A universal date, on every calendar. Heavily weighted with expectation of hope and promise.
Beautiful new date keepers given for the holidays, displayed eagerly with joy and anticipation for whats to come.
With the eve of each New Year, so many of us feel pressure to change.
To purge and lighten, making ourselves “better people” in the days to come.
Nevermind the list[s] we make; heavy and filling the page.
Absolute and determined resolution to be someone we wish we were.
& while I can and do appreciate the concept and the motivation behind it…
too many of us, being imperfectly human and flawed; almost always fall short;
forgetting things, giving in to dietary cravings and not exercising enough, watching too much television…
& later, not even 12 days into January, give or take, we begin the vicious cycle again.
Suddenly, we are failures; gluttonous and without willpower.
Our homes not organized neatly into bin and basket.
Again, turning to Pinterest and other sources; hoping to save our disastrous homes, meals, minds, diet and parenting plans.
Just to name a few of the things one will obsess over fixing about themselves.
For some, this is routine. The familiar. A cycle of life that they crave and trust.
I cant say, with honesty, that I have not been a participant of this cycle, in the years behind me.
I can, in complete truth, tell you this.
I have allowed this cycle to take place in my life, only to become a victim, by CHOICE, to routine and a failure in my own goal setting and lack of accomplishments.
This year and the year before it (2012 & 2013) have been so good to myself and my family.
I am absolutely not speaking in a measure of monetary value or career success.
While we do need monetary success to simply provide for our family and basic needs; this is simply not a measure of my overall worth and I am doubtful this will ever change for me.
As the saying goes…”money can’t buy you happiness.”
Of this, I am convinced.
The past 2 years of my life have been weighted heavy with change and compromise.
Regular commutes between the U.S. & Canada; many miles between my husband, myself and our children.
A health problem, that I have learned will now be with me indefinitely; regardless of my absolute desire to feel completely well again.
Changes in career, changes in geographic location.
MANY times over.
Change in our children, growth and maturity, that I just hadn’t quite expected or prepared for, just yet.
I am fairly certain this feeling of surprise will never disappear over the coming years.
Raising three daughters is no easy task and is never without chaos and consequence of the heart.
In our marriage, of almost 12 years, many moments of change and compromise.
Moments further cementing us to one another, the anchor to each others souls, the sunshine in each others sky.
A journey and companionship, that no one could even imagine or ask for but only earned in trust, love and sacrifice, in all of our days.
A love and friendship to sustain myself, my spouse and our children through every one of our days; together or otherwise.
Our family is taking a different journey in the celebration of the coming year.
This year, while faced with challenge of the mind, body and soul; we have found a peace and deep appreciation, never imagined.
While this year has not been without pain and sacrifice; it is through these challenges, that I believe we discover our truest selves.
Truly, when faced with adversity, backs against the wall; it really does become a moment and life changing decision of fight or flight.
In our fight; as a family and also as individuals; we have discovered a new way of life and love.
To live this year, with resolve only, to embrace the chaos and change, still to come in its days…
To see and feel the beauty and love in each day, moment and minute, we are breathing.
Letting it be. LIFE.
Absolute and real, embraced chaos, delicious ambiguity and all that each day will offer.
No amount of emotion or event, being an overall marker of our days or a label of what we are worth.
We are choosing to “let it be.”
every single day.
Tonight, as a family, we will fill a jar with paper.
The many things for which we are thankful, written in ink.
To many, this would appear selfish and possibly even lazy.
& truly, to each their own. Every journey is different for every person.
Its just too easy to become caught up in the mundane details and pressure of the everyday.
I will LET IT BE when life gets busy and my house becomes messy and I will snuggle my babies and kiss my husband instead.
Surely, I will find 5 minutes later in the day or week, to catch up on things.
As a family, we will find a slow sunday to fold the laundry and vacuum the floors together.
I will LET IT BE when other peoples actions could easily cause me distress or harm.
Truly, we cant be in control of every person, place or thing.
I will LET IT BE when expressing myself through my home, clothing, etc.
I am the only person who can be me. My home is a reflection of who I am and is MY sanctuary.
There is no search box on Pinterest or Google for that.
We will fill the jar with love and laughter.
Being conscious of all the good things that our life has to offer and that we love to share together.
With little moments of unexpected fun and happiness in between.
One of my suggestions is: “to enjoy more pie.”
While trivial to some and gluttonous to others, it comes from a place of love.
I love the connection that food can make with people, places and memories of days gone by and even days to come.
My mom is currently OBSESSED with making pies and we have so enjoyed watching her and enjoying the fruits of her labor.
My mother in law makes pies for each holiday and celebration & we have also greatly appreciated and admired her work; if you will.
The recipes for each of them, coming from family members who have passed.
Tradition packed up safely in each of their hearts and mind, written on paper and passed on to each of us, with love.
Some times you just need home. Even in your own living room, with your own family.
Pie, tastes like home. It tastes and smells of love.
It serves as a beautiful reminder of blessed and loved we truly are.
& yes, there will be far less trivial request that each of us make.
Another, from myself and a general rule which my husband and I practice daily; pick your battles.
Listen to your spouse and even children, without immediate consequence or judgment.
Be forgiving and accepting of others, including yourself.
It is often, the people we love the most, who let us down more often and in a manner, far more intense.
Their behaviors, not always of a malicious intent and often the pain is far greater because of how much we love them.
I am forgiving and accepting of the traits and quirks my husband has that may rattle my nerves now and then..
because I am aware that I am equally guilty of driving him crazy and he still loves me every single day.
NO MATTER WHAT.
Our family will resolve to LET IT BE.
Of course, there will still be the obligatory toy and clothing purge, among others.
Sharing with others, what we have in excess.
Tonight we will fill our jar to the brim, I am sure.
We bought a cake and have decided to enter the New Year in celebration.
We are celebrating being happy & content with who we are and with what we have.
Far too often, conceited and in vain, many obsess over having better or more of something.
While it is not for me to place judgment, the effort required is something not within me.
The New Year begins with January 1st for each of us.
Every single day can be happiness and hope, anticipated and celebrated.
We should all strive to be better persons, every single day, of every single year.
Regardless of pressure from the upcoming year and the hanging of a new calendar.
Give yourself a break and focus on being healthy and happy, instead of seeing a specific number on a scale.
Remind yourself that your children will live through you and the value you place in yourself.
Happy New Year to all of you.
May 2014 find you HAPPY, HEALTHY and filled with PEACE.
& with each day that passes, may you remember to LET IT BE.
Forgive others, forgive yourself and breathe in all that life has to offer.
Time is fleeting and you will never recover the passing years in your children’s lives, the smell of a baby and the laughter of a small child.
Hairs will gray, gravity will take hold of your body and no amount of judgment or “to-do list” can change this.
More importantly, breathe everything in. EVERY LAST MOMENT.
& later, when you are gray and maybe even more alone, there will always be that movie, on repeat in your mind.
You will find infinite happiness and joy as you remember your first love for another, your first kiss and each child, to whom you gave life.
The sight and smell of each memory in time, just as it first was, no matter the quantity of times, recollected.
Let it be.