Tuesday, January 7, 2014

One Day at a Time

The holidays have been good to my family and me. Wonderful in fact, but for some reason, possibly lack of motivation, I find myself less than enthused about new years resolutions this year.  Maybe—with the kids home from school—my house has been a mess for too long. Maybe all the holiday fun just wore me out. I’m usually a very goal centered gal but history has shown that I am often failing to meet or even get past the paper stage of my goals.

I would love to be softer spoken with my kids, more intimate with my husband, and spend more one on one time with everyone in my family. I would love to have a perfectly organized and clean home, finished and decorated to match the dream in my mind. I would love to have the patience of a saint, the knowledge to help my kids in all their struggles at school, with friends, and with life, but I already know I will fall short of such perfection. After all, a year is a long time to be perfect in so many areas—and I’ve only just begun.

Before you all start falling into a Michelle induced troubled and discouraged state, let me tell you about my redeeming moment today. I was talking with a friend who confided her desire simply not to “lose it” with the kids. She was trying so hard only to find herself feeling unappreciated and disrespected. This of course is a hard thing for any parent. As she talked through things with me she said, “We just have to take it one day at a time.”

Well it’s true! Life isn’t about eating the whole pie in one sitting—or brownies if you prefer—it’s about enjoying it one bite, one piece at a time. I don’t have to be “perfect” for a year, or even an entire day. New year’s resolutions always fill me with the need to attain perfection within such a small window of life. Perfection is a misleading word anyway. I would like to redefine perfection from the idea of never making a mistake, to the reality of simply working to be better than you were yesterday. I am still definitely a believer in goal setting, but it seems a lot more doable when I take it one day at a time.

What does all of this mean to me? It means that even though yesterday I had a “my house is a disaster and no-one’s helping” breakdown, today I can vacuum the floors, scrape up the food that’s leaching onto my tile, and keep up with the laundry (I was shy of completion by one load—and a pile of unfolded laundry on my couch). It means that even though I spent too much time and energy cleaning this morning, I can do better spending time with Ella on her homework tonight and more time reading with Julia. It means that even though my husband hurt my feelings yesterday, today I can forgive, give him a kiss and be happy. It means that when Jackson wipes curry all over my white shirt at dinner I can be patient in that one moment—I think I did a pretty good job. It means that when I get upset at the kids for arguing I can take the next moment to apologize and teach them. One moment at a time, one day at a time, working for a better me and a happier family.

Hmm, I think I’ve come up with my new years resolution. Enjoy life with us, one moment and one day at a time!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and I hope the new year brings great opportunity for hope and joy for you and your family. My blogs will now be posted on Tuesday's. Happy New Year!

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