I’m continuing with the Happiness Project idea of choosing a Word For The Year.
Two years ago my word was JOY. In the face of becoming a full time stay-at-home-mom with a gross social deficiency in making friends with other women, moving to a new town, supporting John in opening his own law practice, buying a house while still owning two-thirds of an unsold condo, and hitting year two of birth control induced hormonal imbalance, I needed to focus on looking on the bright side. Hah.
Last year it was BALANCE. In many ways this meant asking for and accepting help when offered, mostly in the form of food and childcare. It meant getting over the three-week pile of laundry on the floor of my room, dirty toilets, and reusing dirty breakfast dishes for lunch. It also meant taking naps. Without guilt. Every single day. Sometimes twice.
But then, BALANCE was also a reminder to maximize the good days. I cut the girls’ clothing budget in half and have already shopped for next Spring and Summer. I reorganized my spice cabinet, pantry, and linen closet. We bought a minivan (and I love it).
In a brief end-of-year-review discussion with some other women in the Word Of The Year habit, I made a very purposeful decision to avoid a focus on FAITH or PATIENCE. God and the universe would have a way of taking either of these two virtues and turning them into potentially the worst year of my life.
So this year my word is BLESSING. A safe choice, all around.
I realize, now, that it seems like a bit of a cop out. But after a year of forcing myself to find joy in a cesspool of financial and emotional stress, and then essentially sleeping (or wishing I was asleep) through an entire forty weeks of last year, I decided I deserve a break.
I have this brand new son, who has already stirred up feelings no boyfriend (or husband) has ever found inside me. I shouldn’t admit this in writing, but the truth is that yes, it is even different from how I felt about my baby girls.
But then I also have these two incredible daughters, who have already revealed that motherhood is indeed innate.
On top of all this, I have finally found a doctor who is willing to help me balance my hormones instead of throwing anti-depressants at me. *I should probably also mention here that the same man saved my life four hours after delivering my nine pound boyfriend. A doctor who I decided, on an angry hormonal whim (whilst sitting in a busy waiting room for ninety minutes to simply pee in a cup and have my stomach measured), to switch practices twenty weeks into pregnancy. (Best decision I made last year.)
I’m tired of the days that motherhood feels like a burden. I’m tired of wishing we were “rich.” I’m tired of rolling my eyes every time an old person warns me not to blink because they grow up too fast.
I’m willing Isaiah to grow slowly. I’m cherishing the smell of sugar every time he sweats.
I’m kissing Carter goodnight before every single afternoon nap and making sure to tell her “I love you.”
I’m playing Scrabble with Eliott even though she barely knows how to spell and putting on my best face for round five of Guess Who.
I’m putting on heels to cook dinner once in a while, even if John is the only other adult who sees me in them that day.
I’m so rarely this sentimental or serious. But I’m taking time this year to count. I’m taking time this year to be grateful. I’m taking time this year to notice. And I’m praying that as I come to understand and feel fulness, I will start spilling over into others.