Follow along as Today’s Parent contributor Lisa van de Geyn weighs in on parenting issues and life with her two young daughters. Stay tuned for occasional posts from her husband Peter as he shares parenting stories from his point on view.
On Tuesday, before the New Year’s Eve festivities started, I found myself alone in the bathroom (surprising, I know). I’d been in the middle of a rousing game of Candy Crush (taking a break from trying to get even a little bit of work done in a super-loud house) when I retreated to the washroom for a little peace and quiet. While I was in there, two things occurred to me: 1) I really don’t know how to clean the grout in Peter’s shower, and 2) Instead of making New Years resolutions that I’m not going to accomplish, I will simply resolve to a) do, and b) be.
Just before 2012, I blogged about resolutions and resolved to do the following: get rid of my PPD; stop taking all my PPD-related prescriptions; regain my patience; get Addy to pee and poop on the potty; get Peyton to start talking; lose the rest of my baby weight (remember, I had a one-year-old at the time); try not to be so hard on myself; continue writing for my favourite magazines and add more favourites to my list; continue working on my craft and take writing assignments that excite me; have more fun; stop getting wrapped up in familial and occupational drama — replace with reality-TV drama; and indulge in more guilty pleasures (see aforementioned reality TV).
Just before 2013, I revisited this list and added new items. While some of my 2012 items came to fruition (Addy pooping on the potty, Peyps talking, writing for my favourite publications and working on my craft), that was about it. In fact, I wrote this after most of the resolutions: “Pushed to 2013.” The list of new hopes/ideas/plans I added for the year — on top of the things I didn’t accomplish in 2012 — included: find my mellow; go back to yoga; do other things besides work; find time for fun; go for manis and pedis; get Peter to eat veggies; read more with the kids; get my bed back; take my own advice; be a better listener; keep my big mouth shut when necessary; clean my bathrooms more often; let things go, let people go, let toxic situations go; have more girls’ nights; see my best friend more often; blog more often, etc.
To be honest, I pretty much failed miserably.
But that’s OK.
I learned something invaluable this year when I took a class my psychiatrist recommended: planning to change things and do things differently on January 1, tomorrow, on Monday (as in, “I’ll start my diet Monday”) just means you’re not living in the moment. And for someone who’s been battling depression and anxiety (“If you’re depressed, you’re living in the past. If you’re anxious, you’re living in the future,” ancient Chinese philosophers said) I realized how much I’ve missed, and how much I’m missing, by not being mellow in the present. So, while I still have ambition, drive and dreams (for the kids, my family, and myself), I’m not resolving to do anything this year — I’m just going to do and be. I mean, I’m doing and being. I’m going to stop thinking about tomorrow (even though this advice is contrary to what Fleetwood Mac has always told us to do) and be in the now.
If only I could lose the rest of my baby weight in this moment…