I don't really set New Year's Resolutions. I always feel they are unrealistic, and winter is the time of year where I most prefer not to move, exert myself, or really go outside. I hibernate. I'm certainly not making any drastic life changes.
This past year, I became a mom. And for those of you that have crossed the threshold into parenthood, you know what that feels like. It's like a switch is flipped and suddenly everything you've ever thought, believed, wanted, or known snaps clearly into focus. Your values, your deeply held convictions, all become crystal clear. You know what is important now, and what is a bunch of crap you can't be bothered with.
It may also come with age - being in your thirties means you've tried on a few different hats. Maybe you've had three or four "big girl jobs." You know what you're good at, and what you're not. In a lot of ways you have paid your dues and are maybe setting your sights on what the next 20-30 years of your career will look like. (Anyone else shudder when they read that?)
So I didn't make a New Year's Resolution. I know who I am, and I do not resolve. I did get hold of a cool journal, called the 52 Lists Project. I decided this would be my year of #selfcare and#selfreflection and #selflove. Yes, I use hashtags in all my writing now. (Thanks, internet)
I don't spend a lot of time thinking about myself these days. I spend a lot of time playing mindless games like Candy Crush and rotating between Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. At the end of a busy day of adulting and momming, the last thing I want to do is work on myself. But I need to. We all do.
I've been in therapy for about a year now. I've learned a lot about myself. I've learned about how I am in relationships, how I deal with conflict, and what I need to work on. The main thing I realized is that despite getting everything I've ever wanted in life - the husband, the house, the baby, amazing job, is that something was still missing. How could something still be missing? I beat myself up for not being grateful enough.
Was it spirituality? A connection to God? I went to church a few times and no, it wasn't that. Although church can be lovely. Was it friendship? My friendships have certainly changed significantly since becoming a mom, but I talk to my best friend almost every day and I've made an effort to stay connected to most of them despite our busy schedules. So what was it?
The answer: ME. I am missing me. In everything I do, I am other-focused. Not because I'm a saint, but because I abandon myself. In every day and every chance I get I find a way to forget myself or put myself last. Who's fault is that? Sure it's easy to blame one's parents, the media, one's partner, and, obviously the patriarchy. But given my relative privilege it's time to stop blaming everyone and everything else. It's time to put in the work and start taking care of myself for real.
I'm grateful for my experiences. I'm grateful for the journey. And in some ways, even though it feels like I've gotten "everything I've ever wanted," my journey is just beginning. When I strip away the blame, when I strip away the guilt, when I strip away the "should haves" all that is left is me. It's both terrifying and exhilarating - but here goes nothing.
Nice to meet you!
I am a tech pro, blogger, DIY'er, reader, TV binger, music lover, nerd and semi-crunchy mom. I write about professional development, being crafty, motherhood and politics. Thanks for joining me and letting me share my thoughts with you!