Aspirations in the New Year

Every year, I try to resist the temptation to make promises about how I'm going to make huge sweeping life changes. It seems inevitable that I will just break all of those promises and then suffer from yet more things to feel guilty about. Usually I just make some generalized aspirations so that I don't have any specific things to feel like I've failed at.

This past year, however, has been a lot rougher than anticipated, and with the move behind us and so many new opportunities and possibilities ahead, it has been a little harder to not try to turn over a new leaf.

With all that said, here are the aspirations I've made for 2019:

I want to be present. My ADHD brain will definitely try to fight me on this one. I have been building up my meditation and journaling habits and am going to continue down that road. Having a cell phone (or two) on me at all times is also a hurdle and in the past I've had success in keeping them stowed, I just need to remember to do so.

But how does the sunset know it's beautiful if I don't take a picture?

I want to keep making things - crocheted things, videos, crafty things, food - I want to keep stretching my creativity and having something to show for it.  It feels good to try to make stuff, even if it doesn't turn out as well as I would hope, or if I give up halfway through because it gets boring. Being in the middle of 20 projects at once is ok, because making things makes me happy.

I make real purdy stuff.

I want to build community and spread positivity. I want to be part of something bigger than myself that impacts the world in a way that spreads joy and opportunities.  It is also a good idea to get out of the house ever so often, as working from home may lead me down a road to a situation similar to "The Shining." So far, I've participated in my local neighborhood organization (I never realized how crazypants some cities could be about their neighborhoods- and I am LOVING it!) I've also joined a community organization that's on it's way to being a non-profit, ARTspace, and am the Secretary on the board. I will keep looking for ways to keep using the skills and experience I've accumulated over the years to help these organizations grow.

I don't want to die frozen and alone in a labyrinth.

I want to wake up in the morning and reflect on the things I'm proud of. So many mornings I wake up with a knot in my stomach or a sense of dread as I ruminate on the things I could have done better. Logically, I know I can't change anything that's already happened, but letting go of the vice grip of regret and guilt and just learning from things that didn't go exactly how I'd like is a tough habit to turn. The journaling and meditation have definitely helped, and I'm proud of that, but I know it's going to be a lot of active work to reprogram my brain from the endless self-critical cycle it can get into.

I want to be as proud as a cat who has conquered the crinkly toy again.

I want to support my children and husband and provide an environment that helps them all thrive. Duh. This one is an obvious one for any mother. Of course I want this, and have always tried to give them a good environment, however, there's a difference between just keeping things good and helping to push them into thriving. (Not the pyramid scheme, I really don't think they all have the money needed to maintain that habit) I have been actively trying to look for ways to foster the strengths my children have and help them manage and grow where they have weaknesses. Creating a home "command center" that has centralized organization and communication of our different schedules has been a good step, but there are so many other ways that I can support my family as they all work towards the life they want. We have been having family dinners nightly again, which is super important and has been a much missed piece of our life since the move. James and I have also been actively working on our communication with each other and have even created a list of "core values" we have in our marriage so that we can know exactly what we expect from each other.

It's helpful to find a game to play as a family that causes everyone a lot of anxiety.

I want to find the things that make me thrive. I want to take the time for myself to care for my body and mind. As I reflect on how much I worry about the wellbeing of others while just coping with life in so many ways myself, it's obvious that I need to take more time for me. Not just baths and massages- but all the other things; like time alone, pursuing my own interests, actively working on healing from past trauma, finding an exercise that doesn't feel like a stupid chore - I want to be mindful about how much time and energy I am expending on making sure I am whole and thriving in order to do all the other things I want to do.

I will pedal my desk into a good headspace!

Mostly I want to focus on the good. I have spent a lot of the past few months in a dark place that made it hard to truly value all the good things in my life - and there are so many!  In the face of all the darkness though, all the amazing and wonderful things that are going on in our lives right now were really hard to see and enjoy. Willing away the negative isn't always an option, but making a concerted effort to find all the ways to find the good, not just in my life, but in the world will make it easier to accept and move past the dark moments. 

But I'm a dark, dark girl.

Ok, with all that said- I'm not trying to conquer everything in some great crusade to change my life. My mantra lately has been: "I am enough. I've done enough. I have enough." and it's been the mantra I've needed. I am being patient and gentle with myself as the changes I want will sometimes come in spurts and small waves and sometimes all at once. It's important though to know and articulate what it is that I want and what direction my heart truly wants to be going in order to align my efforts, however big or small.

I would like to recommend an app I recently downloaded, Habitica, as it has been helping me to gamify my work on all the things I want to do. I'm not really that into RPG's (role playing games) but I've loved using Habitica to work towards "leveling up" by changing the real life habits I want to improve, getting my normal chores done and working on my constantly updated to-do list. Google Keep has had my heart for a couple of years now, but it was too easy to make too many lists and sometimes I would lose a thing or two. I've also fallen in and out of love with Bullet Journaling in the past - but all the effort it took to create and then track the things I wanted too was hard. Habitica has a great system for not only making sure I remember when to do something, it also has the ability to set tracking for daily, weekly or monthly durations- which means I can see how many times I was able to set aside the 30 min aside for reading that I want to. There's also a piece that allows me to interact with other folks who have similar aspirations or interests that can help inspire, support and offer community. As with most things, I'm sure it will serve its purpose to me for awhile and then I will move on to the next shiny thing, but it's definitely a tool I would encourage others to explore.

Well, there you have it- I would love to hear what your aspirations (or resolutions) are and how you are tackling them, so please share in the comments!

Have a Fabulous and Wonderful New Year! 


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