The last year has been a challenge. I've had an infant become a toddler, changed jobs, moved houses, and had changes of lifestyle that have left me wondering where exactly is the 'time for me'? Now that December is upon me and everything has started slowing down in lieu of the holidays, I have a chance to be introspective.
The answer to the subject is simply: Learn to say "No". Learn to say "Yes". Most importantly, learn to SMILE through all of life's little challenges. The frustration of today is what we will miss when we look back with rose tinted glasses of the past and wonder how we got through our trials.
I learned this year that organization is also key to my happiness. Having all of my craft supplies now stored in clear boxes in our home office gives me the reassurance that although I may not have the time to finish projects I started as far back as 2007, I do have a place for them and they are not hiding in some dark corner waiting to be remembered 25 years later.
Get rid of the clutter. Not so unlike being organized - it's hard to say 'good bye' to the t-shirt that has a small stain on it or a small hole in the corner. Do I really need 5 pairs of pyjamas? Seriously, a dozen scarves? Considering I wear the same four outfits every week for a season and then have some small changover depending on my body size and the weather - I have found making piles of clothes that have not been worn in 6 months and giving them to charity to be surprisingly liberating. The most important part is getting rid of clothing that frankly, I will never wear. Keeping them is like some badge of honor or memory but really, these would serve a greater purpose being redistributed to people who are more likely to appreciate and wear them.
The move brought a push to downsize. It also brought my attention to the amount of stuff that my family collected. My son doesn't play with all of his toys and yet he has more toys than some third world nurserys. Christmas will only bring more toys as he gets gifts that suit his need to be challenged. So an item for this holiday season for me is to bundle up these extraneous toys and put them away either for his future siblings or for the children of friends or strangers.
As far as the extremes of the working mom - finding time for me is very important. As a wife, finding time for 'us' is equally important. These are the two areas that will require much attention and work in the coming year. My husband and I have averaged 1 date per quarter. That has got to change! At work, every day can not be about putting out fires. I ask myself - does this need to be done this instant? I'm working with my colleagues to better prioritize and spread the burdens.
So for the coming year, I have much hope and excitement building that life will begin anew as it does every morning. The slate is wiped clean and all miseries of the past forgiven and forgotten. I am stronger and smarter but most importantly, more confident.
Season's greetings and all the best for 2013!