Thoughts for the New Year

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Every time this time of year rolls around, I find myself feeling a little gross from the amount (and type) of food I’ve ingested over Christmas.  Although I made an effort to eat moderately through the holidays, I’m a bread-aholic and find myself drooling over the vast quantities of white rolls.  Even after the main dinner, they taste just as amazing reheated and stuffed with melting butter.  I better stop this train of thought . . . here I go drooling again.

I don’t like the idea of New Year’s resolutions so I usually don’t bother with them but there is something to the beginning of a New Year and the feeling of rebirth.  It’s a time to clean up the decorations, take a hard look at yourself and try to make some realistic changes to help yourself feel better!  What would I like to change about myself?  What would I like to change about my day-to-day schedule?  What would I like to make more time for?  Instead of committing to a rigid change, I’d like to start weeding out some things in my life that just aren’t working anymore.

There’s always the age-old “I want to get into shape and look fantastic” kind of change.  I DO like to be in shape because I think it helps with all aspects of your life.  Your health, your energy levels, your emotional well-being and yes, your self-image benefit from staying active and being at a healthy weight.  Really though, I’m trying to move beyond that.

2013 was a stressful year for me.  On top of building up my business, we moved across country and began the adventure of homeschooling our two boys.  Always overly optimistic on what I can get done in a day, I felt ever behind and overwhelmed as the year came to a close.  I have to change some things.  It’s unhealthy to live in constant stress and in fact, I’m feeling anxious just thinking about it all again.  You might have noticed that I’ve been absent for the last couple of weeks.  We travelled home for Christmas and it’s been wonderful to relax, read good books, and be able to get away from all of my “busy”.  Most of my anxiety has been self-induced and I’ve decided to make some healthy changes to try counteract it.  Here’s what I’ve come up with:

-Pray more.  I’m an oldest child overachiever who feels the need to do everything myself.  This creeps over into my spiritual life where I forget to call on God because I’m “handling it myself.”  Along these lines . . . .

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Image from

-Ask for help.  My husband and children are very capable and I need to show them that I trust them to handle more household responsibilities.  I’m guessing that if I just asked them to do more, they would.

-Stop feeling guilty.  I admire my husband’s ability to sit and relax while I’m scrubbing floors and not feel one bit guilty!  I used to resent this but now I think I’m going to join the club.  I need to learn to feel content with what I’ve accomplished during my day and then, STOP, and relax.

-Do more activities that I enjoy.  Reading, running, baking, sewing, soap-making, playing piano/horn, gardening, and playing with my kids.  These are the things I’ve given up by living in my constant harried schedule.  Or at least, I’ve lost the joy that I used to find in doing them.  Lately they’ve just been one more thing to check off for the day.

-Say NO.  A small word but it can be hard to say when there are so many activities or groups pulling you in different directions.  So, no.  Just . . . no.

If I had to sum this list up into one sentence, it would be this:  “I’m going to stop trying to be perfect this year.”  

My house will probably be a bit messier.  I might not be as good about getting my blog posts out at the same time twice a week.  🙂  We might not cover as many electives in our school as I would like.  I’m not going to be involved in every group that comes my way.  But you know what?  I don’t think anyone is going to notice what is lacking.  I do hope that they’ll see a difference in my countenance and attitude.

These aren’t New Year’s resolutions.  These are the daily choices I’m going to make so this year is even better than the year before.  Is there anything you can do differently to enjoy your life a little more this year?

  1. Your comment about your man being able to relax cracked me up. Mine does his fair share but it still bugs me that he can relax when I work, but if he’s working I have to jump up and help or I feel awful about it. Why do women do this to themselves?

    I finally learned to say no last year. It’s thrilling. Invigorating! Now I need to learn how not to feel guilty about doing it… compared to the guilt it would have just been easier to say yes in the first place sometimes.

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