Friday, January 1, 2010

A Fresh Start in 2010

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?


Gail said...

I am you, 2 years ago, haha
I am thinking I want to focus on now, as in not yesterday, not the past; not tomorrow, not the future; not when we..., I can't til..., but right now, this very moment. Live in now and enjoy now, rather than live in the past or future.

In regards to simplify-the move has made us inspired to focus on simplifying possessions to some degree, struggle to learn how to simplify time more, people love to throw distractions your way,I am want to work harder on ignoring them and focusing on home...and to me, there is nothing simple about parenting, haha,simplistic parenting seems an oxymoron, haha

Gail said... I struggle today, I come to the realization I need to establish balance. My brain is stuck in all or nothing mode.

Just Me said...

Yeah, I think we could all use a bit of balance!!

Amanda said...

I love your theme for the year...and it is applicable for anyone really. We can all simplify so many aspects of our lives. I look forward to seeing how this plays out over the course of the year for you -- and I also look forward to being challenged myself with the idea. :)

I just posted about my Word of the Year -- Rest. I also have some specific goals for the year I am going to post tomorrow...I am really looking forward to 2010. It's gonna be a good one! :)

Just Me said...

I think Rest is an awesome word of the year!! Especially during this season of life. I have to keep reminding myself - this is a season. A season where my energy is low, and demands on my time are high and it's OK not to be super mom. I have two small children who need help with everything they do during the day and constant supervision, so of course I'm not going to be Martha Stuart in my "spare time". Rest is exactly what mommies need!! And I loved the different aspects of the word "rest" - so perfect.