Lets start with the negative, so we can put it behind us?
What didn't work that I want to fix:
- Stopping the Paxil/not going to therapy: I thought things were stable enough to try it out. I was wrong, the last few weeks have been BAD. It started off with being more irritable---yelling more at the boys, picking fights with G...then moved to difficulty concentrating and staying on task at work, and finally into full fledged anxiety with all the psychosomatic symptoms, including not sleeping. I'm not scheduled to go back to the psych until later this month, but I have a big bottle and I restarted it last night. I also left another message with the therapy group to see if I can get in to see someone (they were all full last fall, said to call back in December and I didn't) to keep working on the coping skills.
- Not scheduling couple time for me and G. We're doing fine, just not as connected as we'd like and sometimes feel like we haven't spoken in weeks! Our schedules are in a place where we need to really make a point to spend time together or it won't happen. I usually go to bed as soon as the kids do these days so we don't have default weeknight TV/talk/hang-out time anymore. We both realized we need a "date night", either at home or out, weekly and I'm going to start putting them into our calendar in advance so we don't plan social or other outings.
- Long family trips: the full week at Disney and later the beach with my family, the week and a half with MIL...I'd rather leave on a high note, wanting more, than be DONE and dying to go home, ending up way more stressed then I started and needing a few days to recover. We figured that the kids could handle it so why not try to squeeze as much as we could out of the vacation, but turned out that I couldn't handle it and I need a day or two to decompress.
- Not blogging/writing: Its good for me to sort out my thoughts. I was writing here more often, and then I was using a journal for a while, and then I just...stopped. And I miss the outlet.
And now the good stuff! What worked this year that I want to do more of:
- A little selfishness: I realized that I needed more social interaction and to get out of the house once/week on average and I just...made it happen. I look at my calendar every month and start texting friends to plan things for random evenings and also a couple of lunches/month. The kids and G are fine. I am much less crabby.
- Low-key entertaining: to add to the social interaction I've also gotten more proactive at inviting friends and neighbors over for brunch play-dates and impromptu dinners. The adults can sit and talk and the kids can run around...its way more relaxing than going somewhere.
- Weekend getaways: having a car helps a lot with this and we want to make it happen more often. Camping, visiting my sister or G's cousin (2-3 hour drives)---refreshing to get out of the house and thus not do any chores for a day or two!
- Unabashed family fandom: Its just so fun to dive right into whatever we happen to love at the moment! This is something I've learned from my kids, because I've been programmed to play it cool and cynical from an early age. We went all in on loving Hamilton, and then Harry Potter, and now B has gotten us all into listening to Taylor Swift (and I have to admit...I like some of her songs...). Eventually the kids will refuse to like anything we also like so I'm kind of soaking this up while it lasts...
So the "negatives" are really "double negatives", i.e. things I didn't do that I should've done. Whereas the positives are things I did. I'm sure there is a lesson there somewhere? And there is likely a lot more in each category but these are the ones that are in the forefront of my mind right now as I set up the shiny empty new planner!