I'm sitting in my pajamas, feeling the hangover of a late night. As an early riser, New Years Eve is always a little bit of a struggle, with my internal clock reminding me at 9, then 10, and then 11 pm that my body had reached its limits. But I held on somehow last night, and welcomed the year with my family all in the master bedroom, camped out on our queen bed.
It was exactly the way I wanted to usher the new year, and to say goodbye to the hectic perspective-making 2018.
Was 2018 a long year for you? It was for me, in that while the year in hindsight felt short, every day was long and protracted. As a military family, our path eschewed significantly in the spring, when we didn't move when we thought we would, changing the course of the last part of the year. We sold one house, are in the process of selling another, and bought and moved into a new home. (writing all that kind of made me gulp) Each child hit some kind of major growth spurt or change, and it challenged me to come back to basics, for lack of a better term. I've always said that if there was anything that kept my humility in check, it was my children, and this year proved it. I also started a super part time job, a very very fun and rewarding one, but required a family weekly schedule change. The acceptance of the lack of control, in the garnering of Faith, and in the deepening of hope was never more true than this year.
2018 was also the year of straight-up writing. Coming from 2017 with three published books to one year of none was a bit of a transition. My self-discipline was challenged during my everyday practice of getting words on paper. Since writing is a singular sport (whereas authoring is truly a team effort), self-doubt crept in more often than I care to admit, reminding me much like the time before I published my first book.
But it wasn't all as dower as I make it seem to be, because with the challenges of this year came immeasurable joy: Our beautiful home that has good vibes felt by all of us in it. Stability in a world that is not. A family unit that is becoming stronger as it grows, with now three headstrong and very different teenagers and a very cute and opinionated third grader. A book deal for 2020, with a manuscript (almost done!) that has required for me to examine history I realized I knew so little about. And the deepening of friendships with other authors and readers that I might not have been able to experience had I been under too many deadlines.
Looking back, in all the hubbub, in my daily endeavor to acknowledge gratitude (my word for 2018)--which, I feel I did a good job with, writing great things down most nights--one thing I didn't do quite as well was to celebrate. So focused was I to get through each new milestone or event that I didn't take the time to pat myself on the back. That's right--when I say celebration I don't mean the outward show of making a party or creating noise. Or even other people celebrating me. I'm talking about giving myself the credit. Of being a little boastful to myself. Raising my chin a bit.
Sometimes, as a mama, I forget to do this, so mired in responsibility in the knowledge that the buck stops with me. As a writer, in all my exposition, I can forget to remember that yes, I am the author of this dammit and it's good! As a human, I forget that while the world has gone one before and will continue to do so without me, my contributions are so damn awesome! (See, I've already started). Sometimes, I let humility become a crutch.
So here's my statement for 2019:
Celebrate the little milestones of my manuscript. Honor my mothering. Create this home exactly how I want it to be, despite knowing there is change on the horizon. Accept compliments; compliment myself. Put myself closer to the front of the line more days this year than last. (Mamas know the struggle.) Say prayers for myself.
How are you approaching the new year? Resolutions? Word of the year?
I'm wishing you a wonderful day and the start of new beginnings! BUT--know that you can begin anytime, any day of the year.