I was just about to type something about not having made a New Year’s Resolution for the last few years. And then I remembered posting that fireworks picture that you can (sadly) still see just a couple posts below this one. So I reread last year’s resolutions.
Geeze-o-peet. Cranky much? Last January was kind of a craptastic time for our little crew. I am happy to report that while we are still working through some things, the sun is shining and I am not quite as angry as I was at the start of 2013. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that the money tree in the back yard has sprouted any Benjamins yet. But we took those resolutions to heart, and we are on the road to recovery. Which is to say that we’re still broke, but we don’t care as much.
Ironic, because I started typing this so that I could, for posterity’s sake, announce my New Year’s Resolution for 2014, which is:
I feel like that sounds waaay to deep for me. My resolutions are generally more along the line of “eat more leafy greens” or “get and stay organized at work.” This one is weighty and philosophical. Spiritual even. (I’m thinking I probably heard someone else say it and co-opted. But no matter, it’s mine now.)
Here’s the deal. I had actually decided not to even make a New Year’s Resolution this year. I was trying to think of one, but I don’t have time to get organized. I would rather eat ice cream than go to the gym, and I’m for freaking SURE not cutting back on alcohol consumption. So I was all, “You know what self. You are a mom of two very busy short people who works a full time job, eats reasonably well, goes to church several times a
month quarter, makes Halloween costumes from
scratch, and maintains several friendships despite not really having time for
any of that. You do not have to have a
resolution this year because you are already excelling at AWESOME. Take a break.”
But then we were at Girl Scouts and I asked my troop of 9 year olds what their New Year’s Resolutions were, and when it was my turn I just blurted it out. “To be content.” And that was that. Not only did I say it, but I instantly felt really, REALLY committed to finding contentment.
Then I spent the next several days railing at my husband and kids and anyone else who would listen to me about how there are piles of paper and candy wrappers, and rainbow loom rubber bands and clean and dirty laundry and toys and shoes and headbands and pop cans and dirty dishes and miscellaneous byproducts of living EVERYWHERE in my sphere. I daydreamed about hanging a huge sign in the kitchen that said, “MOM IS ON STRIKE” and then refusing to get out of bed on Monday morning. I wrote my angry mom manifesto in my head, and swore that the next person to leave their lunchbox in the car was NEVER getting cold lunch again. EVER.
Last Tuesday while I fumed and folded socks at midnight I thought about how the mess was making me really tired. Except that the thought crept into my head that it wasn’t the mess that was making me tired. It was the fuming.
Oprah would be so proud of me, because the real “ah-ha” moment came next.
You can’t kill yourself trying to make everything perfect so that you can sit around contentedly enjoying it. You have to just figure out how to BE CONTENT even though it’s a total shithole up in here.
Unfortunately for me, I like my stuff the way I like my stuff. I have never been happier in my whole life than when I was a stay at home mom who ran our house like the CEO of a global organization. We had structure. We had systems. We had really, really clean counters. But those days are long gone. (And quite frankly I am probably remembering it all wrong.) This is our reality. We like our reality. We love parts of it. So I need to figure out how to function in the disaster of it all.
2014, we have 11 more months to get that all figured out.