It's a new year! 2017 is in the past (I know a lot of people who are pretty glad about that) and a shiny new year has begun. A clean slate. An opportunity for fresh starts and second chances. For resolutions! It shouldn't surprise any of you that I don't do New Year resolutions very well. Some people choose a word to see them through the year, and I've read a lot of really good ones in recent weeks. Some people step into the new year intending to make good, healthy changes to their lives, in their bodies or in their relationships, or just for their own pleasure. I really admire those people who can stick to something, who set high aims and do their very best to hit their mark. I think that's great! However, I am not that way. I try to be sometimes, but as the years go by it's becoming glaringly obvious that I'm really, really far from being an even vaguely organized person. In the kitchen, in homeschooling, in my music, in my resolutions. My life is messy and disorganized, and somehow I don't think people would feel very inspired if the word I chose for 2018 was "Chaos."
So I did something different this year. Instead of saying, "This is the year that I WILL...(fill in the blank)," I said, "This is the year that I WON'T." This is the year that I'm just going to take what comes and try to use every situation as an opportunity to savor the moment. I'm not going to pile expectations onto myself or my kids. I'm not going to spend the year wishing I had more things or wondering when we can ever do such-and-such around the house. I'll seize opportunities for action as they arise, but I'm not going to go looking for challenges. Because I'm lazy. Maybe that should be my word of 2018!
Here's really what I AM going to do: I'm going to remember that my kids will only be the ages they are at this time ONCE. I'm going to remember that this day is not plural. I'm going to remember that we seldom get warnings ahead of personal tragedy so if I'm not experiencing something devastating at any given time, I will be thankful. I'm going to remember that my kids are totally awesome and I'm the luckiest to be able to spend every day with them. I'm going to remember that even though it can be a challenge to get everyone dressed and out the door, spontaneity ALWAYS makes memories. And I'm going to remember that we all have raincoats for a reason.
2017 was actually a really good year for us. We came back to our downtown house and settled in to stay. None of us wants to move ever again, not for land, not for chickens, not for a cow, not for a bigger garden. We love our house. And we've made some shifts and changes within the house that make us all love it even more, but mostly it just feels so much like home to all of us, even to Ingrid who was born when we were living on our first homestead. Her first experience with this place was as en empty rental (that never rented)! This year I just want to enjoy what we have. I want us to work our little urban garden boxes together and ride bikes and eat popsicles on the stoop and watch birds. 2017 was filled with all of those things and I think I did a pretty good job of appreciating what I had. I want to do it again this year, that's my only resolution. If I look at my days through the lenses of an outsider, it looks like this: The kids do their school work, we play games, we sew doll clothes, we make music, we draw and cook and talk and learn words and stories and history and myths... and our days just go by like that. There's no reason I shouldn't be looking at my own days just like that and thinking every day--despite the tantrums and the difficulties and the juggling of little girl emotions and bad habits and struggles-- "this is the good life." That can be my word for 2018! Or phrase, I guess. Because it's so true! This IS the Good Life.