I can’t believe the year is nearly over. Can you?
2013 has been a busy one for me. With school and kinder alone, each week I had sixteen occasions on which I dropped off or picked up one of the children. Add in a few extra curricular activities, a holiday overseas during which our house was painted, returning to work, a husband who runs his own business and two new babies, a 40th, a 70th and a retirement in our extended family.
No wonder I am enjoying slowing down this week.
What sort of year did you have? One you’d rather file away and not think about again any time soon or a year of good times, new beginnings or milestones? Maybe a bit of both?
I have been taking stock lately and thinking about how I’d like to approach things a bit differently next year.
In 2014, I have decided I am going to:
1. Do Less
I have had a touch of commitment fatigue this year and have felt a bit exhausted by all the things I took on (most of which was voluntarily). It’s not one thing in particular; rather, it’s the cumulation of lots of relatively minor but different commitments. It’s not that I don’t want to do my share and then some. I enjoy being involved, productive and contributing. I want to be part of the 20, not the 80.
It’s just that sometimes I fail to acknowledge to myself that parenting three children, being married, running our household and working outside the home is a reasonable load in and of itself, without adding in anything extra.
I’m know I am always going to be someone who loves to be in the thick of it, organising and making things happen. This year, however, I am hoping to learn to say “No” politely sometimes, safe in the knowledge that the world will still turn if I don’t put my hand up every time.
2. Go Slower
In 2014, I am hoping to not spend my days running around madly checking things off my endless “To Do” list.
Of course, life is busy in my season of life but I realise that I also have choices about how much I take on and how I spend my days to some extent (although there is no escaping the relentless washing or food preparation).
Instead, I want to create more time and space for spontaneity, dawdling and meandering. I am tired of rushing and I’m pretty sure the kids are too.
As part of this, I have taken a few months off paid work to help settle my second son into school (he is starting Prep). I have also reluctantly relinquished attending a much loved group, in an attempt to create more space in my week.
The challenge is now to not “fill” this extra time with new commitments.
3. Give More
Part of doing less and slowing down for me is to create some space to give more.
I want to have more time to do things for other people and give more of myself. It might be making a meal for someone who needs it or having time to catch up with someone. I admit that I have not had time to do much of this over the last year and I have felt guilty and frustrated by it at times.
But this isn’t another way of “doing more”. It’s about giving. When I can. Not because I have to, or I signed up for it or it’s my turn on the roster. Instead, it’s about creating some space so if I see a need or an opportunity, I can respond to it.
That’s what I am hoping my 2014 looks like. What about you? How do you want your 2014 to look? What would you like more or less of?
Thank you for your comments! I love to hear from you.