Is it even the New Year if you don’t publicly decide on how you are going to approach the year? I think not. If you haven’t declared your intentions out loud you’re basically ensuring that you’ll remain in 2016 for like, forever. And no one wants to do that because for many people it was freaking awful enough to make a horror movie out of.
I’m not really one for resolutions, because I just don’t keep them. Ever.
No really, I’m serious. I just can’t. One year I made a list of about 50 things that I wanted to complete in the year and by the end of it, I managed to get about 4 crossed off my list. Really winning. It also showed me that list making is therapeutic but not necessarily very helpful in terms of getting me to actually do anything except feel sorry for myself.
So last year, I took a different approach. Instead of making a specific list of things that I wanted to do/change/see/whatever, I just set 5 things that I wanted to do more of. What a freaking success! I read more, I tried new things (still didn’t swim that much but whatevs), I slept more (teaching the kids how to watch safe things on TV in the early mornings was a win!), we had loads of friends over and I’m pretty sure that I listened to my kids more than I did last year. It really was a success.
This year I’m taking a similar tack but with a complete 180 degree twist.
Doing more is great – because it was doing more things that I wanted to do. But I’ve noticed that I do a lot of things that I don’t really want to do or I consistently get held back by overthinking or whatever. So instead of doing MORE this year, I’m going to do LESS. Much less.
5 Things I’m Leaving in 2016
Of course I’m not perfect. Not even close. But do I strive to be perfect every day? All too often. I know that trying to be a better person is never a bad thing, but when it holds you back from enjoying the now it can’t be good. For me this manifests in weird ways. Wanting to have themed parties but hating them if one thing goes wrong or only wanting to post the perfect images (discarding the “bad” ones even if they are the best memories) and that kind of thing. It’s not a true reflection of life and I’m pretty sure it’s not healthy either. Enough. I’m done.
That saying, “Comparison is the thief of joy” is most definitely true. The amount of times that I find myself comparing my position to others and coming up short is actually just ridiculous. It’s stupid because every situation is different and no life is perfect. It doesn’t make me feel good about myself, it makes me feel resentful of others and it’s just a sucky thing to do. I’m going to try do it less this year.
I’ve spoken about being a “No Mom” and how I’m trying to change that. But the thing is, I don’t only place restrictions on my kids with no reason. I do that to myself all the time too. “No you can’t go out in that swim suit – ugh.” “No you can’t wear that shade of lipstick – it doesn’t suit you”. “Don’t wear that, don’t go there, don’t say that, blah blah blah.” I’m over it. Obvs you need a social filter and all that, because I still want friends and stuff. But I’m not letting the stupid restrictions that I place on myself stop me from spending quality time with my kids, or limit my interactions with my husband or just living my best life.
After many deep and profound brain things inside my head, I’ve realised that we are always busy. I guess that this isn’t really a problem, because we enjoy it, but just thinking about starting the new school year is giving me a headache. So instead of encouraging my kids to have 10 different extra murals, we’re focusing on one. We’ve never pushed them to do more than one, but there is a strong movement in getting kids involved in a million things and not really letting them just be kids. I want them to be making their own games and filling their own time with imaginative things that I haven’t organised for them. I think that it’s quite important and I want them to do more of that this year, which means that I need to hold back on trying to fill up our diaries with things that don’t benefit all of us.
This is obviously easier said than done, but I’m over it. No matter what it is that you’re dealing with that seems completely insurmountable at the moment, you will get through it. Time doesn’t stop, you aren’t stuck in that moment forever. Which is a huge relief for me, because I used to get really stressed out about every little thing – from bedtime and making sure that the kids went to sleep on time all the time to what we’d eat for supper. Sometimes just opening emails used to give me knots in my tummy. But not this year. This year I’m going to tackle all the things, even the bad things, with a smile on my face. Cheers stress. It’s been real.