We drank nothing … except a mug of hot tea. The meal was, of course, Chicken n’ Dumplings. We rang in the new year in front of the television. It was rather pathetic, especially since I fell asleep at roughly 8:30 p.m. and Jonathan woke me up at approximately 11:59 p.m. to kiss me. The ball dropped. Happy. New. Year.
The boys slept soundly; snoozing into 2015 without incident, unless you consider James moaning an incident. I no longer do. I call it his sleep process. Jackson just hits you with a couple of loud cries and falls back to sleep. His sleep process.
I woke up on January 1st feeling no different than I did on December 31st, which is always the case. But for some reason, as the day wore on, things began to eat at me and I gave into the resolution making euphoria that happens every few years for me. At first, it came down to three very specific things.
Use It. Love It. Or Lose It.
And so it began. Suddenly bags of clothes, electronics and other miscellaneous stuff left our home. Even Jonathan got in on the action. If I did not use it or love it — I lost it. With this simple statement came a home cleansing usually reserved for spring. It was liberating. The entire mood of the house improved. I am sure January must be The Container Store’s biggest month of the year.
I wrote recently that I do not make new year’s resolutions because new year’s day seems to happen in the middle of a sentence. But for some reason this year was different.
This year, as I sat eating my Slow Cooker Black Eyed Peas and Iron pan, perfect cornbread (with green chilies), I thought more intensely about the year. I had actually been thinking about it for several weeks. So much so, in fact, that I bought a brand new Filofax A5 in Calipso Purple. I had no idea there was such a large Filofax community. The organizational dreamer in me finds it as exciting as I did Hello Kitty in 3rd grade — but the grown-up in me finds it rather scary. Did you know you can get a charm for your Filofax? At this point my Filofax and I are just getting reacquainted … charms are a long way off. I came to the realization that as wonderful as my digital calendar is (and it is) the act of writing things down and carrying my life around in a pretty purple leather case is something I was missing in my organizational quest. I could probably do it without the case … but I do LOVE it.
As I began marking up my Filofax with important dates and other information I thought about what I wanted to show the boys not only in my character, but life. There is so much we deal with in life and many of the ways we respond to things we absorb by watching our parents. Good habits are great. Bad ones are difficult to shake. I have never been so cognizant of my own actions. How I deal with stress. Delayed gratification. Goal setting. Keeping promises.
They watch everything you do. So do it well.
I tell myself this every morning when I get them out of bed.
I am certainly not getting any younger, and the boys are growing so quickly I barely have time to document it — though you would never guess it from my Facebook posts. Last year at this time you could set the Dumplings anywhere and take a picture. Now it’s like trying to follow around a couple of jack rabbits. All action all the time.
When I woke up on January 2nd, I wrote these five statements in the front of my Filofax:
- Use It. Love It. Or Lose It.
- Show it. Don’t speak it.
- Don’t just Pin it. Do It.
- Design your life.
- Be kind. Have compassion … most importantly for yourself.
Number One. We have made great progress on number one as a family and it’s only January 7th. I think this way of thinking is a life change. It’s something I want to ask myself about everything I currently own and want to own. It’s a good barometer for purchases and forces me to live with more purpose and conviction. Surround yourself with things you love.
Number Two. I am famous for “I’m gonna … “ This year I’m not gonna say anything about what I’m gonna do or not do. People will either notice or they won’t, but “I’m gonna” puts me in a constant state of prepping for doing, rather than doing. Just do it. Just be it.
Number Three. I love Pinterest. I find it very easy to pin my dreams, likes or goals and feel some sort of accomplishment at the end of the pinning session. Granted not all pins are meant to be done, most are for inspiration, which is another reason I love it. It gets my creative juices flowing. I’ve already started doing some things I pin, starting with the Slow Cooker Black-Eyed Peas I made on New Year’s Day. I’ll admit, I destroyed the whole vegan vibe by adding a ham hock. I’m southern, not vegan. Unfortunately, there is no vegan in my freezer — though I do love many recipes from this site. For 2015 the mantra is … Pin it. Create it.
Number Four. Designing your life is easier now than it ever has been. Many jobs can be done from anywhere. Life can be lived anywhere. It’s good to be mindful about the life you want. Live it with purpose instead of just letting it happen to you. I honestly think this is one of the secrets of success.
Number Five. How I react to a situation is now more important than it ever has been. Reaction is a choice we make in the moment and what we choose can change everything in an instant — often with dire consequences. I believe our children pick up anxieties, stress response and other habits (both good and bad) from the people they spend the most time watching. The Dumplings understand so much now. It’s truly amazing. I can already see their responses if they sense stress or anxiety from either one of us.
I have a lot of plans for 2015. Really, I do. But I’m gonna not tell you. I’ll show you.
Right now, I have some Dumplings to get out of bed. I can hear the moaning.