New Year’s Resolutions
January 3rd, 2015
I’ve never really been a big believer in New Year’s resolutions. They’re often ridiculously over-ambitious – things like “I’m going to go to the gym six days a week, eat three pounds a kale a day and give up all refined sugar.” By January 3rd, you realize you’re never going to keep up with your own aspirations and you start the year off disappointed in yourself.
Who wants to do that? I’d rather start the year off by eating all the leftover Christmas cookies guilt-free, thanks.
However I must admit that there’s something about January that calls me to look ahead. A new year. A fresh slate. What do I want to accomplish?
As I’ve been thinking about 2015, two goals stand out in my mind.
One of the unexpectedly marvelous things about working for an arts organization is that I’m now surrounded by art. My gentle readers may be quietly thinking to themselves – duh, Kate, what exactly were you expecting? – but I truly didn’t anticipate that the environment would rub off on me as much as it has. I’ve never been a big consumer of the arts, but I have fallen in love with our small town art scene.
I get excited about the new exhibits and find myself trying to figure out how to wring art-buying money out of our budget (there’s a gorgeous beaded piece in our new show that is breaking my heart right now – it wants to live at my house!). I’ve even taken a couple painting workshops myself that produced shockingly respectable pieces. And my kids are hooked. They ask to go to the Arts Center as often as they can and Miss Mouse now says she wants to be an artist when she grows up.
I’ve never excelled at painting or drawing, but I do have one bit of creative spark. I crazy quilt. Well, I used to. I learned during my year in India and I’ve made a few fun pieces for our house, along with stockings for all three kids. But lately, I just haven’t had the time or energy.
I want to change that. This year, I’m going to create something beautiful – a new quilt.
Part of me thinks that goal is too small. You’re going to create one thing in a whole year? Just one? That’s weak, girl.
But I’m trying to balance challenging myself with setting reasonable goals. So there it is.
#2 – Say No More Often
My second goal is probably harder – but even more essential. I’ve got to say no more.
Achieving my first goal is dependent on my second goal, but more than that, my sanity is also dependent on carving out a bit more breathing room this year. I’ve been vibrating at a pretty high frequency lately – burning my candle at both ends – and it’s not sustainable.
I haven’t completely fleshed out this goal, but I have a sense of the end result I’m striving for. I want to be able to devote the time after the kids are in bed to myself. I want to be able to read a book, work on a quilt, or just watch a movie with my husband without being plagued by the constant nagging sense that I should be working on something else.
There’s always something hanging over my head. A Sunday school lesson I should be preparing for. A freelance grant project that needs some attention. An email I was supposed to send for the PTO.
As a working mom (heck, as a human being!) I recognize that my to-do list will always be longer than my day. There’s always laundry and dishes and bills and the day to day requirements of being a grown-up. But this year I’m going to make a concerted effort to weed out some of the nonessential items on the never-ending list of responsibilities!
Okay, 2015 – let’s do this thing!