It’s the start of January which can only mean one thing… out come the resolutions in force. Over the years, I think I’ve tried (and failed!) at New Year’s resolutions more times than I care to shake a stick at. I have such great intentions to do all these things but then life just gets in the way with all it’s busy, messy days and nights. Before I know it, those resolutions are long gone and barely remembered. Every year I’m tempted not to make them and this year is no different. I hate the concept of one day in the calendar defining an entire new start. Why does it have to be January 1st? Why not next Wednesday? Or July 12th?!
But the reality is, I’m a sucker for these things. Like a fresh notebook I can barely bring myself to write in for fear of making that first mistake, the start of a new year makes me want to be all kinds of perfect. Until I’m not. And, given that I’d already had a grumpy moan yesterday morning – a mere nine hours into the new year – I think we can safely say that this notebook, sorry year, is open for business.
Last year was a bit of a corker. What else can I say about a year that added a whole new member to our family? But along with a new baby came a whole heap of emotions that I hadn’t prepared for. I knew I’d be tired, I knew I’d be hormonal but this was more than that. I felt guilty for every time I had to prioritise one child over the other, I felt resentment and mostly, I felt angry. At some point I think I’ll write a whole post about it because I can’t do the messy emotional web justice without some serious focus.
My patience wore thinner, my moods got worse and whilst I worked hard to be fine to everyone else, I took most of it out on my marriage. I was focussing on the niggles and missing the important bits. The bits of the day that made me happy, the bits that made me laugh. My toddler coming out with an adult phrase. The baby leaning in to me as we sat and played. The fact the toilet seat was left down for once. Hell, even the winter sunshine on my face as we went for a walk.
I need to reset my thinking.
Those are the things that I want to focus on.
So this year, I am setting a resolution. I don’t want to run a marathon, drop stones in weight or take up a new hobby (although reducing my dependence on the Celebrations tin may not be a bad thing!). No, this year I’m resolving to be more thankful, more grateful, more aware.
Part of this is just highlighting to myself some of the ordinary moments of our lives that get lost in the day to day. Part of it is making more time for me; discovering who I am now that the newborn fog is starting to lift. I want to cook more. I want to read more. I want to put down my phone and be more present. I want to be more intentional with what I do with my time, money and energy rather than fritter it away and not know where it’s gone. I want to look back and know that I’m not perfect but that I tried. So that’s my resolution, to appreciate. To be happy.
I’ve decided to start documenting this over on my Instagram account, pulling out a couple of things each day that made my heart feel full in my stories or by using the hashtag #littlesquaresofhappy. That when I’m having a rubbish day I can flick through those snapshots of gratitude and remind myself of all the great bits. If you fancy joining me, I’d love to see you there.
Images courtesy of Helen Lisk Photography.