Monday, January 7, 2013

This is the year

All week long I've been inadvertently thinking to myself, "This is the year." The year I finish the first draft of my book. The year I submit it to publishers and/or agents. The year I get really skinny and fit and look smashing in every piece of clothing I own. The year I finally finish the Old Testament. The year I pick up the guitar again. The year I learn how to really take nice pictures with my new camera.

In some ways, last year was supposed to be that year, but it didn't happen. Last year many of my goals didn't make it past January. In so many more ways than I expected at the outset of 2012, last year was the year of the miscarriage. Bad news, bad health, minor surgery, and an entire year of ups and downs and trying to wrap my thoughts, hopes, dreams, and all of my emotions around this new-found truth: life is fragile and plans often change.

Now, a year later, I definitely don't feel like I have all the answers, but I am, in so many ways, such a different person than I was a year ago. Maybe not on the outside, but on the inside for sure. There are certain things in life that I used to take for granted, that I used to expect, that I seek out gratefully now. And I'm not just talking about getting pregnant, though that's certainly one of those things.

Good health is also one of those things. More than ever before, I cherish the days when I don't get a headache or have a cold or feel extra tired. On the days when I feel like a powerhouse, like I can do anything, like I can clean up, make dinner, and check something else off my list, I try to remember what a rarity that is and kneel down and thank my Heavenly Father for it.

I think one of the other huge changes that I've experienced over the past year is how I view myself. Who I think of myself as, what I am, and how what I do does or doesn't define me. I think for a long time I felt guilty if I ever wanted to do things that were 100% for me and not for my family in some way. I'm a mom and a wife and sometimes it feels like everything around me is telling me that if I'm not spending every single second thinking about my husband or daughter or doing something for them or missing them when they're at school then I'm doing it wrong. Personal growth seems so selfish sometimes.

And, maybe I'm wrong, but I feel like there are women out there who really do 100% of everything with their family in mind, but, friends, I am not one of those people. Of course I think about my husband and daughter and of course they are my life and my heart and will always come first, but I've learned over and over again this past year that I need my me time. I need to work on creative projects that speak to me and fill that void that only personal creativity fills for me. I need my writing, my sewing, my crafts, my glitter. (And, yes, Bryan, I need that pile of empty cereal boxes on the floor in the basement. You think I don't use them, but I do.)

I have some big and really fun goals for myself regarding all that personal creativity this year and I am so excited to start sharing some of them with you. Not today, but soon. Very soon. This is the year.

This is the year I want to work hard, to change, to be better, to grow. And when life comes with its challenges, as it surely will, well, that's part of growing too. May this year be a good one for all of us.


Kathy Haynie said...

It feels like you are poised on the brink of so many good things. I am so glad for you. Looking forward to hearing how all these things go. Thank you for sharing your journey on the blog.

alee said...

Well put. How many times have I thought about how hard the transition to motherhood is this past year? Millions of times...probably more. For some reason it didn't seem so hard to slip into married life, but wow motherhood changes you and I have been struggling with how to give all to my family and still have enough to be happy on my own...and time and time again I am so relieved to find others in my same predicament! Good luck to you...don't listen to The Weepies because this IS your year! (Do you know that song? I'm sure you do and think of Marae when you hear it.)

Megan said...

This is my year too! Good luck, and stay on track! We can do this!