I was thinking about something that I struggle with. It’s not my weight, my finances, or my relationships. It is a daily internal struggle that I have with myself. The bottom line is that I am too complacent. I am too laid-back and self-satisfied. I have never been a competitive person. The only time I was competitive was in High School when I strived toward top grades and high honors. Even then, I was truly only competing with myself. I was unaware of what everyone else was doing or even how I placed. I find that to be excellent in something, you have to want it. You have to want it bad. My struggle is that I am happy with what I have. I am happy with nearly every area in my life. I know if you are reading this, you may be sticking a finger down your throat at this point. Gag me, right? It’s not that my life is perfect in any way. I was just brought up to appreciate what I have. There are definitely many areas in my life that could use improvement. I just need to find some way to get the drive to do it. I guess, sadly, that I always think it is all good enough. One of my mantras has always been “It is what it is”. But what if it isn’t?
For 2010, I had many goals. I had goals to lose weight, eat healthier, exercise more, spend more time with my kids, my husband, and my friends, see more live music, cook more, scrapbook more, ride a bike 10 miles, keep my house cleaner, read more, write a ton more, spend less money, etc. It goes on and on and on. All of these things that I thought were my so very important goals. When I look back, many of those things are still on my to-do list. I have tried different ways to achieve these goals, some of them I completed, some of them I didn’t. When I reflect back on 2010 and think about something I may have regretted, it is really hard to come up with anything solid. Everything seems so small in the overall scheme of things. I am relatively healthy. I am surrounded by friends and family that I love and who love me. I have a nice, warm roof over my head and food to fill my belly. I have freedom to think whatever I wish, pick out whatever novels I want to read, wear whatever clothes I want, listen to the music I love. Everything this past year was not perfect, some of it was not even fun. But I am here. I am breathing. I am thinking. I am alive. Do I have regrets for 2010, nope, I cannot think of any. All I can think of is that I am blessed.
There is something that I am so excited about in 2011. It is not something you can touch, taste or even see. It is simply becoming a better and different person. About this time every year, I get this feeling of being renewed. I am ready to move on, change things up and start something new. Since I am a list making, note scribbling, song writing kind of girl, I usually start my new year by writing down all of the changes I want to make. Well, this time, I have decided not to make that list. I am going to wing it. That’s right, you read it here. I am going to make this a year of split decisions and last-minute impulses. I am not saying that I am going to go out and buy a new car tomorrow or move to Connecticut. What I am saying is that I am going to REALLY step out of the box and do things that go against my internal grain. I am a heavy-duty planner. I need to know what is going on, way ahead of time. I don’t even like surprise birthday parties. I am of the calm, cool and collected set. I have a t-shirt that proclaims “Be calm and carry on”, like the queen, of course. However, this year, I want to spit in the wind, color my hair bright red (oops, already did that), buy some pajama jeans and wear them to Wal-Mart, (no, I really DO NOT want to do that). I want to be the one that is full of surprises
in my own way in a new way. Ok, so this may take a little work, but I am willing and ready. Stay tuned.
Well, all of my goals to use my blog to become a better writer and to rediscover myself have completely backfired. It is nearly an entire year later and I am lucky if I have a half dozen posts. While my original goal of starting a blog was not to have a giant readership, I am slightly unhappy with myself for not even following through on my goal to write weekly on my blog. So here I am again, trying again to make good on my own goal. I will make 2011 the year that I will post weekly on my blog. Even if I have nothing really to say.
Ok, so I have to laugh just a little. Last night, while I sat blissfully reading one of my favorite books and my family life happily commenced around me, my youngest daughter, Meghan, spent two whole hours with her Baby Alive doll in the bathroom. Meg is 6 years old and still loves all of her babies. She came up to me and asked (slightly timidly knowing I am not big on messes made on purpose), “Mom, can I please, please play with my Baby Alive in the bathroom?” Meaning, “Can I use water?” What the heck, it was a Friday night. Have at it, kid! Next came, “I can’t find my baby stuff, so can I use one of your bowls, oh and this one too? and one of your spoons? and a washcloth or two?” Sure, why not, do it right, kid! Sometime into the two hours of feeding her baby WATER on a spoon (since we long ran out of the fake and disgusting packets of genuine Baby Alive food), she come’s running out of the bathroom with her baby, her shirt splattered with water and shouting, “Look Mom, she VOMITED all over me!” and “NOW, I am going to HAVE to give her a bath!” Yep, she cracks me up. Of course, she will have to give that puked upon baby and her puked upon self a bath since she is covered in VOMIT. Meaning water. They are both covered in water and now need more water to clean up the water. As a parent, you have to love the roundabout ways that kids ask for things sometimes. Why didn’t she just ask if she could take a bath tonight?
I have decided, more than once this winter (spring) that I am depressed. This has been a major turning point in my life. All three of my children are not only in school fulltime, but they are all incredibly independent little people. I guess this is what I have been longing for since the days they were little and I dreamed of what having “free” time would be like. I guess I am doing a decent job because they are willing to break away and take care of themselves whenever they can. I guess that sometimes having all this “free” time just isn’t what it is cracked up to be. I have been a stay at home mom for the past 12 years. For about seven of them, I was very involved in my children’s lives, including running a non-profit cooperative preschool as a Board Member for 5 years, a Girl Scout Leader, Cub Scout Leader, Junior Achievement Representative, Room Mom, Parent Booster Club Board Member, and being involved in numerous other committees. I also joined several mom’s groups and attended bible studies. I was completely looking forward to having my week to take care of all the necessary household things so that we can spend the entire weekend as a family. I was looking forward to dedicating some major time finally getting my pre-baby body back. I was looking forward to having a hot meal on the table every night, the laundry always caught up, the bills paid and a spotless house (and car). Well, after the long winter and tons of hibernation (it’s cold here in Wisconsin), the joke is on me. I think that now that I FINALLY have all of this time, it goes quicker than it did before and I don’t seem to get nearly as much done. I haven’t set any major exercise records, my house is still in a shambles as always and some days I am lucky if my kids get a sandwich let alone a hot nutritious meal. So, I am depressed. And somehow, I need to figure out how to get out of this funk. I think I will get a job.
I spent the weekend watching my oldest child and daughter, Tori, play basketball in two different tournaments with the two teams she is on. She is one of the tallest girls on her teams and primarily plays post position. I am so very proud of her. She has a bit of a shy, cautious personality and doesn’t jump into anything, but her basketball skills are improving greatly. She is starting to show a lot of confidence on the court. My husband recently measured her height and she is just one inch below me. That would put her at 5’5″ in the 6th grade. She is wearing a size 9 1/2 shoe so I think she may have just a bit more growing to do. Anyway, what started me reflecting on this today is that this morning when I “made” her hug me for my dose of morning love, it felt like I was hugging one of my girlfriends and not my daughter. And, yes, it has made me a little wistful. My daughter is becoming a woman. With that role in life, I see so many huge changes on the horizon. We recently got her a cell phone because she has basketball practices late at night and I want her to be able to contact me if need be. That alone was not an easy decision as I don’t believe that 11 yr olds need cell phones. Tori’s is a pay as you go model with limited texting. Most of her friends have much nicer phones with tons of features. I just can’t go there yet. Also quickly approaching is boyfriends, sassy talk, periods (ugh!) and more time spent away from her mother. Don ‘t get me wrong, I have a very active social life with my own friends. It is just that I feel like the days of snuggling on the couch with your mom watching movies are numbered. And, I am not ready to give that up yet.