We sure had a big 2015. Like, HUGE. Some of the highlights:
- Spent the winter months with my bro and his gang, all the way here from Prague
- Welcomed baby #4 (story coming in March)
- Started homeschooling
- Left my career and all associated career aspirations
- Started sensory-integration therapy for Celia
- Found a special needs school for her
- Made new friends in unexpected places
- Watched the hubs embark on a new career
- Started this blog
- Went to the UK on our first-ever sans-kids trip
- Watched my sis get married
- Nearly lost my mom, and celebrated her miraculous recovery
Yeesh. And that’s just the mega-influential stuff I could remember at the current moment. We’re probably all in the same boat, yeah? Like, how is it that a whole year can happen in what seems like a flash, and at the same time be made up of sooooo many majorly impactful events?
My Sunday School class is doing a fun lesson this week- we’re choosing a word to represent our next year, and finding a corresponding verse to relate, hopefully to help steer us as the year goes on. I love this idea, and I spent some serious time thinking (okay, more like, 9 minutes in the shower, but you take what you can get). I looked at the initiatives I put together for the coming year, and I decided I’d do the same for last year, to find some level of continuity. Here’s what I found:
Word for 2015: transition. I started 2015 expecting something entirely different from where I ended it. I fully expected to go to interviews for a promotion, and to move wherever that promotion took me. I’d basically gotten comfortable moving every 18 months with my career, and figured we’d continue to do the same thing. As the year progressed, I think we stayed in a state of transition for an overwhelming majority of the time. Adding a new baby to our routine, me staying home, kids coming home with me, finding new therapists and a new school…you get it.
It’s kinda crazy looking back on it- I’m a super routine-oriented individual, and we basically spent an entire year evolving from one routine to another, never settling on one. My eye is twitching right now just thinking about it. What the heck, L? How did you NOT get your life together in a whole year??? Eh. I sometimes lack grace when talking to myself. This was a pretty good personal monologue, and after some serious lecturing, eye-rolling, and pontificating, I landed on a pretty solid stance for 2016.
Word for 2016: established. In the last two months, I’ve been harassing my hubs about moving to the city. “We need to be around people like us! I’m tired of being the weird one! All the activities for the kids are in town!” Imagine me saying all that and more, right before bed, in an exceptionally shrewish way. Every night. For two months. Oy. I swear, sometimes I nearly irritate myself to death. What I realized in coming up with this word was this: Another transition is not what this family needs. It’s time to put down roots.
I actually love transition. And to be fair to myself, I’ll probably always be working on some form of transition for our crew- the whole “adapt or die” mentality is strong with this one. But in this case, I realize I need to help my family settle into a life together. In my focus on my career, I spent a lot of compartmentalizing my life. I had time for family and time for work, and I was pretty chill about letting stuff go when it came to our family values. Eh, order pizza tonight? Sure. Stay up late watching TV in the basement? Why not. Graze on snacks all day? Pick out one toy per kid in the dollar section? Fine, just keep it moving.
Now that I’m home, things are different. I have a real opportunity to influence these little people. We don’t have to live rushing from one activity to the next- we can think about what we do and make more mindful decisions than I ever could before. In 2016, I want to become established, in our home (the one we have now), in our routines, in our friendships, and in our lifestyle. I want to fiercely protect the things that matter to us, without negotiating under pressure from outside influences. It’s going to be hard, at least for me. My hubs is a black-and-white, yes-or-no kinda guy, so for him, this is a total breath of fresh air. But I’m an HR person- I live in the gray. There is never a black and white for me. Everything is negotiable under the right circumstances. Which is a great reason to have a verse to lean on. This one spoke so clearly to me that I wrote it on the chalk wall in our dining room.
I’m hoping this can be my mantra in the coming year. Less world, more Him. Less outside, more inside. We have a lot of cool beliefs. And a lot of them are unique to us, at least in relation to our friends. The crazy side of all this is, I don’t think any of my friends or even relatives would take issue with us keeping to any of our borderline-crazy but crazy in a good-for-us way ideas. It’s time to let go of worrying about being like everyone around us, and be more like what we want to be. I’m hoping I’ll stop looking for the next hoop to jump through, and eventually stop jumping through hoops altogether. I’m hoping we stick to what we believe, find the joy in pursuing a life that suits us, and fulfill our unique purposes in ways that only we can.
What about you? What will guide you this year? What do you want to leave behind, and what do you want to hold fast to? Whatever it is, I hope you can find it and stick to it. We got this.
2016, bring it.