Well, happy New Year my dear friend. I hope you and your loved ones had a wonderful holiday season. It always goes by much too fast.
While I decided this year that I wasn’t going to set goals and hold myself accountable to an entire list of things I am vowing to do better (like I have every year in the past), I did find myself reflecting on this past year and the things I am taking away from it. Don’t get me wrong, there is still an entire list of things in my head that I want to improve on and accomplish, but I am trying to accept those feelings without the need for deadlines or extreme planning. I simply want to try a little harder to be a little better this year.
Anyway, back to those lessons learned. I think it’s apparent, at least to myself when I do look back on this year, that I got comfortable. I got complacent. I got stagnant. It’s so easy to go through daily life. And that’s it. Just going through the motions, just existing. Just being. Do you ever feel like that? Like the days pass by and you are just standing there with a blank look on your face. It’s comfortable and feels normal, but when you really let yourself sit with the idea that you are merely existing, it stirs something within you. It suddenly becomes something you are aware of and the shock that any day has been spent listless is sad because goodness knows, we only have so many. Don’t get me wrong. Not every day of real life can be exciting and awe inspiring, but looking back on this year I had become stagnant.
One big wake up call I had was when we abruptly took the kids out of public school and dove immediately into home schooling/hack schooling. It was a curve ball that I never imagined being at the plate seeing come our direction, but there it was. Overnight it seemed like too and it rocked our world. Looking back though, it sparked something in me that I think had been buried under everyday life and the mundane monotony of it all. It unearthed this passion for living. Nothing more, just living, but actually living. Do you feel me on this one? Living for everyday adventures. For more freedom and fresh air. For something…. just something more than drudging through the assembly line. Suddenly it felt like we had broken free of this lifestyle that I had so gladly jumped into thinking there were no other options. It’s what I did as a kid. It’s what my mom did as a kid. It’s what we all do. We go to school, but suddenly there was this taste of freedom and unlimited choices in our change to home schooling.
We started talking about more day trips, weekend trips. We started being outside more. We started talking around the table more. We started loving more. Don’t get me wrong, there was always love, but being together all day every day there’s just more space for it. We just started being…more! In a very simple way. It’s not that we suddenly are jet setting and going on lavish vacations, but everyday life just seemed so much brighter. We still have our days that are boring and feel a little more mundane than others, but it all feels a little more comfortable than it did before. The kind I can live with.
The wake up I had from that has sparked so many other things that I have been wrestling with. While I try not to live my life from a place of fear, I can’t help but always think about my father when I am sorting through these types of feelings. It was 24 years ago yesterday that he passed away unexpectedly during heart surgery. And you know, at any moment it could all be over. Just like that. I could blink and my time here could be done. None of us know what tomorrow holds and nothing is promised. Maybe this state of thinking comes with the territory when you are introduced to death at such a young age, I don’t know. And like I said, I try to not live life from a place of fear, but reminding myself of that fear? And this spark from our lifestyle change back in September? Listen, I don’t need my daily life to be full of exotic vacations, expensive possessions, and huge moments, but I do need it to be full of living. Simple living. Really focusing on what is important. Really enjoying the time I have with this family of mine. And I mean really soaking it in. To rid myself of unnecessary distractions.
And that’s where I think I went wrong earlier in the year. Wake up, send the kids off to school, work, eat dinner with the family, bedtime routine, go to bed.
That was it! Day after day after day. And 2018 made me realize that I need more. I need more with my people. And they need even more of me. Especially if I don’t know what curve ball is coming next. And yes, there will still be work. And bills to pay. And that is life and what comes with it. However, I guarantee you that when all is said and done I won’t be remembering any days I spent in my studio. I won’t care about the grand total of followers on social media. Not with these amazing little people around me and a husband that I cherish dearly. I love my work. And it fills me. And fuels me. But these people fill and fuel me more. And no amount of time in this life will be enough with them. I want to make sure that I left my mark on them long after I am gone. So they never find themselves questioning if my heart was in or not or where they stood in the ranks. When they think of their mother I hope they can recall moment after moment that I was there. Fully aware and present and that it brings a tear to their eye as they recall countless memories made.
So with every possibility ahead of us in 2019 and an entire year to try a little harder to be a little better, that is my wish. To not just be more present, but to immerse myself in what is happening in front of me. To slow down more, to talk more, to see more, to love more. Just more of the really good stuff. To really marinate in it so that when the time comes that all is said and done, I can say that I really did leave everything I had on the table.
Cheers to a new year and a heartfelt thank you for always showing up here. Love you.