Month: January 2015

The New Year

I felt the inner itch to write today.  So I am scratching it. Bear with me as my writing fluxes this year….I have no idea where this is going, but that’s the fun of it, no?

January seems to be the perfect month to live out some fresh changes.  We’re already knee deep in mind over (snow) matter and the bitter wind and the snow covered ground as far as the eye can see tends to bring out the ascetic in us all.  I’ve had a few weeks with my 2015 resolutions under my belt and I’m feeling great.  Centered and whole.  Discipline and rhythm are definitely the harmony to my melody.

I’m sure a huge part of this feeling also stems from not being pregnant nor having a wee one to center my life around.  Bea is at the perfect age for me to have enough independence from her in order to implement these things. (New mamas, you’ll be here soon.  Enjoy being tossed about by the waves of little cries while it lasts).

This year has proven to be a time to figure out how my brain works.  Though my time used to be divided between a full-time job and a house to care for, now it seems to be even further parted into more numerous facets.  This makes it especially more important for me to understand it if I best want to exploit it.  Being introverted especially makes this quest more enjoyable (and dare I say necessary)

I really enjoyed reading this post about the importance of being bored.  Naturally, as an introvert, I want to spend hours inside my own head, processing the world and dreaming up creativity.  In order to write, I have to have ABSOLUTE silence with zero distractions.  Even the tiniest of distractions can send me miles adrift from where I was.  I once read someone describe being an introvert as similar to a scuba diver.  They are undersea, exploring their world when all of a sudden they are yanked to the surface by an unsuspecting question. They have to sputter a bit and gasp for air in recovery before being able to respond.  If I don’t have solid time to think, mining for creativity is like striking a rock looking for a water vein.

Other precursors to writing are sources of fodder.  When the well runs dry, I have to spend some time reading good literature, exercising (good head time), and simply turning off all distractions while I work.  Here is another author’s take on writer’s block that resonated with me.

Bea has been coming into her own lately and it has been a joy to officially meet her.  She is independent and determined in a way we rarely saw from MG.  She also has proven that she understands so much more than we give her credit for.  Her latest thing that never fails to make us laugh always happens when we are in the kitchen prepping for a meal.  Bea disappears for a minute and we hear the dragging sound of a small, child-sized chair being pulled across the floor.  She enters with a bright smile on her face, proud of her ingenuity.   She pulls that little chair right up in the middle of the action, eager to sneak her own little bites off of our plates that are being filled.

Part of my thinking time this year will be devoted to how to parent these two unique girls in my care.  Being the same, yet two different, mamas to them is no doubt difficult but strangely redeeming. Related very loosely, I really enjoyed reading this article by Emily P. Freeman about God  and parenting.

Until next time (think Spring thoughts),

-smk

Resolute

I’ve noticed the trend lately is to pick a “word” for the year to concentrate on rather than a resolution.  I prefer to pick my word in hindsight, after the year’s true colors have been revealed.  2014’s word is “strange”.

What a strange, strange year.  A terrible winter, bats, California, a sickness that completely changed our lifestyle, two strange pregnancy “scares”, one with a positive test because I took the wrong kind of test, both with a mixture of relief and regret that they didn’t come to fruition, opening up a business to sell my handmade creations.  And we bought a schoolhouse.  To live in.

It doesn’t get much more strange than that.

We are still trying to find our family rhythm here and I do find myself curious about what I will remember and the feelings I will have about our time in this house.  We are making memories for sure….(Christmas Eve was one for the record books…..story to come)

I always enter a new year with a bit of trepidation.  I guess you could say I don’t like forced change.  2014 holds a lot of mystery for us.  I literally cannot envision where our family will be next year, who we will be sharing life with, and what the girls will be like (Bea especially).  But I suppose mystery can be exciting at times and preferable to the tedium we felt last year.

Reading what I wrote last year at this time is so interesting.  All of the mysteries of a new year have been cleared up just a little over 300 days later.  2014 challenged us and surprised us and now it’s wrapped up in a neat little story for us to look back on whenever we want to.  It’s a strange story, I must warn you, but it ends well.

I honestly don’t have a clue what 2015 will look like for me or my family.  I’ve set my resolutions but they aren’t anything too stretching.  They mostly involve boring goals like  reading and dental care.  There’s nothing I’m anxiously preoccupied with like moving into a new house or bringing a new baby into our family so right now it just kind of feels like a filler year. One that will advance the story line but with no new plot developments.  But of course I always leave room for a little excitement and mystery.

I’ve had a week to put my resolutions into practice and I already feel so good. Balanced. Healthy, whole.  If I can make this feeling last all year now that would be a resolution. I’ve said it before and I’ll restate it again: my life feels so much more cohesive set to the beat of a daily rhythm.  I’ve been very tuned in to my rhythm lately, trying to figure out what charges me and what depletes me.  My days are happiest when I:

-wake up and read my Bible first thing.  No email until I’m out of bed

-exercise (and shower if possible) before the girls are up

-have a plan for each day that includes daily activities, MG schoolwork, free time, busy work, and meal plan

-read at least 15 minutes every night before bed.  No media checking after 10pm

The resolution I’ll continue from last year is to continue journaling snippets (on the fly writings, funny things they say/do)  for the girls in Evernote (free app).

I’ve also found that when you add something to your day (Sweet Mama Makes–which opens back up today), you have to make room for it in other areas.  If I’m being honest, Facebook is one of the biggest time wasters I have available to me.  I really attempted to limit it this past year by deleting the app off of my phone and only checking in now and again.  Each time I do, I hope to be greeted with  happy news like birth or pregnancy announcements, cute pictures, or funny stories from my friends. But more often than not, the negative outweighs the positive.  I am a feeler, deep and wide, through and through.  Just reading a headline about a mom (whom I don’t even know) being diagnosed with cancer affects me and sets my mind and heart spinning.  And before I know it, I’ve emotionally invested in someone I don’t even know and my heart has taken on stress that doesn’t even belong to me or my family.  This, for me at least, just isn’t healthy enough to justify.

Instagram provides a way for me to stay up to date without having to wade through the scary and depressing articles, headlines, and trailers.  So in 2015, there will be even less FB with a little bit of IG (because I still want to make room for those exciting baby announcements :))

I mentioned last week that I’ve turned a corner in my writing and I very much enjoyed this piece by Emily P. Freeman (my new blogging muse).  She put into words exactly what I’m feeling towards my writing.  To summarize, I still feel called to blog despite the fast-paced shift away from it .  And I’m happy that there is a little corner of the Internet reserved for me to do so.  Some of my friends have confided in me that they no longer have time to read my blog or keep up with my family through this outlet.  I hope you (my friend) realize that I totally get that and don’t want you to ever feel like you have to “apologize” to me for that.  The best thing about a blog is that if your circumstances and desires ever change, all of my posts will be here waiting for you to catch up on.

Most years I drag my feet into the new year, hesitant to leave behind the memories made in the past.  This year feels different.  I am excited to welcome 2015.  Even with all of its unknowns, surely it can’t be more strange than 2014.

And with the turning of the clock comes a promise that the upcoming year will be different.  That the year will hold new chances and hopeful promises.  That all of your shortcomings of 2014 will be redeemed in 2015.  That there will be good surprises and better fortune.  That it will feel different.

That is what I want for 2015…for it to feel….Peaceful, and sweet, and me.  I want to feel like I am becoming more into my best self, maker, author,  and all.

Auld Lang syne my dears,

-smk