I love our connected world, I love social media, I love all of it. However, when I look at the parts of it that are valuable to me, it's a small percentage of the actual time I use it. Take email, for example. How many junk messages do you get in one day? I get about 100,000 (slight exaggeration). How many friends on Facebook do you have that post things constantly that you either don't like or don't care about? Unsubscribe, unfriend, disconnect. (Especially as the elections near, amiright??) Connect in the ways that are valuable, and disconnect from the crap that isn't.
Happy 2016, friends!