We’re almost a week into the new year and I’m just now talking about my goals for the year. I didn’t even write a yearly wrap up for 2013 like I have done for each year since the beginning of this blog.
Both of these statements are indicative of what 2013 was like for me. I procrastinated a lot and I felt completely overwhelmed with the responsibilities that I took on during the year. What irritated me about this was the fact that at the time I felt like I could handle it all and I think I could have handled it all…if I had got my act together and took it seriously. Everyone is busy and I think there is something healthy is having a steady stream of things to do. It keeps your brain from atrophying. But busy does not equate success. There is that clichéd phrase “work smarter not harder” that I completely ignored over the past year and I feel like I mostly ran circles in every area of my life.
This year is the year I get my shit together. I need to. I wear many different hats in my life but I have just recently come to the obvious realization that I cannot wear all of those hats at once without looking and acting like a complete fool. I have three main things going on in my life right now: stay at home mother/keeper of the home, wife, and writer/blogger/social media imbider. All of these things have suffered because I haven’t given them all the direct attention they deserve at the proper times. A friend of mine, Alex, wrote a post recently discussing her goals for the new year and how she was going to meet them. It was the wake up call I needed. Sure I could talk about what I wanted to achieve this year in the abstract but without any thought out plan it was all going to consume me rather quickly.
On the home front, I’m setting up a schedule to keep the house clean and orderly. We don’t own a huge home so there really is no reason why I cannot keep it in respectable condition save for the minor messes the kids make during meals and play time. We have also flirted with the idea of selling the house but with the half finished projects littering the place I know we wouldn’t get close to what we want for it. I have a list of projects, big and small, that we must tackle throughout the year.
Our plan is to start Sophia in two day a week preschool starting in the fall. As it stands now there is a minimal amount of educating going on here. She’s only two and a half but I want her to be as prepared as possible for preschool, not only with things like knowing the alphabet and counting but also listening better, being able to sit and keep her attention focused for a small amount of time on something other than the TV. Right now we’re graced with a two hour window of time every morning while Jack is taking a nap. I plan to use just thirty minutes of it to work on some of these things with Sophia. My cousin, who is a pre-K teacher, gave me some great ideas for activities and told me what kids in her classes struggle with the most. I also want to get out of the house more often with the kids. I make a ton of excuses, my favorite right now being that it is so damn cold. I’ve come to the very crushing realization that I will be going back to work before the end of the year once Tim’s order run out. I don’t want to look back on this time and have memories of nothing but watching TV and hanging around the house.
I love this blog. It gives me a sense of satisfaction to know I created something that another person enjoys. With that said I’ve felt paralyzed with this space for the last several months. It feels strange to me and I feel lost trying to navigate it. I don’t want to quit it. I want to find my center here again. I’m just beginning a co-op auditing session with other bloggers. I’m excited to get some outside perspective and also some challenges from other writers. Most of you don’t know that I’ve also been working with the Homefront United Network for the last eight months. I can’t say enough good things about the voice they lend on behalf of the military community and I want to do everything in my power to make that voice be heard. I’ve set aside more permanent time for that role this year.
Finally…marriage. We constantly complain that we’re busy and we never have enough time for ourselves as a couple but we also do next to nothing about it. We don’t turn down many invitations in lieu of time alone. We rarely put ourselves first. The best financial advice I ever received was to pay yourself first and you would find a way to make all your other bills and cut out the waste. We really need to apply this tactic to our marriage. I even wrote about our desperate need for prioritizing our marriage. We don’t lack babysitters or even time we just lack motivation to challenge ourselves to use it. It’s so easy to say we’re going to have a date night on the couch but it quickly turns into each of us on our computers while Netflix plays mindless in the background. We need to change our habits. I want to willingly turn off the screens one night a week and do something together. We also need to make it a point to go out alone at least twice a month.
As a whole, I need to dedicate myself to one task at a time. If I’m spending time with the kids that’s all I should be doing, no checking my email or talking on the phone, if I’m writing the only thing that should be on is Word. I need to be present and if I can do that I don’t see why I can’t accomplish everything I’ve set out to do this year.