I am taking advantage of a rare bit of time without the children to do some of the many things that I have had to put on the back burner since having Austin. I am writing so infrequently here, I wanted to take a look at the blog and decide how I wanted to proceed: delete it? Archive it? Revamp? None of these seemed appealing to me (although I can’t promise I won’t update the banner, a new theme is not necessary).
I haven’t had a proper think about New Year’s Resolutions yet. I might. But I haven’t yet. They seem to follow the same tune each year so it seems somewhat pointless to rehash the same old wistful optimism that This Year will the year where I eat better, read more, write more, watch less TV and generally make better use of Time.
This year, though, I have an imminent arrival of a new human to care for and as such, I do not feel inclined to load myself with the usual expectations. This doesn’t stop me from wanting to do things differently; I just am not sure I am ready to commit those wants to the screen.
I have decided what my Word will be for 2016. Last year, I wanted to be Positive, the year before, Tough. This year, I will focus on the word Nurture. This will apply to our new baby, our daughter, my husband, my parents, all my other relationships and, not to be forgotten, myself. I am only a good mother if I remember to take care of myself too.
One of the best things about blogging, which I hadn’t realised I’d been missing until I started up again this year, is that it gives me time to reflect properly on what is happening around me. The fog of teaching often means that you are too tired or busy to be properly present in your life and I am so looking forward to rediscovering what it is like to live in a more simple, intentional way. I don’t even care how ridiculous that sounds! I will be able to make this blog be part of my nurturing as I take time to just think.
Last year’s word was Positive. I think I maintained that for the most part with some notable lapses. This year, I had to think hard about what my focus should be. I settled on ‘Protect’ because my biggest focus (mainly) at work is to protect myself better. To protect my feelings better. I open myself up way too much and it makes me vulnerable. Unfortunately, I think it is also one of my strengths as a teacher – the ability to be candid with students about who I am and how I am feeling. I don’t want to care less about the kids but I do want to protect myself better so I don’t get so hurt and frustrated at their apathy, callousness or indifference. I think I thought by this stage in my life, my skin would have thickened a bit. I really thought I would out-grow my sensitive nature. Maybe next year I will crack it.
As I start to think about what my resolutions for 2014 will be, I realised I needed to start by checking how I managed my resolutions for 2013. These are the resolutions:
- lose at least a stone in weight
- complete all assignments at least two days before deadline
- read at least 50 books
- be tough
- keep it simple
Numbers 1 to 3 are easy to measure and therefore I know for a fact that I didn’t manage any of them. Regarding my weight, I went in the wrong direction. This is as assumption because I am not remotely ready to step on scales.
Number 2 was not technically achieved but I am actually fine with that because even my main Masters assignment was handed in 24 hours before deadline which is pretty amazing given how I usually work.
With my reading challenge, I came close. With only a few days to go, I thought I had 9 books to read to make it only to realise after powering (and enjoying, by the way) two more books, I had actually miscalculated. In the end, I managed a respectable 41 books in 12 months – my best count since I started keeping track in 2007.
Now for the last two. I think it is fair to say that I managed both for some of the time but there have certainly been times when I felt anything but tough and I kept it anything but simple. It’s a work in progress. And I am making progress (although that word makes me shudder now that I am a teacher and I have to prove progress is being made AT ALL TIMES WITH NO EXCEPTIONS!).
I think for 2014 I will give myself a bit of a break. Instead of resolutions, I will have intentions. To resolve is so concrete. And it feels so much worse when you fail. To intend shows the right attitude without the self-applied pressure.