In the after math of Christmas, comes that time of year again where we begin to think about our New Year’s resolutions. For me this is really the perfect time to make a new commitment because in the week that follows Christmas my entire life looks like the living room floor after Christmas morning.
Christmas is seriously awesome! It’s one of my very favorite times and from the first carol to the last cookie I really do love the celebration, but if I’m being honest…it’s exhausting and chaotic and indulgent and stressful and overwhelming and did I mention exhausting?! So as I’m cleaning up my 12th bag of wrapping paper and pulling a sticky candy cane off my slipper while explaining to my husband that, “Yes, I know we went over the Christmas budget but can you really put a price on happiness?” (which is a stretch because my children are both watching TV and not playing with any of their shiny new toys), I begin to consider my resolutions.
One too many pieces of lasagna, a few too many Christmas cookies and enough spiked eggnog to take down an elephant plays in my head while I begin my list of things that will not be allowed in 2014. Then it occurs to me that every year I make the same resolutions and once the visions of sugar plums and a stomach full of figgy pudding begin to fade away, as the holiday does, my resolutions become nothing other than a short penance for a well enjoyed celebration. So this year I decided to try something new. This year I have decided to make a New Year’s resolution of something I can do, instead of a list of things I can’t do anymore.
My New Year’s resolution for 2014 is to grow. Wow! This should be really easy because I still have leftover lasagna and enough Christmas candy to kill an entire army of diabetics. Okay, not that kind of growth, but a personal growth. I know that sounds kind of boring but I’ve been reading a really great book, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, and it talks about how the key to happiness is growth. It’s not reaching a final destination, achieving a goal, indulging in pleasures, being rich, successful, or skinny, but the actual secret ingredient to feeling awesome is constantly growing or improving.
This sounds like a super grown up resolution, the kind your grandparents want to hear about, but I wasn’t so sure what this commitment would mean. I always hear people throw phrases like this around: “grow yourself”, “know yourself”, “find who you are” and honestly I just think it sounds like a song maybe Garth Brooks should sing, but it chalks up to a lot of gibberish in the real world. So I began wondering exactly how I could grow myself. I began thinking of all these fancy things I could do…like take a class or join a club or volunteer somewhere, but with each exciting idea I am taxed with finding child care, money and time to “grow”. As I began to consider giving up on my resolution, I thought about a garden and how the seeds are planted in the dirt, and then watered daily, and they grow. There are many elements that they can’t grow in, and without sun or being watered, they die. So, I start to see this idea of growth differently. Growing is something that happens when you are in the right place being properly cared for. Maybe you’re reading this and thinking “ummm…duh!” But seriously it was a total “Holy Snap, I get it” moment for me.
As 2014 comes rushing toward us, I make this commitment for the New Year: a resolution for growth. So here’s to a journey of being in the right place and accepting the right nourishment for a purposeful life. Becoming a mother was one of the first times in my life that I knew I was exactly where I needed to be, doing exactly what I should be doing, so here with my husband and my two boys I embrace the new year – the joys and challenges – eager to see where 2014 brings us!