i never make new year's resolutions, or i do and never stick to them.
generally, i view the making of resolutions as something that should be ongoing, not just given attention when one year is ending and another is beginning because it's tradition. i feel that most positive, fueled-by-hope, steps toward change can have negative effects when we don't live up to our own expectations or meet certain goals and somehow new year's resolutions fall under this category because it seems, for me anyway, that it's a time when we can "go all out" so to speak and write down whatever comes to mind, regardless of how unattainable some of it may be.
then there's the part of me that believes in infinite possibility and the abundance of the universe and i tell myself that nothing is unattainable. the only thing stopping oneself, is oneself. but still, i can't get out of this partly cynical loop when thinking of resolutions.
all that said, and who knows why i felt like sharing it, i am still making plans for the year ahead. many include ways to make art and use that form of expression as i feel it slipping away while little children suck the life out of me. not really, but gestating and lactating can be very draining and aside from knitting and some paintings i did shortly after the birth of my second son, i have had almost no need for a creative outlet because i don't feel moved to create much of anything. i haven't written a poem in who knows how long.
other things include plans to be a more present and mindful mother. of course sitting on the computer, trying to type this out, as my toddler says he wants me off, is probably not a very good start. but it's still december and he's having fun spinning on his papa's office chair next to me, waiting for me to get him a chocolate "poin" (also known as a coin, but don't worry. they're from trader joe's. made in holland or something. not full of melamine!)
and finally there's the lofty stuff. the do-it-for-me, taking-care-of-myself, i'm-not-the-kind-of-mom-that-let's-herself-go sort of stuff.
so here goes.
round one: the crafts
1. update the boys' baby books - what this means?
- fill out the replacement one i purchased for my oldest son (the original was filled out in different colored pens, at different points in his life, and was overwhelming sometimes because it spanned his entire FIRST FIVE YEARS and i wasn't very good at keeping up with it after he was three, and some of the entries are really sloppy. i found an almost exact replica of the same book on ebay two years ago and have yet to do anything with it, so i must!)
- fill out the baby book i decided to use for my second son, while referring to old journal entries and the baby calendar that i tried to fill out *religiously* every month of his first year (the book i decided on was originally for the baby, but my mom got me a really sweet one for christmas and i realized the john lennon one i intended to use for my second son was also one of those FIRST FIVE YEARS sort of books and who has time for that? it's a baby book. the first year or two are sufficient!)
- fill out the baby's book, every month. set aside a certain day to reflect on the previous month and keep it up, so i don't have to go back 3 or 13 years later and work on it.
2. print more digital pictures at walgreens, finish the disneyworld scrapbooks for the two older boys from our trip in oh? september of 2007. then actually begin actual scrapbooks for all three boys.
3. paint more. make at least two paintings. that's doable.
4. make prints of a few paintings and list on etsy.
5. use collage materials i've been collecting forever and make a collage. it's been years!
6. start to collect alcohol paints and explore that medium!
round two: mindful, present parenting
1. seriously go to the park, take nature walks, and explore the outdoors much more than i ever have. make a point to use our annual biopark passes at least once a month and spend the day at the zoo or aquarium, not just an hour or two.
2. structure. structure. structure. i don't like the word "schedule." i don't have a job and therefore shouldn't have to adhere to one but -and this is huge- kids thrive on structure and routine and i know this. i've used my pain as an excuse not to be more structured because i never know how i'm going to feel, but before this pregnancy, it was my school schedule or whatever else i could think of to excuse the fact that i'm not very structured. i could benefit from this, too, obviously and i have some ideas on how to incorporate it in the coming year, so i'm going to give them a try.
3. letting the most important people to me, know they're important, more often. i can't remember if that concept came to me from an inspirational email from my mother or from a natural parenting article i read but it's really hit home for me. blogging and keeping up with online friends shouldn't take up so much time when there are more important things to attend to!
4. finish reading the Enki foundation guides and prepare for preschooling the toddler in the fall. also finish "scream-free parenting" and "buddhism for mothers" which i seem to pick up every now and then but have never read from start to finish in all the years i've had it.
5. declutter even more. i have made sure there was more space in our tiny little house. i have made my craft supplies more accessible. and there is still more to do. this falls under this heading because i fully believe when there is "less stuff" around, there will be "less stuff" to focus on, worry about, and deal with and therefore more time to just enjoy my kids and play with them without the ever-oppressive feeling of guilt that i should be doing more.
and finally, the "lofty" make time for me and my health goals:
1. going to the dentist after this baby is born and getting my first cleaning in three or so years
2. regular stretching, yoga, pilates even though this means doing it AT HOME, with a video, as boring and uninspiring as that can be. it's my health that's important and besides, i'm not always that motivated to leave the house just to take a class, though once i'm there, i'm dedicated. maybe i will somehow feel the same way once that DVD is in the player!
3. have a monthly MNO or solo outing. and by solo, i mean with the baby. i miss being able to go to barnes and noble and browse whatever i want to, for however long i want to without having to sit in the hard wooden chairs next to the train table, or on the low wooden benches in the other part of the kids' section. i need some "me" time and even if my mate isn't able to make time for himself, much less for me, i need to do something and can hopefully rely on my little (grown-up) sister. i don't really "pay" her when she watches the toddler while i do my bookkeeping stuff but i would pay to get out for a few hours once a month!
4. i will take more baths!
5. i will give myself at-home pedicures more often - this is a must!
6. i will really try to make getting a massage every now and then a priority!
7. i have finally come to accept that i may never be a huge fan of tea like i've envisioned myself as being so i can enjoy the occasional cup of coffee but not let it become a daily need.