The last two months have been a complete whirlwind. We finally (as of yesterday!) finished renovations on our house and managed to fit Thanksgiving and Christmas somewhere in between. I won’t lie – I am tired! And while these were all good things that we were experiencing, the chaotic pace of the last two months left me with very little extra energy for anything else. Which means I completely fell off the wagon! Too much unhealthy food and wine. Little to no exercise. And way too much iPad and screen time for the kids.
Now that January is here, I have craved the stability of a normal routine again. I want to feel healthy, strong and on top of things. I don’t often like to make New Years resolutions, since history has shown that I hardly stick to them. But I would like to set some broader goals for myself. Here’s what I am looking forward to in the new year.
My 2015 Goals
Commitment to Healthy Eating
I fully intend to continue with our family’s commitment to healthy eating. I find it more important than ever to really look at what is going into our body and how it makes us feel. The amount of less-than-stellar food I shoved into my mouth during the holidays was totally fun while it lasted (and hey, it’s important to let go sometimes), but it also left me sluggish and about five pounds heavier than I would like to be. I would love to start trying out new recipes for myself and my husband as a sort of date night that we can have together at home, and organize a couple of small dinner parties for friends at home as well. Good food and good friends sounds great to me. This will be easier now that we actually have a dining room table (again, yay for completed renovations!). I just need to get chairs.
My husband and I were practicing kundalini yoga last year with a local instructor, but we stopped in June when we began the bulk of our renovations. While the summer and fall gave us nice weather and allowed us to get outside regularly and take walks with the kids, that stopped being a source of exercise once the cold weather came. Plus, on walks, my daughter will no longer sit in a stroller and my son mostly wants to ride his scooter, so needless to say, it is slow going when we go out. Not the cardio experience I was getting when I could push both of them up and down hills in a double stroller. My husband mentioned to me the other day that he missed yoga and felt he was so much more centered when we were doing it. So next week we start up again!
My meditation practice also fell by the wayside in the last two months. I just felt like it was all I could do to get the kids up and out of the house before the contractor started work, and between that and holiday planning, I did not feel I had the oomph to keep my old routines up. Truth be told, I could have probably found time, but I was feeling uprooted and overwhelmed, so I just didn’t make it happen. Starting last week, I made a commitment again to get up early and meditate before the kids wake up. I don’t know what it is about meditation, but it really does make the rest of the day fall into place nicely. Or at least I’m just calmer when dealing with things. I try and do my second meditation session of the day right before bed. Ideally, I would do it in the afternoon while my daughter is napping and my son is in therapy, but there continue to be some loose ends to tie up from the renovations. At least doing it right before bed currently helps me fall asleep faster.
I had become increasingly annoyed with the amount of media that was being used in our house daily. My son would wake up and want the iPad first thing in the morning, my daughter would be screaming for the TV to be on, and I was compulsively checking my iPhone and feeling distracted. It was easy for me to use media when I needed the kids to be “babysat” while I tended to the many items on my to do list these last two months, but it was obviously starting to be used so often that we were all relying on them way too much. So, as of last week, that stopped. Now the kids are media free until after 4pm everyday (and even then it is limited). And I keep my iPhone and computer use to before they wake up, when they are in their morning preschool program, or after they go to bed. I will write more soon about the great benefits we are seeing with this and how it applies to children on the spectrum. Again, I don’t want to be die-hard about this. There will be some days we make exceptions. But I don’t want it to be the constant anymore.
Focus on friendships
It’s way too easy in your childbearing years to lose sight of the importance of friendships. Sometimes it seems that we are all so caught up in the everyday obligations of childrearing, work, and home maintenance that there is little time left over to connect with others outside of our immediate family. I miss phone calls and visits with my friends and I’m tired of making excuses as to why I don’t keep as in touch as I’d like. I am determined to prioritize my time differently. And without all that extra media time distracting me, I should be able to pick up the phone and connect :)
I have been on a major decluttering kick for the last year or so, and I intend to keep it going. It’s hard to stay mindful when you live among excess. If it’s not useful or beautiful to me, out it goes. We have donated and tossed countless bags of items so far. I love the feeling I get when I know we own just what we need, and I would like to continue working towards that goal.
Growing my Blog
This spot on the internet has been very therapeutic for me, and I would like to continue sharing our story and connecting with other people out there that are into healthy living and/or have a child with special needs. I would like to work on this blog at least once or twice a week, maybe more! I love having other parents reach out to me and hearing their stories too. It’s been a great way to feel less alone in this journey and to share some new ideas. So here’s to more of that going forward!
Whew. I think that’s it. I am really looking forward to this new year. It’s the most settled I have felt in about four years!
I’ll leave you with this pic of the kids from Christmas morning.