Is it hard to believe we are at the end of another year? It seems like we get to this point every year and look back surprised at the fact another year has “flown by” but when we stop and reflect on our year, we see a lot has actually happened.
My kids are always the biggest indication of time passing. This year we had our first experience with literal growing pains. My son often complained about how much his feet hurt, along with other aches and pains. I didn’t think there was much we could do to help him with his discomfort, aside from the occasional ice pack or massage. However, when I went to get him new shoes, he had grown almost two sizes! No wonder his feet hurt!
Both of my kids also got their braces off this year. They walked into their appointments looking like typical kids and over the course of an hour emerged as more mature young adults with radiant smiles. I was always amazed at how quickly babies changed from month to month and felt like those changes slow down as our kids get older, but this year felt like they continued to change at a staggering rate……Side note: I picked the word “staggering”, but I could have easily chosen overwhelming, rapid, confounding, astonishing or bewildering. They all fit.
This year I tried to appreciate these incredible changes more from the perspective of my kids. I figured if I was feeling all these emotions simply watching them go through changes, how complex, confusing and uncomfortable must it be from their point of view? I reminded myself of this when they forgot to do a chore the first time I asked or when they would snip at me in frustration. It was tempting to slip into “How many times do I have to remind you…..” but when I was able to resist, they were more likely to open up and share what was going on.
Speaking of sharing, on a personal level, 2018 took me in a different direction than I was expecting. For years I have had the feeling I needed to write a book for working moms, but I’ve resisted because it’s always been more comfortable to keep writing the blog and stick with what I know. At the beginning of the year, I couldn’t ignore it any longer, I put my parent coaching practice on hold and spent most of my free time writing the book. Along the way, I met new friends I didn’t know were missing in my life, but now I couldn’t imagine not being on this journey with them. I still have a long way to go before the book is complete, but I’ve learned a lot and look forward to sharing more with you in the upcoming months.
I also became a lot more aware of the food I was eating. I made small changes – less processed food, more vegetables and even started drinking celery juice (still not sure about that one). I started learning more about gut health and the microbiome. Scientists have proven that “listening to you gut” is more than just a convenient phrase and there may be more truth to that phrase than we ever gave it credit for. It’s a huge topic and I’ve barely scratched the surface but have learned even the smallest of changes can make a difference.
I’ve spent more time outside. I’ve logged more miles walking up and down our neighborhood greenbelt than ever before. And though the exercise part of the walks was important to me, I also slowed down to notice the varieties of trees, the shades of green in the grass and the distinctive chirp of the hummingbirds announcing their presence even if I couldn’t see them. Taking the time to recognize and acknowledge the natural beauty around us is calming. It sometimes seems like our natural tendency is to run around constantly reaching for the next thing. I’m still busy, but these quiet times when I walk and observe what is around me, reminds me of the abundance always surrounding me.
Lastly, 2018 was a year of travel for us. Over the years, it has been hard to coordinate all our schedules, to go away on a family vacation. This year the four of us were able to do that not once, but twice. The difference this year was we didn’t let our work schedules dictate our ability to go on vacation. We planned months ahead of time and then conformed our work schedules to our scheduled time off. This is nothing revolutionary, but it was a great reminder about priorities and spending time together. If you wait too long to plan, like we did many times before, the time will just pass by and we’ll miss our opportunity.
Who knows what 2019 will bring? Tomorrow is really just another day, no different than the 1st of August or the 30th of April. We choose to give the New Year significance, time for a fresh start, of hope and possibility and it’s as good a day as any to commit to something new.
I love this quote from an interview Oprah did recently with Michelle Obama. Oprah asked her to explain the backstory to naming her memoir “Becoming”, she replied
“My journey is the journey of always continually, evolving, there is never a point when you arrive at a thing……… And I don’t know what the next step will be……each decade has uncovered something amazing that I would have never imagined and if I had stopped looking, I would have missed out on so much. So, I’m still becoming, and I hope all of us know that we are constantly evolving.”
Cheers to 2019, to new experiences and to what we are yet to become.
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I started writing this blog because I wanted to have deeper conversations beyond "How are you?", "Busy", with other parents. Over the years I've shared personal stories, articles, authors and topics to facilitate conversations with parents about the joys and the challenges of parenting.