Sunday, December 30, 2012

We were okay. And that is good.

I just went back through my blog looking for this past year's resolutions and realized that I made none - at least not on this blog - since I took November - March off of posting apparently!

Life happens.

So the good news is, no blown resolutions!

The less good news - no accomplished resolutions. And nothing much checked off the bucketlist.

I gave myself half credit for finishing up  the first half of #12: Learn to take great photos and get a “real” camera - I took a photo workshop in April that was really enlightening if only for showing me the power of a low aperture lens, which did drastically improve my portraits. Unfortunately, since then, my toddler's ability to pose (read: stop moving) for portraits has diminished to almost zilch, so I can't say I've actually produced many "great photos" lately.

I may have accomplished #68 Start an Xmas tradition and carry it on forever, but I'm not sure when I actually get to count that as completed?) I'll update on this soon and you can decide.

And that is really about it. Not that I feel unaccomplished this year. I've actually come pretty far. I am starting to feel relaxed more often, which is fairly foreign to me. I am starting to feel okay when people come to my house and it's covered in goldfish crackers or dishes are stacked in the sink - not that I aspire to live in a pit, but I'm working to be less uptight about having company over in general. I'm more comfortable taking The Cupcake out into the world, more confident that we will have fun adventures and less worried about her melting down or making a scene - again, I'm re-setting my tolerance for being imperfect in public. I'm learning to strike out all the other verbs and just "be."

I'm still not sure what I want to do with my life or as a career, and that still scares me. But I'm doing a much better job of living right now, instead of 4 weeks/months/years down the road. Heck, I can't even tell you what I'll be doing next week (or what day it is today, honestly), so I'm learning to live outside of a schedule pretty well.

I think the biggest thing I've learned this year is that the stay at home mom mantra is true: the days are long, but the years are short.

Some days are very, very long. Most of the days of my pregnancy were full of nausea and heartburn. Much of TC's first year was a haze of sleep deprivation. The second was non-stop action and some days I begged for a nap myself (or just some time to sit), but those long days eventually faded into short years - has it been another one already? Will I have a 2-year-old at the end of the week?

Yes. And we will celebrate with a delightful party, one that is small and manageable but also a reason to splurge and try a few crafts and take a lot of photos. A chance to gather the family and our closest friends around an absurdly big bowl of ice cream, dress TC in a special outfit she will probably only wear that once, and listen to her laugh and try to make everyone around her do the same. I will probably stress about it, and run late, and order too much food - but then I will sit down, and relax, and enjoy the evening as I am just now learning to do.

A lot of mommybloggers say that their kids teach them all sorts of lessons, and I suppose mine does too, but what stands out to me more is what I've learned not from my kid, but from being her mom. Being a mom. I've been humbled. I'm continually struck by how difficult it is to parent, mostly in the tiny little decisions or enduring the situations in which we have no decision, let alone the big scary ones we fret over so much. I'm shocked and surprised at my own reaction to things, and how I never could have anticipated the way I'd feel in any of these situations, or how I'd react, or that I'd even face many of them. I'm then shocked and surprised again that I can realize these changes and step back to look at my whole life, and everyone else's around me, differently. 

There have been few tremendous highs this year, and several terrible lows - we lost family members, including our longtime companion Norm. Illness struck our extended family. Cars broke, stuff wore out, money was tight.

But mostly, it was okay.
We were okay.
We had what we needed, we wanted what we had, and there was a wonderful peace in that. 

I think in 2013 I may not resolve to reach as many heights as I sometimes feel I should. I am often guilty of "letting the perfect be the enemy of the good", and that creates a cycle of stress that is self defeating and not fun. So, instead, maybe I'll just live in the middle for a while, and enjoy the peace between extremes. I'll check some things off my bucketlist if it works out, and I'll keep working towards some more organization, surrounding myself with things and people and tasks that make me happy, but I won't push it. I'll just be.

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