Part two of this mornings post, delayed courtesy of a waking bambino.
Now that second nap is underway after a brisk outing to the park, it’s a good time to talk about resolutions. I don’t even know if we made any last year. This year, we spent New Years Eve as a lot of young parents probably do–on the couch. We had some good conversation about the year we just wrapped up and the year to come, and for fun we decided to come up with some words to describe how we want the next year to look. Tim wants to feel settled, connected in the community, and connected to nature. I want our year to be outdoorsy, active, and intentionally enjoyable.
This pretty much sums up our resolutions this year and the subsequent intention board I made to remind us of these priorities. We didn’t make an intention board last year and I’m sure it’s not the only reason since we were new parents, but I think it contributed to our year that passed in a constant frazzled, unfocused blur. I’m hoping that this year we can stay a little more focused and a little more aware of our choices and how they correlate to our happiness and enjoyment.
I was recently told that bloggers’ lives seem perfect, and while it can look that way, try to remember that it’s no different than Facebook or any other medium. People don’t want to talk about their mistakes or struggles (except those few friends who ONLY want to talk about those things) and that applies to blogging as well. I also temper what I post because of past reactions from people who follow but don’t know me well. But another facet of that comes with choosing to focus on the good and positive about life and not focus on the rest of the mess that comes with the learning curve. So if this blog ever feels “perfect” or “fake”, please, for all our sakes, refer back to this picture.
This is everyday life for us at the moment, and really this entire winter so far. There have been tears and lost sleep and days on end spent in a funk. This is not what we are focusing our energy on perpetuating, so we don’t talk about it on the blog but instead keep the conversations more private. It doesn’t mean our lives are perfect or that we’re having fun all the time. Know that we are all on our paths and that every single one of us considers life to be stressful, regardless of our experiences.
Let’s get on to some clear cut resolutions for the year, shall we?
1. Be an active, outdoorsy family.
This goal is important for us on several levels. We miss living in the woods and having daily connection to natural beauty. We miss hiking around and taking walks in wooded places. Tim and I both feel better when we get regular outdoor exercise, and by better I mean we weigh a little less and feel mentally a hell of a lot better and happier. This goal was chosen because it will help us lose our baby weight (I’m including Tim’s burrito baby here) while getting us outside and into settings where we will meet other granola families. The contingency is that we have to wait until the weather breaks for it to be a regular thing, but I did get out today in the 45 degree weather and walk a few miles around the park with Si bundled up.
2. Explore Lafayette and find places that feel like us.
We still don’t have regular places we hang out or any friends here and we are finding the winter months pretty discouraging on that front. There isn’t a place or neighborhood where the hippie families hang out here, or at least not that we have found. We have talked about doing story time as a family on Saturday mornings, but it’s at ten thirty. We would like to build more community at church, but it’s at ten thirty. I’d like to go to the La Leche League meetings, but they are at ten fifteen (or from seven to nine at night on Mondays when I am husbandless). You know what time Silas naps? Ten to twelve in the morning, give or take a half hour. When we moved here, we had really made a plan for meeting people and socializing (even though I hate it) and it has still been a constant struggle for us. It’s been a lonely five months,but life will really open up once Si drops to one nap a day. Our new game plan is to wait for the weather to break and then force ourselves to be overtly social at the farmers market or on hikes when we see other young families who look like our kind of folk. If we still feel like this by next Spring, we will reevaluate how and where we want to raise our kids.
3. Choose to have fun.
This one is important to me. Here’s what we are finding: Every day is a struggle to enjoy what little time we have for ourselves. Why is it? This year, I am choosing to put things on the back burner to set aside time for doing something that makes me happy or brings us enjoyment as a family. Tim has grad school on top of working away from home and depression on top of that–it’s very hard to get any participation out of him in these windows. His grad school is done in May (the same week I am due, in fact) and until then, he is going to work on compartmentalizing the long to do lists and unknowns. We will both choose to enjoy the small windows of time when he is home, Silas is awake and happy, and we have the opportunity to do something enjoyable together. This will also be a zen exercise while we learn the art of balancing two babies under 18 months while keeping not just our sanity, but our sense of humor in tact.
4. Enjoy being married.
Marriage is not for sissies. I’ve said it before, and I really mean it now that we have 1.5 children. The last half of the year has made it hard for us to have conversations and spend happy time together, and this was a combination of nights spent doing grad school homework, adjusting to Tim’s job, me having first trimester nausea and general narcolepsy, Tim falling into the Fall and Winter funk he often has, and trying to get yet another house marginally remodeled before Si’s first birthday. Grown up conversations have been scarce. We are reading A Year of Living Consciously together and that’s spurning some good conversation. I haven’t done it in several years, so it feels new for me, too, which is nice. We will shoot for reading a book together for a large part of this year. We have a list but are open to suggestions. I would like to start doing dates on Sunday afternoons if we can convince Kenzi to come. Evenings are still hit or miss with Silas sometimes, so I’m much more relaxed going out midday when I know he’s still in good spirits.
5. Write more meaningful things.
I’m not in the business of offending people intentionally, and in the past I have had some mixed reactions about things from people who don’t know me well. Because of that, I have tempered the content of the blog and it has come to feel more like a boring chronicle of our lives for relatives’ sakes instead of a creative and meaningful outlet and commemoration of our life as we attempt to master the ever intensifying balancing act of everyday life and long term happiness. This year I will strive for more authenticity in my writing voice, even if it isn’t what people want to hear. It’s a hard decision for me, but in the end I am keeping the blog so that we can remember our time and I don’t want to remember the version that feels more appropriate at the expense of being less authentic.
So that’s it for our thoughts on 2014.