31 December 2013

Reflections: 2013 Edition

At the end of each year, I try to sit down and reflect upon the last year while looking forward to the next. I don't write too many personal posts these days, but this one is both personal and rather long. If you're up for it, come along with me.

This was a good year. Of course, there were ups and downs, but I think that we achieved a good balance in many areas of our lives.

I felt the itch to do something beyond parenting, and I was lucky enough to find an opportunity to work part-time in my favorite area of law. As it's on a contract basis, I can only hope that the opportunity will continue into 2014. I've picked up a tiny pro bono commitment this year, and I really think that it's one of the best ways that I spend my time. I like to think that feeling more professionally satisfied makes me a better wife and mother, too.

George finished a very busy and demanding year at work, and he sets a stellar example of how to work hard but then leave the work at work. He did a little bit of travel this year, but otherwise, he kept his work pretty well confined to working hours. I feel extraordinarily lucky to not have to sacrifice much personal time with George in favor of his professional endeavors; I hear the stories of my friends, and I recognize how incredibly fortunate I am. Of course, I also see how lucky I am when I see George with Madeleine.

As a couple, we've made our relationship a priority, and getting a standing babysitter is one of the best decisions we made this year. It's so nice to know that we have those established dates when we can either cozy up in the corner of a restaurant somewhere or spend an evening catching up with friends without Madeleine's company.

Speaking of Madeleine, raising Madeleine just gets more and more fun! When we rang in 2013 in Wellington, she was very much a baby. Today, she is very much a toddler. Madeleine runs and walks, stomps and marches, climbs and slides. Her vocabulary is going to outpace mine soon, and she is starting to have an opinion (watch out, world!). Words can't describe the joy I feel in watching Madeleine explore and test her world, develop relationships with people, and learn new things. I have gone back and forth, trying to find the right balance of structured and unstructured activities for us during our days together, a struggle that will continue into 2014. I can't believe that even though she isn't even two years old yet, I already worry about whether she'll turn out okay if she's not enrolled in music or dance class. #firstworldproblems

In 2014, I'd like to see both George and me find time for our hobbies. I'm lucky enough to get time when Madeleine naps and after she goes to bed, but I need to make support for George's hobby time a priority, too.

On my hobby front, I have a feeling that things are going be be shifting in the new year. I'll still be crafting, but I imagine the pace slowing as our house is filling up and my interests are starting to change. I hope to continue sewing, and I have two quilting goals: make the first quilt (of several, probably) for Madeleine out of her weekly photo fabric and make a quilt for our house. While my basic machine has taken me a long way, I'm jonesing for an upgrade, so we'll see if that happens. Speaking of learning machines, I'd like to teach myself some photography beyond point-and-shoot, which is currently how I use our DSLR. Any suggestions on where to start are greatly appreciated.

I'm not sure where this lil' blog is headed in the new year. It's not disappearing, but this is the second year in a row that I've thought that I should split my personal blogging from crafty/sewing blogging. Saying (or typing, as the case may be) it out loud is the first step. I doubt that I'm going to be keeping up the thrice weekly pace in 2014...but I will still be around.

On a higher level, I am going to make a concerted effort to enjoy more and compare (much, much) less. It is so easy to lose the joy in the things you do/have/etc. by looking at the things others do/have/etc. I also want to make sure that I'm doing the things I'm doing out of the right motivation. I want to create things out of creative desire and necessity, not out of desire to show off the final product.

Fitness continues to be a goal and challenge in our house. While I had a great routine going from about March through late summer, things have really fallen apart since then. While I'd like to have a good gym and fitness routine going, I'm even more interested in finding ways to be more active in general. The older Madeleine gets, the more important it is that we model this behavior.

While I could go on and on about areas of my life that I would like to see get some attention in 2014, I'm going to stop. One of the things I most hope to master (or at least improve) in 2014 is the ability to limit the things that I take on and give myself fully to the things I choose rather than spread myself too thin across far too many things.

If you've made it this far, thanks for coming along on this journey with me. As 2013 comes to a close, what are your reflections on the year? What do you hope to get out of 2014?

1 comment:

Janie said...

This may sound like a Mom-ism, but I think you are right on track. As for me, I want to continue to savor every day, prioritize what I do and live with passion.