Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

We rang the New Year in, as we have the past several years, by planting our wishes.

It's a custom from some far off locale, I can't remember which.

So, now, at 11:59 we all scurry outside with a trowel and scoop out 4 small holes.

We bend down and whisper our wishes for the New Year into them and then cover them back up.

To grow.

I know not everyone is a big resolutions person. I am. In part, because I just love to come up with new plans, new goals, new over the top regimes. I think it's fun. Some of my ideas are somewhat outlandish... but... still they push me to try to step out of my comfort zone. I really don't care on Dec 31st if I stuck them out or not... the thought of what might be is enough for me. If I only do it once, I still challenged myself. And, I do believe, it's about the drive to change... always believing that it's possible to be more. Whether I make a life long change isn't the point, it's showing myself, and my girls (and Mr F the most pessimistic of all) that life is more fun and exciting when you actively live it.

As I said to Kid last night... "Happy New Year! Another year, another chance to be more awesome!"

Last year our family goal for 2011 was to chose happiness. That meant a very failed attempt at spreading joy through $5 gift cards (hilarious flop), to a more sustainable decision to say no to events, invitations, people and sports programs that were actively sucking our souls out. On that front we were incredibly successful. And as a people pleaser, that is a huge accomplishment! I even refused to accept friendship requests of several people on Facebook... what?!... choosing my own comfort and boundaries, over someone else's? Unprecedented.

This year we are going to focus on our social life. As in improving it. This is a big challenge for us. While there are lots of people, here, we would love to hang out with, our schedules (and theirs), various levels of social anxiety, and just plain speed of life, always seem to collide on the side of staying home. The truth is, that at this stage of life, with all our friends juggling their work and kid schedules, it just is harder to get together with people. It takes more work than before we moved to NC, when everyone's kids were preschool aged & younger... without soccer, swimming, dance, and karate lessons every night of the week to contend with. So, it will, in fact, take more work.

That's a pretty big challenge for one year.

I'm, truthfully, somewhat conflicted, since most of me is always trying so hard to slow our schedules down and carve out a moment to relax. But in doing that, it can be easy for *extras* like cultivating and maintaining friendships to be the first thing to fall by the wayside. Because, what else can you cut? We have something M-Th every afternoon/eve for the kids, which all independently seem important, and then there is Mr F's ridiculous work schedule. I've thought a lot about it. While things were stressful in NC, I was also in some ways more fulfilled socially. People were in general less busy, there, and social time was more of a priority. There was not as much pressure for your kids to take extra curriculars, as there is here, and so there were more playdates.

So, I'll be thinking on this. We are kind of locked into our current schedule until June, so baby steps for now. But come summer I would like to really focus on reestablishing our social network, and finding a way to make that a priority when we start a new school year in the Fall.

Seems a long way off... but... experience proves otherwise.

1 comment:

Gigs said...

Is it weird that I'd rather be with my kids than with anyone else? But you've given me something to think about. Maybe it's time to bolster some friendships. They are the first thing to fall by the wayside with us too. Sometimes it is hard to see time with friends, and even family, as relaxing - and not just another situation in which I have to worry about my kid and his coping. But honestly, our boys could both be out of the house in five years, and then where will I be? Hmmm...food for thought in 2012.

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