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Stronger. 2012, here I come.

I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions. I don’t like them and the only one I’ve kept is the one I made not to make them. I’d rather set goals throughout the year, targeting areas that are meaningful to me at that time. And 2012 won’t be any different, except that I’m going to be more focused in what I want to accomplish.

The truth is, 2011 was a good year in a big picture sort-of way but ended poorly. In fact, December really sucked. Happy, worth-celebrating events, like a dear friend’s 40th birthday and the Christmas holiday, were overshadowed by a miscarriage, coming in dead last in my 5K (stupid of me to attempt it two days after my D&C), crappy deadlines, and a horrible cold (I even lost my voice). All of that put me in a foul mood for almost the entire month.

But 2011 is behind me and 2012 brings a fresh start. So far, I changed my hair (went a little darker with a little ombre, adding a touch of spicy to the new year), Fussypants turned 5 and in itself is monumental but also brought my brother, sister-in-law, cutest nephew ever and my aunt in town for a visit and I started working out again. So far, so good.

After the miscarriage, I did some reflecting and realized that without question, I am content to remain a family of four. And since four has always been my favorite number (I don’t know why, it just is), it becomes even more meaningful that I have four areas I want to focus on in 2012: Family, Friends, Fitness and Me. I couldn’t come up with an F-word for myself (ha) so I’m calling that area Feng-shui Me (simply defined as improving life by receiving positive qi – life energy, life-force), so it works as my F-word.

My four areas for 2012

In addition to my four areas of focus, I am also incorporating a word theme. Shell from Things I Can’t Say had a fb post about word/themes for the year and that intrigued me. It was easy to pick one since I know what I want to accomplish: Stronger. I want to be stronger in several areas.

Family: My family is my everything but I plan to be stronger and more focused on prioritizing certain areas so that I am really embracing the moments I have with my family.

  • Date nights. 2011 was a better year for my husband and I in terms of making more time for date nights, which often included overnight babysitting, but I want to be more consistent in making sure he and I have alone time. This ranges from the simple matter of getting the kids to bed at their bedtime hour so he and I can have time to ourselves each evening to actually going out on dates and taking weekends away. The last weekend away we had together was in July – I know. But so far, 2012 is off to a good start…we are going to Vegas, just the two of us, in a few days.
  • One-on-on time with my kids. Fussypants is at the age where he enjoys and benefits from just mommy & me time and daddy & me time. My husband is better at this than I am (but only with our son) and I want to spend more time with each of my kids, doing what they want to do. They each have their own interests and I want to embrace that. This will also include time with my son, husband and myself and my daughter, husband and myself. We tried this on Fussypant’s birthday. My folks took Little Miss and my husband and I took him to the hockey game, just the three of us. It was really nice and he enjoyed the one-on-one attention.
  • Family fun time. In direct contradiction to the bullet above, I want to spend more time together as a family. We are always better at this in the summer but there is no reason why we can’t focus on this all year. My husband’s work schedule means that sometimes he isn’t home 24-72 hours in a row so we need to take advantage of when he is home and do fun things, even if it is something as simple as a family bike ride.
  • Extended family. My parents live in Southern California now and I don’t want to only see them when we are passing the kids off when they babysit. I really like my mom and dad and want to spend quality time with them, sometimes without my kids. And I need to see my brother and his family more often. He lives in Arizona but my nephew is growing so fast and I don’t want to miss out on every single moment. I also have an aunt, and two cousins (one who also has kids) in Northern California that I miss and a biological family that I very much enjoy spending time with that I want to see more of. It’s difficult to fit it all in but I need to find a way.

Friends: I used to be a really good friend but then I had kids. I thought I’d see more of my friends after having kids but it rarely works out that way. Our kids are on different schedules or in different age groups or have different interests so I don’t have as many play dates as I thought I would. And some of my friends don’t want to do play dates, they want to get together without the kids which then introduces scheduling and babysitting dilemmas. I’m not saying I never see my friends, that’s certainly not the case, I just want to be better at it. In 2012, I want to make more of an effort, I want to be the one inviting my friends to lunch rather than just accepting their invitation. I want to reach out to them more, just because. I plan to be stronger and more focused on being a better, more accessible friend.

Fitness: I’m off to a good start in 2012 but I don’t want to be in getting in shape mode forever. I want to achieve maintenance mode. Maybe that is not the right term but I want what my husband has. Ok, not the freakishly fit, carving out 3 hours a day to workout routine but he is already in shape, and works out to maintain that shape. I feel like I’m constantly wading in the deep end of getting back in shape and targeting certain areas (currently I’m all about cardio and core). But I need to dig deeper (says the girl who likes carbs and wine and chocolate). I have a 10K trail run coming up in March, and the week after that I’m doing a mud-run with a team of moms. Working towards a goal. I plan to be stronger and more focused on consistently working out and pushing myself to achieve the results I want.

Feng-shui Me: I’m always tired and usually cranky, forgetful, and unorganized. I never used to be that way, especially forgetful and unorganized. And I’m done with it. We recently watched Kung-Fu Panda 2 and it occurred to me that I need to find my inner peace. If I can align myself in my own mind, then my family, work , sleep, and everything else will benefit. There is so much to do in this area; I need to purge and organize closets and kid crap, time-manage my work projects (I’m actually really good at meeting deadlines), get a freaking handle on the laundry (my life would be more pleasant if I folded and put away at the same time), actually look ahead on my calendar so I don’t almost miss birthdays and really, really, really make more time for myself to be me. This could be as simple as reading a book (I’ve set a goal to read a minimum of 25 books this year), taking a nap, getting a pedicure or as big as having a girl’s night out. I almost always operate in Mom-Wife-Career Mode, which I love and wouldn’t change for the world, but sometimes I just need to take a step away and be in Coreen Mode. I plan to be stronger and more focused on myself, so that I am more peaceful and productive.

And that’s that. 2012, here I come.

gingerbreadmama

Christmas Ditty (Writer’s Workshop)

It’s been a very long time since I participated in Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop. But this week, I wanna play. However, I’m modifying the prompt I chose a little though: 1.) 10 things I Wanted for Christmas as a Kid but Didn’t Get and Still Want

I cannot recall not getting what I wanted for Christmas. Ever. Except maybe a boob job, so I just bought it for myself (but you know what? My mom paid for half of it). So I guess I’m lucky, or spoiled. Maybe a bit of both. Don’t hate.

But this year, I’d really like a few simple things. It’s not much to ask for but it is a daily battle at our house. Seriously, some aspects of motherhood are such fun. So I put my wants in a song (to the tune of All I Want For Christmas is My Two Front Teeth by Donald Yetter Gardner).

Sing along now!

All I want for Christmas
is to pee alone,
pee alone,
oh  just pee alone!

Gee, if I could only
have some time to pee alone,
then I could wish you
“Merry Christmas.”

All I want for Christmas
is to chew food slow,
chew food slow,
oh  just chew food slow!

Gee, if I could only
chew my food slow,
then I could wish you
“Merry Christmas.”

Ok, insert your pre-motherhood wish here and sing it loud, sing it proud.

Hopefully I’ll get one day (but will settle for half-a-day) where I get the bathroom all to myself, I get to actually enjoy my food at the temperature it is supposed to be, and I don’t hear NO every time I ask the kids to do something.

The magic of Christmas, it could happen.

gingerbreadmama