New Years 2017

Whenever New Years Eve approaches I start to notice people talking about resolutions. Every year I make my own list and think “This year is going to be the year that I don’t forget about this list a month in!” So far I have been unsuccessful... 

It really does seem fitting that when the new year rolls around that we try to change things. Especially after this years Winter Solstice and I focused on letting go of the negative and searching for positive things to look forward to in this cold dark time. Now there should be something to work towards! 

Instead of resolutions this year I am going to focus on one word that keeps popping in my head, mindfulness

The Greater Good Science Center of Berkley College defines mindfulness in a way that is very comprehensive 

Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment.

Mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.
— http://greatergood.berkeley.edu

 

 

As an alternative to a resolution, focusing on this one word will benefit my whole family. Instead of rushing through our days doing our normal daily routine I want to slow down and really pay attention to the stage our lives are in. I need to make sure we are taking time to appreciate all that we have, and listen hard enough to know what we need. 

There are five areas of my little family's lives that so very much need some mindfulness injected into them.

Parenting

When my kids are running around like overtired loons playing and goofing around I want to be able to stop and laugh with them instead of feeling frustrated. There are times when I get so overwhelmed with all I have to do as a single mother that I seem to miss all of the joy in our world. When the anxiety and frustration wash over me from now on I will acknowledge them and explain to myself that I have two happy healthy creatures and the panic does not need to overtake our lives, but when I try to push it away it just magnifies and stays for way longer then it needs to. 

Nutrition

Normally food is super important to me. As a former baker and cook I can make basically anything from scratch, and usually that's what I do! It gives me great joy to take raw ingredients and magic them into something delicious and tasty. Then I get into this rut of making the easiest nonsense I can get Ivan to eat. The poor guy is so picky he has very limited foods. His doctor suggested I make him the meals that he enjoys and not to pressure him into trying new things. It worked like a charm, he went from barely ever eating, to eating me out of house and home. But the problem now is his foods are so easy to make that making my own healthier meal is very unappealing. Sadly as a 30 year old woman eating “kid food” is not as harmless as for my 5 year old. 

It’s very important to me that I am mindful of what I am putting in my body. It truly effects how I feel, and my health. Mindlessly eating can take a tole on me so I am hoping that with practicing mindfulness I can also move towards better nutrition choices. 

Creativity

There are times when all I want to do is drop whatever task I am doing and create something. Usually either writing or drawing is my first instinct. I think that it is time for me to listen to that impulse. Making art is so very good for our mental heath and happiness that taking time for it when it strikes should be a priority. Already the kids have been embracing this, their art shelf has been moved into easy reaching distance. All day you can see them running over and grabbing various materials when they get an idea. No need to bother with asking me to get it and lose their train of thought. It is truly changing how we see art in our house. It is no longer a task but a pure pleasure.

Purchases

This is a big one. Whenever I purchase something this year I want to really take the time to think about where it came from, what's the impact on the environment will be, and honestly do I really need this?! Let's be honest, I am a stuff getter. Time to clean out the hoard, give things to those who truly need it and only buy what is needed, clean and honest. Real will power is going to be needed here.

Self Care

I just fell asleep sitting up writing this. What more could I say about how I need to listen to my body more then that? Pushing yourself to the limit makes us Americans very proud. Lately I have been wondering why. Nothing will get done if your body and mind are so overextended that you end up sick and bedridden! 

 

On that note I am going to put all of this to use and be mindful of what my body is saying. Right now it’s saying “Go to bed you dumb dumb head!