So, last year my resolution was my one word goal: THRIVE (Click HERE for the explanation of that resolution if you are interested).
It was tougher/easier than I thought it would be.
We got off to a bumpy start. Lots of stress in our lives. Stress around people we associated with, activities we were involved in and even our health wasn't too groovy.
For the life of me I could not figure out how to thrive in some of these situations.
Then something funny happened. I found inspiration in the oddest of places... Kenny Rogers.
I happened to hear his song "The Gambler" one day and it gave me all the guidance I needed.
Let me share the portion of the song that hit me just right:
He said, "If you're gonna play the game, boy
You gotta learn to play it right
You've got to know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away
Know when to run
You never count your money
When you're sittin' at the table
There'll be time enough for countin'
When the dealin's done
Every gambler knows
That the secret to survivin'
Is knowin' what to throw away
And knowin' what to keep
'Cause every hand's a winner
And every hand's a loser
And the best that you can hope for
Is to die in your sleep"
That was it right there.
I wasted so much time refusing to "quit" things that obviously weren't good for me and my family. I had this incorrect notion that my value was somehow linked to all the things I saw to the end, accomplished or endured.
To a degree we have to endure things and we can't just quit whatever we want just because it is hard or yucky. But that isn't what the song was saying. It was saying KNOW when to see something through and know when to get the frick out of there.
One situation in particular was a really negative situation I was forcing myself to endure for years because I felt I had to see it through to some beautiful resolution, a happy ending where people all come together and see a way to braid each other's hair and become besties forever. That wasn't the point of that exercise in frustration for me.
When I finally stepped back and looked and LISTENED to what I was supposed to be seeing and hearing I realized I had been set on that particular path to accomplish a specific purpose because I needed to be the person to do it. I had managed to help others by doing it. I was able to right some wrongs. Unfortunately I ruffled feathers doing it and that was what I was focusing on. I finally realized it wasn't my problem anymore. I didn't want to give offense, but that part wasn't up to me, it was up to those who were offended. What I did was a good thing... and it was time to walk away from it and the negativity. It was also time to let go of it all and forgive and love those who had been unkind during that time.
I had to learn to walk away and not only be okay with it but be happy with what I had done and accept the rest.
That was not easy.
But it was one of the best things I could do and I know it set our family on a positive course that not only made this year an extremely positive year for us, but it also made me a happier person. A much happier person.
Sometimes in order to thrive you have to uproot and get out of shadows, or cold or rocky terrain. That situation had a bit of all of it and I am so happy we have now rooted ourselves in a more hospitable patch of land.
Then we had things to see to the end. The babywearing conference was a big one. There were discouraging moments organizing it. But every time I wanted to just stop and stick my head in the sand I would take a breath and remember that moment I walked into the 2008 Chicago conference. That moment I didn't feel like a fish out of water with all my babywearing, attachment parenting ways like I often did (do) feel here in Rigby... the moment I felt that I was accepted wholeheartedly on my parenting path. The moment I found my tribe. I needed that feeling again and I knew others did too so I didn't quit planning the conference. And let me tell you, it was so worth it. I think of seeing my babywearing friends and the wonderful feeling I had this summer knowing we all are so different in many ways, but in some of the most important ways we are on the exact same page. Seeing these people who are frankly better friends than I thought I'd ever have, women and men who support me, accept me and cheer me on. That was a moment to hold on and keep pushing through and it really paid off.
There were so many moments I could mention, it was such a great year.
I learned to love asking myself if I should:
A. Hold 'em
B. Fold 'em
C. Walk away
As silly as that may sound, you should try it next time you have a difficult decision. It really worked for me.
Of course, the best part of the year was adding Oz to our family. For very personal reasons we know the wonderful yet difficult choices we made at the beginning of the year are the reason he is a part of our family today. He has already added so much good to our home and we all adore him.
I really believe that I took my resolution to THRIVE and pulled it off. More than that, I think I made it into a habit I plan to keep.
Now on to my 2011 resolution.
I have a lot of little ideas. Fun ones, silly ones, weird ones... but I have a main resolution that I plan to hit hardest.
I intend to focus it on my little family but I will be certain to use it everywhere I go and with everyone I encounter:
I know, sounds lame. But it isn't.
I'm going to work harder to show my love for my kiddos. I don't want to fall asleep at night and realize I didn't hug each kid at least once, that I didn't tell them they were great, that I fell short on parenting them (and I include discipline in that because sometimes the best way to love a kid it to teach them that their behavior is not acceptable), that they aren't certain, even when I am furious at them for coloring on the wall or blowing up the dog (that has NOT happened, but with 3 boys it is only a matter of time) that I love them more than anything on earth.
I'm going to make sure that while Sambo and I have a pretty darn kewl relationship, it can always be improved upon. Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to start acting like a chick now and back down from a good old fashioned argument (especially when I'm right which is most of the time). But I'm going to remember during an argument that I get to argue with my favorite person so I'd better thank him for the opportunity later.
This year we will have our 10 year anniversary (just wait, I have an awesome plan for our anniversary partay... if Sam will get onboard instead of being Mr. Party Pooper like he is currently) and what better to focus my energy on than love.
So there you have it. I feel good about how I did for 2010 and I am looking forward to starting with 2011. Hope you are too.