Here's My New Year's Confession
I'm kind of over the whole pick-a-word-for-the-year thing.
For the last few years I've jumped on the bandwagon and picked a word that I want to focus on for the year, and I really enjoyed it. I latched onto the idea originally because I love the idea of picking one thing to focus on during the year instead of making resolutions. I've never been a resolution-making type person, and the few times I tried it didn't go so well. Picking one over-arching goal for the year is much easier to maintain than making a list of ten goals that I've already failed at by February.
For the monthly goals that I shared on the blog for this last year, I picked only one area to focus on instead of regaling you with a list of goals that I can cross off. It was so much more manageable and less stressful that way. I put a lot of internal pressure on myself to meet "goals". I am more likely to succeed without crying when I focus on one thing.
So it's not the whole concept that I'm rejecting this year - the part I'm over is the "one word" part. And really for no deeper reason than sometimes I feel the inexplicable need to fight back against whatever is trendy. (In ideas, not in clothes. Obviously. I participate far too often in clothing trends.)
This year, I'm not picking a "word", but I am making one goal. Or rather "focus". I like that word better because New Year's goals and resolutions are so often made and broken, but it's easier to keep a focus. If you lose it, you can shift right back. When you fail at a goal that has a timeline or specific perimeters, you fail for good.
You'll have to read to the end if you want to know what my goal is! *winky face* (I feel weird typing that out because I like to express myself in words, but sometimes you just need an emoji.)
More New Year's Thoughts
(My #bestsixteen from 2016. I'm making #bestsixteen a thing, because it just seems appropriate, and also I couldn't pick just nine.)
Okay, I can't help myself, let's just talk a little bit more about resolutions. I want to know, have any of you ever made a lasting change in your life that started as a New Year's resolution? I'm not trying to make a point, I just really want to know.
I actually haven't, but I also don't make resolutions often.
Whenever I look back and think of ways that I or my habits have changed, it usually happens in one of two ways. The first type is change that comes gradually and unintentionally, because in some ways our experiences shape who we become. I don't think they have to or should define who you become, but at the same, they do make a difference for good or for ill.
And I know all your minds are going to tragic or bad experiences, but I'm not just talking about bad experiences. I was pretty insecure in high school and in some ways even in college, but I grew up and found better friends and gained life experience, and I feel comfortable in most social situations now. I used to think I knew everything (without even realizing I thought that), but motherhood has cured a large portion of that ailment. Just regular life and the passage of time has a way of changing and growing you, and fairly often for the better (though sometimes for the worse too, let's be honest).
The second type of situation that has led to change in my life is when a bad habit got to the point that I was truly grieved by it. I can think of three specific times (one even fairly recently), when the veil dropped and I could see that if I didn't redirect, I wasn't going to like where this path took me. And I actually credit that to the Holy Spirit opening my eyes and convicting my heart of the sinful attitude behind those bad habits. When He made it so clear, I didn't really have a choice but to turn around unless I wanted to be rebelling against God (and that is not a place you want to be), so I asked for help and God is the One who helped me to change direction.
Those moments have never actually happened around New Year's for me. Not saying they couldn't, though!
On To New Pajamas
Well, that got a little heavy, didn't it? Here this is supposed to be the fun post of the week and I get all serious on you. I always get a little reflective this time of year, but let's shift gears and reflect now on pajamas.
When I was pregnant with Clarice I made a commitment not to wear gross pajamas anymore.
I was in a nesting phase, and I was cleaning out my pajama drawer, and I realized how many sub-par pajamas I owned. Why? Why did I still have these? I put them on to test them out. I didn't feel attractive. It was like instant frump. Because I don't know if you've noticed, but after about six months, pajamas start to get those little fuzzy pills on them. Or toothpaste stains. Or the material starts to thin. Why was I doing this to myself? Why was I doing this to my husband?
So I cleaned out 95% of my pajama drawer (keeping a few staples that weren't in bad shape), and I went straight out and bought cute pajamas. I determined right then that every six months or so, I would ditch the pilled pajamas and buy another set. Out with the old and in with the new.
I've kept on pretty well. Over time, when I realize that the old t-shirts and sweatpants have made it back into the rotation, I make a trip to the store (though I have to admit, I still need to purge a few of the old-new pairs again). This month was pajama switch-up month for me, and right after Christmas I went on a hunt for new pajamas.
I really wanted this sleep romper in buffalo plaid, because oh my goodness, so cute. They don't even look like pajamas! I checked all over though and couldn't find them, so I ended up with these two instead:
Black sleep romper - I have never slept in a romper before, so I'll let you know how it is. I don't do nightgowns because I hate how they get all tangled up around my waist, so I hope that it isn't a problem with this.
Pretty night shirt - I got this in a black and grey color. This may look like a nightgown, but it's short enough (on me anyway) to qualify as a tunic, which wears like a long shirt. No tangling problems, and I love how this one has a dip back and support built in. It's really comfy. I wear it with leggings.
Cute, right? No frumpy pajamas, there is a resolution for you right there.
My Real Hope For The Year
I read a New Year's post recently that focused on "hopes" for the New Year, and I really liked that. I like thinking about what I hope for the New Year instead of what I'm going to muscle my way into happening, because what do we really know about what will happen this year?
In my latest post on Tommy Nelson (which if you have a minute you could share from their page, because that makes me look good - where is my winky face emoji?), I talked a little more about how to not be so stringent in picking goals for the year. This verse came to mind. God knows what will happen this year, and we...we really don't. We can make our plans, but I like hoping better, because even that word feels like an expectation, a looking ahead to see not what I want to make happen, but what God will do.
So my hope for the New Year is that I can be a person who makes those around me feel seen - and maybe even known.
I read a book last January that I have been recommending like crazy, I'm Happy For You by Kay Wills Wyma, and in it she tells a short story of a fast food person who always remembers her kids' orders. Her kids couldn't stop talking about how nice that fast food guy was, and how amazing it was that he remembered their order. And it's true, isn't it, how much something small, like remembering to put extra rice in a burrito, can give that feeling that we are known, that we belong somewhere.
"Is community with humans, as in interpersonal relationship and communication, the key to genuinely meeting our need to belong?...Practically speaking, yes. Even small, seemingly insignificant but deeply meaningful interaction fills voids."
Isn't that good? That story from the book stuck with me, because I want to be that person. I want to be the kind of person that really sees those around me. Who remembers them when they feel like no one knows their name. Who sees that they are struggling, and doesn't just click the sad face on their Facebook status but reaches out to help. Who remembers the little details about someone's life or preferences, so they don't have to tell me twice. The type of person who makes other people feel like they are someone worth knowing.
That starts at home with Derek and the kids first, and then I hope I can stretch that out to those in my immediate circle. Because this Sunday, and on so many other days, other people did that for me.
My mom and sister made sure I sat with them at church since Derek was home sick. A girl from MOPS who I don't know that well, but would like to know better, looked me in the face and greeted me by name. A sweet lady at church stretched over the coffee bar counter and gave me a hug.
It feels good to feel like you belong. And in 2017, I want to do that for someone too.
Old-School Blogger Shoutout
Speaking of making other people feel like they belong - this week I wanted to share two bloggers that have done the blogging equivalent of that for me. I've read both of these blogs for a while (when I've made the time), and not only do they share great real-life posts, but they never fail to return the comment and make me feel like we are friends - even when I haven't commented on their blog in six months. And I'm clearly not the only one who is made to feel like I belong by these ladies, because check out their comment sections. They get more comments than most, and their comments sections would be a great place to start if you are looking to find active old-school bloggers!
So without further ado,
Michelle from Mich Mash - Michelle is pretty much hilarious to me. One of my favorite blogs to read.
Erin from Love, Fun, And Football - Another favorite to read because she seems to keep the personal touch in every post!
(Also check out my shoutouts from last week, because I feel like not a lot of blog reading was going on two days after Christmas.)
That's what I have. So do you make resolutions, or "hopes", or pick a word? This is the week for talking about it, is it not? What are your thoughts?
What I'm Drinking: Coffee. Black. I haven't caught up from our Rogue One date night and New Year's Eve yet. (Okay, if I'm being honest, I might put in a pump of white mocha too if Derek lets me steal some of his syrup!)