Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Nu Start

We got back from our too long trip yesterday evening. Its so good to be back home, to have tasks to accomplish and plans to make and keep. But I'm also glad we're easing into it...back at work/daycare today, then off tomorrow, then 2 days back until the weekend. 

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.


  1. I like your phrase for the year. That is a really good one. I might have to borrow it myself.

    As you know my word for the year is "patience". I hope I can cultivate some because lord knows I'm going to need it. I'm sure you'll be posting all kinds of tips on how to survive two crazy kids on my stressed out blog so thank you in advance for your support. ;) I hope I will always be returning the favor.

  2. Love this idea! Happy New Year to you and your family!

  3. Lightening up is good! Maybe I'll try that one too...

  4. I love how you came to your word. That's how I know I've picked the right one - it's the one that seems to come on its own. And isn't it amazing how changes to your physical environment (especially @ home) make such a huge difference in how you feel? Good luck to you and wishing you lots of fun!

  5. Haha. I am finally letting go of some of the rigidness myself, but I gotta say I think that when the kids get older, it's easier to do this. Sounds great regardless.

    When you get a chance, can you send me the contact info of the people who painted your house?

  6. Oh man, the part about the world lightening up really inspired me! I think it's a brilliant word of the year. It's bound to work at least some of the time.