Last year was a fun year with a few interesting trips and events, but ultimately I ended the year dissatisfied and unfulfilled.
I was getting anxiety and stress over things that shouldn't be so important, but to me they are. We've lived here for over 3 years without working chests of drawers in our bedrooms, or wardrobe space, or a dining room table that's not being used as an office desk. We've lost our system of meal planning because for the bulk of this pregnancy (at least until around 22 weeks, tho I still dislike it) I haven't been able to face cooking or thinking about meals. We'd gotten into the habit of watching Netflix whenever we had a spare evening which felt so nice and relaxing but ultimately ate the whole evening away and never ended up having proper conversations. Prayer and quiet times felt a million miles away and just difficult. I would wake up whenever Ella woke me up because I was/am always so tired but it meant I never had any alone-time before the day started with a bang. Calum would come home stressed from work and preoccupied with the million things he had on, and I would be stressed from the monotony of daily life in a constant cycle of COOKING-CLEANING-WASHING-COOKING-CLEANING whilst being so tired/sore/sick/pregnant. Basically we were going through the motions of normal family life but it wasn't satisfying and it could/should be so much better........ you get the picture?
This years holds so many changes, unknowns, and risks for us, and I think that sense of being all in together for whatever comes next has been good. Technically with a new baby coming and my husband launching out on his own into business stuff (which could be a while before it's up and running) we should have a lot to be scared of. But we're both so excited.
So about goals. I've never been a big fan because, fear of failure. But this year I ordered some Powersheets before Christmas as a gift to myself and a month after the beginning of the year, after so much thought and prayer, I finally have some goals in place that I'm actually excited about and achieving and have been practicing/refining through January.
One of the concepts in Powersheets is that you choose a word for the year. That seemed a little cheesy/forced to me until today when I was pottering around in our sunny house, a breeze blowing through the windows that are finally open (Summer in Wellington didn't get the memo), listening to Calum working in the garden and Ella helping him so happily, making a quiche for our picnic later today and eating a tomato from our greenhouse... that the words popped into my mind "Seek Peace and pursue it - Psalm 34:14". And that's it - PEACE. Not in a political way (don't freak ;) ) and not in a "world peace" way although that would be great. And not really in an "inner peace" way because that's very individual. But peace in our home, and in our life together.
The past month has shown me that peace comes from a few things in our home. Firstly from having more quality time together and developing that friendship that can slip out of relationships so fast. And secondly, creating a peaceful home by making it welcoming, uncluttered and functional (i.e easy to keep somewhat tidy/less chaotic.)
|[My prayer journal, normal journal/diary. and goal-setting book]|
I'm so rambling through this post and it's making me mad. But I feel like I need to explain more than simply list my goals!
So here they are, goals that are all designed to create peace in our home and family:
- Pray every day, using my prayer journal because writing seems to be the only way I can focus my thoughts. There is something amazing about looking back through prayer requests and seeing the ways they have been answered - from the tiny to the huge. I knew that if I could make this a priority, everything else would fall into place.
- Less Netflix, more quiet evenings of rest, or chatting. THIS HAS BEEN AMAZING. I feel almost guilty for doing things like having a bath, or getting in bed early with a book or journal, but those things are no less productive than Netflix and actually make me feel pampered and rested, and just like life is moving nice and slowly instead of manically.
- Doing more things together with hubs. Life has a way of making parents really really worn out. We occasionally go on dates but it needs to be more - everyday things. So recently we've started cooking together sometimes; even if it means Ella ends up being entertained by cartoons so we can do so, it's a small sacrifice that means we get to chat and also, working together on something is awesome.
- Maintain a simple daily routine. If I had no kids, this would be more elaborate, but for now I'm stoked if I can have a shower every night, write in my journal (something I haven't done since errrr about 2004?) and pray. About the shower at night - I don't know why it changes my whole day but it does. Instead of having a shower at any given moment when my daughter was asleep (could be 8am, could be 2pm, could be never :D ) I'm opting to have one every single night after she's in bed. For one, power is cheaper after 7pm with our power company, for 2, it makes you feel fresh and cosy at bedtime which helps sleep I'm sure; and for 3 it means I can get dressed the minute I wake up each morning instead of thinking "I'll just stay in my PJs until I get time to take a shower" then *....3 days later.....*. Kapeesh? So... my 2017 goal is to shower daily and I wrote a whole paragraph about it because it's that much of a novel discovery to me................................................. *shame*
- Spend less. There's nothing like being forced into a goal in order to make it happen. :) I'm finding this challenge really satisfying. We aren't eating out, I'm baking our bread and muesli for each week, and I'm monitoring all our spending closely on PocketSmith.
- Organise our bedrooms/storage situations. Kind of seems to contradict the point above, but we've purchased some new drawers for the baby's room that are already SO WORTH IT for their organisational ability (I forgot how good it is to actually put clothes in drawers instead of in random baskets...) and we've gone ahead and ordered 2 more sets - one for Ella's room and one for our room. I actually sat on this purchase decision for months before pulling the trigger. I now ask myself "Do I want and need this? Will I want and need it in 5 years? Is it a quality that will last us for hopefully decades?" if the answer is yes, and it's a reasonable price and we've done our research, than we can get it. It has to be something that, if we don't buy it now, we are going to continue needing for at least 5 years. Which means it's worth purchasing now so that we can benefit from it for those 5 years and hopefully many more. We also purchased a food mixer for our kitchen on special (almost half price) and it has been so amazing - that's the only reason I can make decent bread several times per week. Otherwise I don't think I'd be doing it with all the manual kneading that is super messy and hard on your hands too. I've already used it for so many things and it's taken my housewife game up a notch. ;)