“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” ~Robert Burns
I’m a planner. And we had plans.
The kids, for the first time in a month, were going to spend the night at the grandparents house. We were going to make appetizers from Trader Joe’s, have a glass of wine, eat chocolate, and watch really crappy TV. I doubt we would have made it to midnight to see the beginning of 2015, but I would have tried. And it would have been OK because there would have been no little feet padding towards me at 1:30 or 3:45 in the morning needing to go to the bathroom, or an extra hug and kiss, or needing a drink of water.
We had plans. And like the many other times we made plans, they slowly imploded on themselves until none of the original plan was remotely intact.
After shipping everyone off and sitting down to binge watch crappy TV UNINTERRUPTED I received “The Call”. The little one, who hadn’t been feeling so great lately, didn’t want to stay. He just wanted to be home and snuggle with us. My face and spirits fell and I immediately began to cry (chalk it up to pregnancy hormones). I was going to get to watch TV! I was going to get uninterrupted sleep! I was going to stay up past 10!
And then I stopped and really thought about the situation. And guilt replaced my outrage and upset-ness. My little one, who wouldn’t be my little one in 3 short months, wanted to stay home and snuggle with his mom. Why in the world was I upset about this? I admit that we have it rather easy on our end. The kids spend an obscene amount of time with their grandparents giving us ample time off. And here I was wanting more.
I had this whole post written in my head about how, while 2014 was very tough, it was also a year of growth. I was going to write about how 2015 was going to trump last year, I was going to go harder, push more, and ultimately be fierce. This was going to be MY year. It was going to be all about ME and what I wanted to accomplish.
But as always, it’s the smallest things that lead us to see the errors in our ways. I do need to improve, but not in the way I so desperately thought. Instead of constantly needing to pick up new things, try new things, be new, I need to be better at the things I already am. I need to be better at the things that are inevitable (not in a bad way). I need to be better at the things that I already am: mother, wife, friend.
That’s not to say that I will not continue to make time for my running, that I won’t branch out and seek the unknown, but simply that I also need to pay attention to the now, be present in the moment, remember that each day is a gift.
I need to stop trying to go out and be extraordinary and “make” extraneous memories, when my everyday actions are creating memories of their own: reading a book with little O, going for a neighborhood jog with M, feeling Baby 3 kick every moment of the day.
I need to stop thinking “been there, done that” for these moments and realize that each experience, no matter how repetitive or mundane may not be that way for the littles or for others involved.
I need to start appreciating what I have a little bit more.
““It is always important to know when something has reached its end. Closing circles, shutting doors, finishing chapters, it doesn’t matter what we call it; what matters is to leave in the past those moments in life that are over.” ~Paulo Coelho
As much as I complain about being a public school teacher, there are some wonderful perks, such as my 12 days of winter break. The first two days were very busy with last minute Christmas shopping, food shopping, house cleaning, getting ready for relatives and trying to give the little ones a semblance of calm in our chaotic days.
We always celebrate with our family during Christmas morning. It starts at 7 and we gather for presents and breakfast. It may seem early, but the benefit is that it is over by 10:30 leaving us the rest of the day to lounge in our pajamas, enjoy our new gadgets, and otherwise veg about.
Usually the days running together with no set schedule and nowhere to be cause me a great deal of anxiety. When my days are less busy, my mind tends to wander and worry, reexamine and remember and these things are never a good combination.
What I found this year is that instead of he foreboding and anxiety I was greeted by an eerie feeling. I felt calm and at peace almost as if so many of the weights I have been carrying around with me were lifted off and simply floated away. I know that not having to go to work definitely made me happier, but it was more than this and I really wish I could do a better job of explaining it.
I feel as if the impending-ness of 2015 made me shed my 2014 skin. Ill feelings I had were erased. Worries that constantly plagued me, while still there, seemed less overwhelming and important. For the first time in a long time, or maybe even in forever, I felt like everything was going to be ok; like everything is exactly as it should be. I feel like I’ve truly let go of all of the baggage that has accumulated in the past few years. I feel like these moments, regrets, fears, mistakes, will no longer rule my life and be a constant influence on the future decisions I make.
I’ve mentioned before how much I love New Years (https://hereswhatimtryingtosay.wordpress.com/2013/12/27/the-time-has-come-the-walrus-said-to-talk-of-many-things/) It’s this wonderfully magical time when you can just start over. I’m not naive enough to think that the world actually resets itself or that you can’t simply start over any other day of the year, but something happens when you get close to a new year. You can feel the difference, the change in the air, the realization that hope is on its way.
I am no longer the person I was when 2014 began, and I really couldn’t be happier with the changes that have occurred, but I think there’s more. I’d like to keep this feeling of peace and calm. I’d like to do better. I’d like to be better. The changes I’ve made to myself are indisputable, but with baby #3 on the way, there is no doubt that I can still grow, I can still change, I can still become a better person, a person that all my children can be proud of.
A person that I can be proud of.