And it doesn't end this weekend. Monday night my parents are flying in, they'll be here all next week (and the kids will be at home) and my sister and her family come in Friday-Saturday for B's "friend" party on Saturday morning. A party I still need to plan and prepare! So it won't be until January 13th that we're back to a routine for all 4 of us.
So I'm giving myself until then to think through and write out all my plans for 2014. I have been working (mentally) on my list of things I want to do next year and will post it once I've reviewed it with G. I've also been pondering a "word of the year". I initially thought about "Change" because I'd like things to change...but I don't really want to make or respond to any truly big life changes. Then I thought about "present" (i.e. "being in the...") or "open" (minded/hearted) but those seemed too touchy-feely. I very much relate to Anandi's "engage" but I don't know that I'm ready for that one quite yet...
I was at a loss. And then our house painter showed up. He already finished the first floor---we have gone from some crazy bright colors (sadly, ones we chose and painted ourselves, so no one else to blame for that hideousness) to some subdued and calming ones. Just doing that made us feel lighter. It also spurred us to do some rearranging and decluttering which intensified that feeling.
This year I'm going with a phrase instead of a word: Lighten up.
In all senses of the word---to actually lighten our load by unloading things and obligations, but also to let go of some of obsessive need for routine. To have more fun---at work and at home, with parenting and marriage. To do new things, to catch up with old friends without worrying about finding the right time to call, to entertain friends in our home without worrying about everything in the house being perfect*, to take the boys on adventures without worrying so much** about naps and bedtimes. To worry less in general. And say "yes" where I'd usually default to "no".
This fall seemed so quick. The evenings got darker and darker and before I knew it we reached the solstice. And we're gaining daylight every day. The whole world is starting to lighten up, I can do it too.
*to be fair, my definition of "perfect" is a non-leaking roof, no household pest infestations, and no big drywall holes in the ceiling or walls...but this has prevented us from having a party for the past 2 years.
**notice I said "so much"...I still stand by my assertion that sleep is requisite for optimal development and slightly-less-crazy behavior in young children.