Don't get me wrong - there were a lot of good things that came out of 2010, but it was a hard year. The beginning of the year brought a huge shift in our family as our home went from housing the three of us + the animals to housing the three of us plus the animals + my brother and Felicia. It also brought a lot of stress and adjusting and finding ourselves just when we thought we were digging out from the aftermath of moving to/from NYC. The year brought a job change for Heather. It brought great birthday celebrations for the girls. It brought Mardi Gras, Halloween and other fun celebrations. But 2010 also held a lot of sickness. It seemed like someone in our house was sick almost every week of the year. Looking back, I think that a lot of it had to do with the stress we were all feeling. One of the greatest accomplishments in the year was that Heather and I decided to work on dealing with the stress together. While there were still sick moments, the end of the year definitely held more laughter and tender moments than the beginning. Our house has settled into a new routine, and while it's not perfect - we are more accepting of each other's quirks, talking to each other more and trying to find the positive.
It's going to be ok.
2011 feels fresh and new and perhaps more than I have ever felt before - I am so thankful for new beginnings and the chance to have a clean slate. I'm excited to carry and build on the positive things that we started/re-newed in 2010. I'm ready for this year and have my arms open wide to the possibilities that it contains. Heather's status on Facebook this morning captures what I think we are both feeling so perfectly. She said, "Ok 2011, let's do this."
This year, I am choosing to enter the new year with a focus on one word. There are many in the blog sphere that participate in one word challenge/commitment (what's the right word, here?). Last year I sort of had an unofficial word - creative. I think it helped me remember what I wanted to get back to, but it also helped me in lots of small ways. I sometimes called that word up when I was being a mom to a tired/cranky/stubborn child and I found a creative way to deal with the situation. I used it in times of stress and would daydream about some silly notion that gave me a moment's reprieve. I used it in planning meals for my family - since I have done most of the shopping in the past few months, I've tried hard to find new ideas that balance things we love with food that is good for us. Creative was a good word and one that I definitely intend to keep close by.
For 2011, my word is mindful.
Dictionary.com defines it as an adjective that means: attentive, aware, or careful (usually fol. by of ): mindful of one's responsibilities.
Synonyms are heedful, thoughtful, regardful.
Merriam-Webster gives the definition as "inclined to be aware." I like that.
I know that this word will take on different twists and turns as the year goes on, but for now here's what this word is meaning for me:
1. Listening to myself, being aware of what I need. I am such a happier person when I stop for just a second and not only listen to myself, but take whatever action it is that I need at that time. I want to be more mindful of my inner voice this year.
2. I like that dictionary.com had a reference to responsibilities because it's definitely one of the reasons I chose this word. I want to be more mindful of my actions relating to my health, my professional life, my finances and even some of my smaller (but very important) responsibilities like cleaning the cat box. I want to remember the consequences of my actions and remember that I have a part and a role in what happens.
3. Being present. One of the things I noticed in 2010 is that I checked out
I know there's more to come with that word. I know that 2011 is going to stretch me and teach me things that I didn't know I need to learn. I'm excited. I'm ready.
Let's do this.