Two posts in two days? Could it be?
As you could tell if you took the time to read yesterday's post (or even just to scroll down and down and down and down), 2010 was overwhelming for me.
Most days I feel like I've been steamrollered.
I'm a simple girl.
I have simple goals and simple dreams.
I get easily flustered and frazzled.
I need plans and schedules and predictability in my life.
I like to feel connected and inspired. Part of this reveals itself in the large number of blogs in my google reader. Those blogs fall mainly into two groupings:
- Photographers and/or scrapbookers and other creatives whose work brings a smile to my lips and awe to my heart and
- Super moms who have large numbers of children whom they teach, craft with, create with and prepare lavish and nutritious meals for in their beautifully decorated and perfectly organized homes.
I am not those women.
Attempting to be those women makes me tired and discouraged and grumpy. Attempting to be those women feeds depression and discouragement and often leads to a paralyzing inability to do anything because I know I'll never be able to do it as well as them.
I need to stop biting off more than I can chew, stop suffering from the-grass-is-always-greener-syndrome and stop judging myself based on impossible and imaginary standards. I need to be kinder to myself, to drop perfectionism and set my own standards--attainable standards. I need to stop scrambling for more and more and more and take time to give thanks for what I have.
Dreams are good but guess what?
So is reality.
At one point this fall I was lying in my bed weeping, swamped by a wave of grief and loss. Out of the silence of the night and through my open window came the mournful call of a loon on the lake and it suddenly came to me in a rush of peace and love that I was living my lifelong dream. I am living in a home in the country, by a lake, in the type of community where people support and encourage one another and everyone knows your name. I have a husband whom I not only love but like and admire, who makes me want to be better every day and somehow knows what I need and tries to provide it for me. He has a good job that provides for our needs and he's willing to work hard and make sacrifices so that I can stay home and make a career out of being a mom. I have 3 beautiful, smart, talented, healthy children who make me laugh at least as often as they make me want to scream. My God is good and merciful and answers my prayers, even when He does not answer them in the way I wanted or expected.
This is the dream of my childhood, my youth and my single days.
I AM LIVING MY DREAM.
So I don't have a beautifully decorated home that could be on HGTV. So I get behind. So I'm a crappy housekeeper (probably good that I don't have that beautifully decorated home if I'm just going to let the dust pile up). So I yell at my kids more than I wish I did. So I haven't sent out Christmas cards in 5 years (or is it 6?). So I'm not rich. So I've put on some weight. So I'd rather spend an hour with a good book--and I prefer Romance Novels to non-fiction.
I've decided 2011 is my time to finally find balance. To change the things I can and accept the things I can't. To let go of the guilt. To make small and specific goals and take the time to celebrate when I meet them. To be less rushed. To be less busy. To complain less. To practice saying "no" when it needs to be said. To be more patient. To be more understanding. To be more grateful. To be more happy.
This year I'm joining the One Little Word movement and plan to focus on my word in a big way.
My word for 2011 is:
Rejoice. Rejoice. Rejoice.
I will rejoice every day; even when the day hasn't gone well.
I will rejoice out loud and I will rejoice softly in my heart.
I will rejoice in life and love, in rainbows and dandelions.
I will keep a gratitude journal, for there is much to be grateful for and I believe that gratitude and rejoicing are Siamese twins.
I will rejoice in the great and the small, in my triumphs, in the triumphs of my children, in the triumphs of my friends and the triumphs of strangers.
I will rejoice despite depression, grief and pain, focusing on the joys of the things and experiences and people life has sent to me instead of mourning their loss. I believe that there is a purpose to it all and trust that all will be revealed. I have learned that time is fleeting and I will rejoice in my faith that one day our sicknesses will be healed, our tears dried and our loved ones returned to us.
I will Rejoice in my God. I will rejoice in your God. I will rejoice in goodness wherever it can be found--and I will seek that goodness.
I am thankful to be called to work with the youth in our church right now. Our church's theme for our youth for 2011 is our 13th Article of Faith, which is
"We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul--We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."
I rejoice in the opportunity to focus on these ideas this year and to honour the amazing youth I know who embrace these ideals. I will be seeking after these things and rejoicing in them.
I plan to share my progress with you and hope you will rejoice with me.
Happy 2011! Rejoice!