Bring it, 2012

Despite spots of 2011 being the darkest I’ve known, it was, quite simply, the best year of my life. The cliches ring true: this was the year I became a mom and it has brought a richness to my life I’ve never known.

I maintain, of course, that while Abigail has added a new dimension to my life, the title of “mother” after my name does not make me whole. Or that I was somehow not whole before. Or that someone else can’t be whole if they don’t become a parent. It’s a different experience, and though life-changing, I’m cautious that being a mom is not my entire identity.

I’ve been thinking long and hard these past few weeks about where I am at the moment, and frankly it seems as though I’m the personification of hodgepodge. I truly feel all over the map and as unfocused as I’ve been in eons. Part of this has been circumstance, another nutrition. I just haven’t taken good care of myself, the results of which have been eking out all over in my life. I feel unfocused at work, which leads to feeling unfocused at home, which leads to me being unfocused on my health, which begets a lack of focus in my relationships.

This has all sort of sucked.

So I’m grateful for this coming New Year, and all of the clean-slated promise it holds. The following, in no particular order, are my own goals and resolutions for the year:

Back to the early wake-ups. Since the stress fracture, I’ve slowly reverted to staying up late and sleeping in. Well, sleeping in is relative with a kid and a full-time job, but AG now sleeps until 7-7:30 a.m. so I’m wasting valuable down time in the mornings. This also means I’ve got to get back to bed by 9:30 p.m.

Meditation and Stretching. I have never had any formal meditation practice, and I doubt I’ll pick one up this year, but my goal is to spend 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening being still and quiet and taking a lot of deep breaths. After each, I want to commit to at least five minutes of stretching. This should not be a hard thing. All of it, of course, requires me to stop and be aware and present that yo that is hard.

Water and vitamins. I have been shamefully lazy about regularly taking my vitamins (prenatal, Vitamin B, fish oil and calcium) and making sure I’m drinking enough water. I am woefully dehydrated. I’m better about it at work, and AWFUL about it at home. Goal is to split up the vitamin intake between morning and afternoon, and set reminders for myself to get up and drink some water throughout the day via the phone and desk calendar.

Juices and green drinks. I love my juicer. There is no really good excuse for me not juicing every day. I’ve been working this back into my routine this week and it’s stupid easy. I think to be successful, though, I’ll need to make sure I’m up with enough time to clean all of the parts off and get them into the dishwasher. Prior to November, every night before bed I was drinking a serving of Amazing Grass Green Superfood Raw Reserve with some Stevia in to sweeten it. (I tried it in numerous juices and smoothies, but it seems to work best for me with just water and sweetener.) It’s not the best-tasting thing, to be sure, but I do feel a million times better when I’m drinking it.

Budget, budget, budget. Things went off the rails a bit where this was concerned. I honestly did not properly manage spending this holiday season as well as I could have (though we did make some dents in credit card bills since we weren’t paying a nanny) and I’m ashamed by how abysmal certain financial areas of our lives are, at least for my taste, but I’ve made a pact with myself to be more mindful about spending and to repeat this mantra before spending a cent on anything: Does this satisfy any basic need for me and my family or am I just filling my life up with stuff? “Stuff” has its rightful place in the world, but I need to be more of a doer and less of a buyer.

Dentist. I will be better about my teeth, damnit.

I hope I can do my best to carry them all out, but I’m going to be happy if the detritus of at least a couple of these makes it 365 days from now in the shape of a healthier habit. Among these I’m going to do things like read before bed instead of watch a 30 Rock rerun on my iPad, as well as make time to reintroduce dry brushing into my morning routine (I love those loofah brushes, and I know it’s not for everyone but it’s REALLY invigorating and scrubs all of the dull skin off). Little things that would make life a bit nicer, and force me to slow down some and make better choices.

To that end, I was reading O Magazine last week, and good ol’ Dr. Oz has a list of 28 things you can do to blah blah blah. You get it. They’re all really doable, great tips that I’m going to take a stab at incorporating as well. I can handle “indulging in dark chocolate” though admittedly “forgiving someone” will be a tougher one to tackle.

Like every year, I just want to try and be a better person. For my kid, for my husband, for my friends and family, for myself. I don’t know that any of these things really accomplish that, but perhaps making the attempt to slow down and breathe will help me get on my way.