fresh + bright

I've been doing a lot of thinking about goals and plans and years past. I'm not really one to make New Year's resolutions as I'm not really one to follow through until the Spring when my mind and body start craving change and movement and action. My winter body just wants to eat lots of Nutella and take slow, yummy yoga classes, and my winter mind tends to thrive on quiet routines and fresh air. I also tend to try to cram all sorts of new good stuff into my life, usually at the expense of all the good stuff that is already here. I'm sloooowwly  learning how to make room for the new things I want to add into my life by letting go of old habits/relationships/obligations/thought patterns that no longer serve me.

But there is something about 2011 that feels so shiny + new. Do you feel it too? I couldn't help but compile a small list of things I hope to achieve in this new year, along with the things I'm willing to let go of to make room for the good stuff. Here we go, kids...

- Create a healthier relationship with food
I want to kick the panicky, distracted 2:00ish snacking that leaves me feeling dissatisfied + headachy almost every day. I want to sit down and give my full attention to the food I'm eating + the people I'm eating with - no hurried handfuls of Swedish Fish devoured while sitting in front of my laptop and calling it lunch.

- Be more present in my relationships with my children
I waste a lot of time on the internet. There, I said it. Being home all day every day can get a little intense, especially in the long winter months, and I find myself using the internet to escape all the domestic craziness. But ignoring my kids while I check my email for the 20th time or getting lost in blogland doesn't make me feel refreshed or calm, it makes me feel detached from the real world + real people. I want to be completely unplugged until noon,  with just a strong focus on my family + the day ahead. And I want to stop the obsessive email checking (please tell me I'm not the only person who does this?!?) and limit myself to checking it three times a day. oy. This one's going to hurt, I can feel it already.

I need to learn how to be in my life; fully engaged and active instead of constantly thinking ahead, already moving on to the next item on the never ending to-do list. I can't tell you how many times a week this quote from Anna Quindlen comes to mind:

"But the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of them sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less."

I know there will be times when I can't be fully present, times when I need to step back and even step out for a while. I need to be really honest + clear with myself about when I've reached my limit and when I need extra help + support, and be wise enough to ask for it.

Childhood is too fleeting and far too important to miss because I was too busy checking my email, or worried about getting dinner on the table, or a myriad of other banal tasks that seem to fill up my day.

-Create a home that supports + nourishes my family
When my home is uncluttered, my mind is uncluttered. I want to purge our home of the things we don't need + find 2 new pieces that we absolutely love. I also want to want to clean more, if you know what I mean.

You can read a previous post about this topic here, and there are also three wonderful books that I recommend to every single person I know:

Home Is Where The Heart Is by Ilse Crawford
Sensual Home by Ilse Crawford
Apartment Therapy:  The Eight-Step Home Cure by Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan

If I know you in real life, you are welcome to borrow these from me. I'd love to share!

-Stop complaining
This post really made me stop + think about the things I say. I've started to notice all the yucky negative feelings that come from complaining, and how I never really feel better after all is said and done. I want to think about what I'm saying before I speak, and I want my words to be honest, positive, and kind.

-Read 45 books
Just because it sounds fun. And because I really like Miss Sissy Jupe.

Wow, this felt like therapy. Is anyone still reading? If so, what are you thoughts on resolutions? Did you make any this year or do they just make you feel guilty?

image via enroute to forever.


Andrea said...

I found your blog a little bit ago and really love it. I just had to comment on this... I could copy this exact list of goals for myself this year. It is everything that I want to work on. The one about spending less time online more time with the kids really hit home with me, especially in the winter and with a newborn. I just want an escape sometimes, but they grow much too quickly for me to spend time doing pointless things. Thanks for the reminder.

About resolutions- I make them every year. This year I'm giving myself a break until spring. I feel like I'm barely making it through the days right now and if I shower then I'm doing good. :)

ps- I got the book Mom's One Line a Day for Christmas and I'm so excited about it. Fantastic idea

BriannEm said...

We really need to declutter STILL! I've given so much stuff to DI and there is still so much random stuff we never use. And more organization. That too. If my house could be like my office... if only.

Rachel said...

Andrea: having a new baby in the winter is really hard. I swear I spent the entire fall + winter just sitting on the couch holding baby Graham. I hope you can get some sleep + that you are really gentle with yourself through this transition. Just take it easy, okay? (Oh, and congratulations! He is such a handsome little guy!)

Brianne: Guess what I'm doing today? DECLUTTERING! We should do it together. I'll come over one evening + help you, if you will come and help me. I'll try not to be too embarrassed.:)

Emily said...

Beautiful goals, although I'm really not feeling the "shiny and new."

I'm excited that you want to join in a read-a-thon with me! Just know that audio books count and that rules are flexible!

I'm seriously wishing for some one on one time with you. You're so great in helping me see the positives + get excited about the good things already happening around me. I love our online friendship :)

Lauren Pollock said...

I love your goals and I love your blog. I just read through a couple of your most recent posts and it makes me proud to know you. And be related. And have you on my speed-dial. You make me happy! That's all.