Good Morning and Happy Friday! I hope each of you had a magical holiday season full of family, love, and maybe even a little relaxing! I have lots to share from our holidays including a surprise white Christmas, a snowball fight on Christmas Eve, our normal cousin photo frenzy, and so on… but I won’t get to editing those pictures until the weekend. Boo! We’ll have to wait a couple more days for that.
As the end of the year draws near, I can’t help but to look back on 2012. We’ve done so much this year. We’ve learned, we’ve grown, we’ve cried, and boy, have we laughed. I’m not going to sit and only tell you about the good parts of our life like so many blogs, messages, and holiday letters want you to believe. You shouldn’t come to this page and ever walk away thinking that we have everything figured out or that life is just goin’ our way. Because we don’t and sometimes life is going any way but ours. And that’s okay.
Life is messy and dirty and in the middle of the chaos and the heartache, you’ll eventually find a new normal: A new way of life; a place where you can call happy even though it’s not where you imagined yourself. One day you’ll wake up with a deeper understanding of this whole journey. You’ll understand that it’s okay to really hurt for a while. It’ll finally click that it’s okay not to be okay all the time. Because when you feel the worst and feel more lost than ever before, you’ll find that those are the times that you grew the most. The hard times are what shape and mold you into the person that you’ll become, and that, my friends, is something to appreciate.
I’m a different person than I was at the beginning of the year. I may not have enjoyed every twist and turn life has had in store for us this year, but I’m happy with the person that I am and who I’m becoming. Am I perfect? Most definitely not. Sometimes I’m selfish, bratty, and say things that I don’t mean. Sometimes I’m not the best wife, friend, daughter, sister that I could be. But I’m learning and that’s what’s important. I’m growing and changing and that’s all anyone can ask of me.
The closing of one chapter or year of your life also encourages you to look forward to new chapters. I’ve found that visualizing where you want to be or who you want to become can be more helpful than simply thinking of it. Actually seeing yourself being the best partner you can be allows yourself to formulate what you need to do to get there. You get to grasp what it essentially looks and feels like to be that person. A few weeks ago, I disclosed to you all that I sought out some counseling after the ectopic pregnancy back in November. One thing that I’ve found helpful from this is also to visualize Alex and me with a family somewhere down the line. I’ve made sure that I don’t put any kind of time constrictions or pressure on when this needs to happen by. But, one way or another (whether naturally, through in-vitro, or even adoption) we’ll have babies filling our lives one day. And again, actually visualizing us as parents and what it would look like to fill that void, can prove helpful. I also try not to imagine what the journey to parenthood will look like for us since there are so many unknowns still.
So many things to look forward to this coming year. So many things that I want to work on as well.
For 2013 I’d like to put my husband first. Marriage to us is sacred, forever, and unchanging. There’s no “if we work this out”… it’s always “when we work this out.” In fifty years, even after those future babies are grown and have families of their own, he’s going to be the person by my side. He’s the person who deals with me when I’m frustrated, lost, irritated, cranky, and childish. Of course family, friends, careers, and aspirations are important too – but everything is easier to face when you have a happy and healthy marriage, right? When you both put the other person first, the smaller issues tend to dissipate.
Sure, I have other goals for the year to. The normal exercise more, eat better, save more money seem to make their yearly appearance. I’d love to keep up with my friends better, delve a little more into photography and be more engaged and present at all times (work, couch time at home, in fitness classes, driving, etc).
Instead of trudging through the year trying to juggle all these goals in my mind, I decided to come up with a single word that will help sort them all out and keep them in the forefront of my mind. So for 2013, my word of the year will be: “FOCUS.”
Focus on the important things in life, the bigger picture. Focus on the big rocks in my jar instead of the small pebbles and sand filling the voids. (No idea what I’m talking about? Read this)
What’s really important in life? Your relationships (spouse, family, friends) and your health. While a job and a house are important as well – those can come and go, much unlike your family and health.
I’ve already harped on working on my relationships, so I think I’ll let that rest for a bit. After the surgery in November and actually having to face the thought, “what if I don’t wake up/make it out of this,” I can’t help but to emphasize how important health is. That’s all there is. Without your health, there would be no you. I’m not going to put unrealistic expectations on myself saying that I have to work out 6 times a week or run X amount of miles or eat a salad every day for lunch. I already eat pretty good and exercise fairly often, but I want to stop making excuses. Sometimes I don’t want to call the insurance company because it’s such a hassle, I don’t want to make that follow-up appointment because I don’t want to take the time off work or don’t want to hear the news or don’t think they’ll find anything – whatever the reason is, the excuses have to stop. I need to be my own health advocate; I need to make the time to make it a priority.
Stop worrying about the little stuff. The he said/she saids, the “can you believe they did that?” and trying to make all the little details perfect – all that stuff is not where memories are made. FOCUS on the bigger picture, the journey, and the lessons.
FOCUS on being a better spouse, putting our relationship and marriage first, being a more present friend and family member and making health a priority – 2013 goals in a nutshell.
What have you been pondering about over the last few days in 2012? Do you have one word that describes your goals for 2013?