2015 will be over in just a matter of hours. I only have one thing to say to that… GOODBYE AND GOOD RIDDANCE. Okay, so that may be a bit dramatic of me, but 2015 was just plain sucky for me. Though I’m not one to air my dirty laundry on any social network (including this blog), for me, 2015 included A LOT of yuck, including many months of postpartum depression and anxiety, major life changes, having to put our dear dog down and my dad being diagnosed with Alzheimer disease. That’s just snippet of the burdens I’ve carried this year. It was just ugly.
2015 was not kind to me and I wish I could say that I was better, stronger, and that I “chose joy” more often than not, but that would be a lie. And, if I am one thing, I am no liar. To be utterly raw and real and vulnerable, I really hated this year and struggled to find some lesson and truth in everything that God allowed to cross my path. I wanted to be healthy and happy. I wanted our lives to feel stable and safe. I wanted my sweet dog to live forever. And I certainly wanted my daddy to not have to endure a terrible and terminal disease. But that is not how life goes. I’ve accepted that and I’ve struggled to not allow these circumstances to define me, but rather to draw me closer to God. More than anything, I have struggled not to give up hope, and to keep dreaming and planning for my future and the future of my family.
For that reason I continue to plan my annual goals (I don’t call them resolutions, because I approach these things differently than a blitz of effort followed by a crash and burn). For the sake of accountability and just to breathe these goals to life, I thought I would share them.
- Commit to weekly time spent practicing my photography and other creative pursuits. This was the first thing to go when life got really busy with two kids and work and everything else that fuels each day. I miss it and I find I am much better mentally when I get a creative escape.
- I am still sort of embarrassed by this fact, but we’ve never taken a family vacation. We’ve taken trips and my husband and I have escaped together, but not without first dropping the kids off at a grandparent’s house. This year, I really want us to go somewhere together, and I really want my kids to see the ocean for the first time.
- Read more. That one is that simple. I love to read. I don’t make time for it. I want to this year.
- Take charge of my health, both physical and mental. I feel like motherhood has wrecked me in more ways than one, but I’m really starting to feel it in my body this last year. I have no energy or motivation… and I have very active boys, so that is not going to cut it long-term.
- Simplify. I am probably the most excited about this one. Our house has been a holy wreck since the boys arrived and I have just about had it. It’s not just that it’s messy, it’s that there is no peace. There is no peace because of the clutter and excess of “stuff”. I am so over “stuff”. This year will be all about simplifying EVERYTHING.
- Friendship. I have said it before, but I don’t have a whole lot of friends, and that is mostly by choice. But the ones that I do have are the cream of the crop. The best of the best. I really mean that. I fear that because of the chaos of my life in recent years that I have not been the best friend to them. This year, I want to be a real friend.
- Write more. Same as #3. Love it. Don’t get to do it. Want to do it more.
- This is a tough one, but this year, I really want to focus on my marriage. Again, without airing dirty laundry and disrespecting my husband online, our marriage has taken a real hit this year. It’s not surprising when you factor in depression, anxiety, new jobs, illness, two children under 3.5 years, etc. But I’m ashamed at the lack of effort I’ve put forth in fighting for a better relationship with my husband. I am going to work hard this year to restore and build it up.
- The difficulties of this year did do one awesome thing this year and that was to bring me much closer to the Lord and to really strengthen my prayer life. This year though, I need to focus on words of truth. I want to really commit to spending time with my bible. Not just reading, but really studying. Really living it. Breathing it. Believing it.
I wish you all a very Happy New Year and pray that 2016 brings blessings, new and awesome opportunities and growth. I would love to hear some of your goals for 2016 as well. All my best, friends.