I have to admit, I love getting a fresh start. 2010 is not only a new year - it's a new decade! A new year has so much possibility. Will this be the year I get in shape? Get organized? Become super mom? Finally get consistent on a daily quiet time? Stay on budget?
I don't ever do new year's resolutions, but I do enjoy the clean slate "feel" of a new year and each year I focus on a theme. In 2008 I ushered in the year of "Right Now", 2009 was the year of "Held", this year my theme is Simplify.
Simplify my material possessions.
Do I really need hundreds of books, DVDs, 2 crockpots, every scrap of paper since 1998, and 50 strands of christmas lights? Do my children need every toy, book, and movie that comes out so that my house is one giant tangle of Elmo, Thomas the Train, and those freaky singing stuffed animals? Seven different sizes of clothing on the off chance that I might someday lose 30 lbs? Twenty pairs of shoes, because, well, you never know, I might be wearing that prom dress one day (right after I lose 20 lbs) and I'll need those shoes!
Simplify my time.
This year finds me shuttling Hayden to school for his speech therapy. I was going to attempt to still do ladies bible study in spite of the fact that it starts at 9:30 and Hayden gets out of school at 9:45. This would have me arriving around 10 or 10:15 each Thursday and rushing to drop off kids at childcare and sit in on the last few minutes of group discussion before we all head to watch the lecture. In my new lens of simplification, I see how ridiculous this is. When I attempted it the last day this fall, I was completely frazzled and disoriented arriving late, and it wasn't enjoyable. So I will be sitting this semester out.
Simplify my diet
My life has been changed doing The Lord's Table courses (I'm finishing up the second one). My perspective on food and diets has been radically altered. I'm learning to recognize cravings as the deceptions they are - they don't really provide any meaningful satisfaction - and turning away from food as an emotional support. In response to that, I have less need to eat out several times a week, or purchase craving-satisfying food. I have been making simple, but nourishing meals for my family at home, which is much easier on the wallet. That brings me to my next point...
Simplify my finances
This week I finished up the budget for January 2010. I have made some drastic changes and some lofty goals. After reading this post, where a family has saved 100% of their money to buy a house, I decided that it was totally possible for Mark and I to pay off our house over the next four years. This means I've reduced our spending to only the necessities, and even then there are plenty of frivolous categories that still linger.
Simplify my parenting
I made a decision long ago not to overdose myself on the latest parent psychology, but nevertheless, it slowly finds its way in via snippets on TV, in magazines, blogs, or through other parents. I think it would be mind boggling and completely overwhelming to read EVERY parenting philosophy or idea out there and so I choose to say NO. Can I simply reduce my parenting to:
1 part love
1 part patience
1 part teaching
1 part discipline
Being sure that one part does not overpower the others? As in, I'm not scolding all the time, but also not ignoring all their misbehavior. I recognize that they are still small children, yet also strive to teach them daily. Showing them love and affection daily. Doesn't that seem like the gist of this parenting thing?
Now that I've spelled out my theme for the year, I'd love to hear from you guys! Do you do resolutions? What are they? If not, do you do something else?