I don’t usually make New Year’s Resolutions because I know the stats – most resolutions fail by February. Choosing an artificial start date to suddenly be better doesn’t usually work since there’s no real thought or preparation that goes behind the newfound goals. And when things get hard, like they ultimately will, it’s all too easy to just give up.
Around six months ago, I thought about starting a blog in the hopes of creating an online community with women like me – a new mother, wife, professional, and woman’s advocate. A place to share opinions and reflections and continue on the quest for growth and wisdom I started in the last few years. I thus thought a lot about who I want to become and what I want to say. So instead of a traditional resolutions list, I thought it would be fitting that my first official post be about what I aspire to in the coming year (and years).
Re-Frame: I’ve always possessed a pretty negative outlook. Not that I’m depressed or don’t enjoy life, but I usually take a more negative perspective about any given situation. I get easily annoyed with those around me, most often with loved ones. I undervalue my successes, chalking it up to luck or thinking, “oh that wasn’t so hard, it’s wasn’t like it was brain surgery.” And like a lot of people, I often have a grass is greener mentality. After having my kids though, I naturally became a little more positive because they make me laugh every day and I’m so grateful for the joy they bring and for the opportunity just to be their mom. I want to extend that attitude into all aspects of my life and change my perspective – looking with gratitude at my relationships, having more confidence in my abilities and potential, and focusing on the positives in my life, instead of concentrating on what’s lacking.
Re-Discover: I was once fun-loving and pleasure-seeking. I was always the last one home from a party and would never say no to a new adventure. I devoted a lot of my energy developing my persona – I cared about how I dressed, cultivated particular tastes and chose my friends and relationships carefully. I practiced criminal law, then opened a wine bar on Queen West, and then I got pregnant. And then one-and-a-half years later, I got pregnant again. After having my second child, I lost the last bit of myself I had left. With two little kids at home, it was impossible to work full-time so I sold the bar and became a stay-at-home mom. Always busy taking care of the needs of others, I didn’t really pay attention to what was going on in the world around me and had no social life to speak of (A night out while breastfeeding, to me, is not a night out…). Most days, I didn’t even leave the house (unless it was to take the kids to the park), much less dress up or take a shower. But now that my little one is more independent and the older one is in kindergarten, I’ve had more time to re-engage with the world. I’ve been reading a lot, working part-time, watching the news, and going out with friends. I still lay awake some nights wondering who I am now, but I’ve regained the motivation to rediscover myself and what I am passionate about. Oh, and to take more showers (and an extension of that…no more stretchy pants to the grocery store! As they say, “When you look good, you feel good, and when you feel good, you play good.”)
Re-Define: My youngest will be starting pre-school in September so I will be back in the workforce full time in a few short months. I can’t believe those precious years that I was the centre of my kids’ lives is drawing to a close. While it often felt long during the day-to-day grind, it really has passed in a blink of an eye. It is a good lesson that life is short and there are so many things I want to experience, enjoy and do. So I want to re-define my idea of success and living well to stay true to myself and make sure I make every moment count – not only to raise my kids and advance my career, but to help others, travel, do the things I love, and have fun with my husband and my friends.
I’ll toast to that. Happy New Year.