Most years I tend to whirlwind through January. Checking off to do lists gleefully and wondering where the days went. The house is never clean, but the workings get a dusting off. This year it didn’t exactly all happen. I’m tired. Just overall, having 4 kids and essentially managing 6 lives is exhausting. I can’t pretend its not. I won’t ever have a clean house or look like someone out of a magazine. Most days I have my hair in a mom bun and have trouble putting on real clothes before 8am. This is my life. I love my life, my complaints are minor, but I feel like it is okay to admit that it takes a lot out of me some days!
This year I finally felt like letting go of some of my aggressive “goals” while wholeheartedly embracing others. This year I don’t have any of my filing sorted yet, because when you keep 3 years of impeccable financial and medical files as I do, quite frankly you don’t want to have to look at them unless the IRS is calling. I usually rollover a new year and shred/sort/keep/recycle all the paperwork. Right now, it is sitting in our office/man room and I’m okay if I don’t see it until June.
Last year in January I started prioritizing time for ME. The Husband and I signed up for starlight yoga every Wednesday and we have been going now for a year. It has been fantastic for both of us. Date night with no talking, no kids and going straight to bed after stretching for an hour? Welcome to 12 years of marriage! In all seriousness, it benefits him because he sits in a chair all day and talks on the phone and for me the silence is almost like being at the spa, not to mention how tight my hips are from having 4 kids and running around with them constantly. I also started trying to run/walk 2x a week last year and I have been somewhat consistent with that as well. I haven’t seen many fitness gains, but I sure can tell I have a better mental attitude.
All this to say, perhaps this year is your year to let go of some “Goals” and focus on “Growth”. As much as my type A self wants to get things done, here are some ways I am more focused on Growth than Goals this year:
1. Financial Growth: this feels like the first year where I have really looked at if our money is working for us. I finally sat down and compared interest rates across the board on our savings, IRA’s and investment accounts. Let’s face it, interest rates are bad if you are trying to save, although ideal for any homebuyers thus far this year. For me, I’ve decided to do my best to set some money aside into anything that earns more than 1.5%. For us this meant some short-term CD’s (certificates of deposit) and moving some money into an e-account which is still FDIC insured but earning 1.75%. We want to be somewhat liquid but also make our money work for us if possible. I am also trying to squeeze more money into my investment account if I won’t miss it in the household budget. The market is an adventure, who knows what will happen, but putting your money under a mattress certainly isn’t doing much.
2. Mental Growth: I am going to try to schedule myself a writing workshop for this year (I say this because it has been a goal for 3 years….it WILL happen this year!) as well as scheduling my writing time (as my exercise) away from the house with certain measurements in place. I am writing this post at a café downtown, alone and with something yummy. Major thanks to the Husband who is putting them all to bed in my absence after a long week himself. My aim is 1 post a month and I figure the last day of January is a good place to start! I love to write and as much as I was occasionally able to blog last year, I realized how much I missed being more consistent in documenting our lives and my writing.
3. Physical Growth: This is a tough one for me. I love my 4 beautiful babies, but they did a doozy on my body and my health. I had some good work put in last year and this year I really want to buckle down and get my labs looking better and feeling better in my body. I also want to sign up for a few races, even with the kiddos it’s fun. I don’t often lack confidence regardless of what size I am, but I am feeling more pressure to really get in better shape as I approach 35. My “baby” is 2 and since I know I am not having more my journey can only go up from here. This means going back to Pilates (which I love) 2x a week if I can. I have told myself I have to do 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week. I love dancing and I found an ancient Dance Central game from pre kids, so I have been busting out the Xbox Kinect a few nights a week to do my cardio and I LOVE it. I love competition against myself (the best kind) and dancing doesn’t feel like an intensive weight regime.
4. Spiritual: I have not been consistent at all in any sort of Bible study on my own or within a group. I need to prioritize my reading time when the kids and I do Bible for school and make sure I am delving in and listening to what God has to say to me. I miss the intensive frenetic study of being a student, but I also need to find a balance in the quiet moments since I am a busy mama. I have been devouring library books (I try to read 100+ books a year) but I need to do my Bible reading first. I also love history and catch myself getting lost in the stories, I would love to find some books that explore the history of what was happening parallel to the Biblical narrative. To do!
In the end, I am not one for big New Year resolutions, so instead of specific goals, I am aiming for growth. As I grow older, I can only hope to grow wiser, and I hope some of my ramblings on the subject can motivate any of you who are staring at the vast landscape that is the next 11 months.
Happy New Year! May the 20’s be roaring in the best way.
Adieu, until next time.