Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Reflection & A Word for 2016


 Sorry, that was the dust falling off the ol' blog.  (come see me on Instagram @claireity66 where it is considerably less dusty)

2015 - you are nearly over, and like the rest of the world, that is making me nostalgic and reflective.  This was a pretty good year overall. I usually look to the blog to be my reminder of the highlights of the year, but since that would be ineffective this year, I have to use my brain.  Challenging.  

It was a good year for me personally because, much like the year after the year Harper was born, this year was the year after Quinn was born (confusing) and once the baby carrying and birthing and breastfeeding year were done, it was nice to feel like I could become myself again and settle into a routine.  I felt like I got that this year.

Friends were married this year, babies were born.  Old friendships were strengthened, new ones were formed. Life was busy and full.  

Tony got a promotion in April and it shook our family life up significantly - he went from pretty flexible, mostly work in the field or from home hours, to a commute into Atlanta with regular work hours and one late night a week.  It took a while for all of us to adjust, but we did, and we've found a rhythm.  We became better informed on Harper's sensory processing issues, which was both a relief and a new challenge.  Summer was one big frazzled mess for me, as we navigated potty training that took well over 3 months.  Quinn started walking and saying words and being a cute little maniac.  

Fall was a welcome relief and both kiddos started back to school (Harper twice a week, Quinn one day).  Harper and Quinn play together so well* now, it's so fun to see and encourage. (*well implies that they do it, not that it's always happy interaction.  Quinn picked up a hitting habit from her sister. Oy.)  December was punctuated by a sad event when my sweet and beloved Grammy passed away.  We spent 3 full - separate trip - weeks in Tennessee with my family between the holidays and the funeral, which was certainly bittersweet.

I'm staring down 2016 with what feels like a half-full battery just ready to be recharged.  I've felt a little out of control lately, meaning I don't feel like I have everything in our lives organized and orderly and figured out -but I want to.  I'm prioritizing organization and cleaning so we can all feel a little more sane.  It was a good year, but I think 2016 is primed and ready to be an even better one.  Our kids are getting older and more of the world is becoming open to us, and I'm ready to go.


I like to make New Years resolutions.  I had to go back in the blog archives to see what 2015's resolution was - and apparently I didn't blog about it so I have no idea what it was.  Let's just say I nailed it.

I've taken many approaches in the past, from a detailed bucket list type thing to a one word goal.  I was thinking for this year about the areas of my life where I wanted to focus, and one word sprang to mind.  I wasn't trying to find "my word" but it just came to me.  So here it is - it's a word, but there are lots of words and layers under it - typical Claire.


Invest.  I want to invest in 3 key areas of my life, none of which have anything to do with money, I promise :)  They are all of equal weight, but I'll form them like concentric circles, starting in and moving out.  I'm deep like that.

+ Myself.  
+ My marriage.
+ My family.

+Myself - Just like a typical stay at home mom to say she wants to invest in herself. ;) But I do.  I'm definitely not a stereotypical self-sacrificing, put myself last kind of person, so I'm not terrible at this already.  But I want to work to improve myself to be a better wife, mom, and friend.  There are lots of areas for this, but one I've decided to focus on is running.  (wait, what?).  I randomly started running this summer one evening because I didn't have time to go to the gym.  I have NEVER been a runner.  CAPITAL NEVER.  I ran one mile and realized I could do it without stopping.  I was floored.  So I did it again.  And again.  And then tried a 5k distance, and could do it without stopping.  I was still floored.  I've made it up to doing 5 miles consistently, max of 6 so far, and I'm still shocked every time I get home all red-faced and disgustingly sweaty and amazingly triumphant. I never thought I could change such an inherent inevitable part of myself and become something different.  

I want to become a runner (am I already? I don't know the rules!).  Yes, the fitness part helps.  But mostly to prove to myself that I can.  I'm going to run a half marathon in the fall.  (ahhhhhh!).  It's terrifying and right now I have no idea how I'm going to do it.  But I'm going to.  I need to step my running game up and go more frequently, and obviously, further.  This takes energy and effort and non-laziness, which are challenges in themselves, but it takes an investment of time, which is my biggest scarcity most days.  (for the record, I refuse to push a stroller while running - I selfishly want it to be MY THING!  also, heavy).  But running makes me a happier person, so I'm going to invest in that goal.

+My marriage - Tony and I have always had a great marriage.  We are both low key and on the same page about so many things.  We are a team and don't expect crazy things from each other (he might disagree with that statement).  Pre-kids it was easy, of course.  Even after Harper was born, it was different, but still easy.  But throw 2 kids in the mix, one who takes a lot of mental energy to parent and one who is a new toddler tornado, add in a job with longer hours and a commute and we've discovered it's a lot harder.  Apathy is the devil, you know?  Once the kids are in bed, we're spent.  Me from wrangling them all day, him from going straight from a busy job day to an hour in the car to dinner and bedtime routines, and there's little energy left for each other.  I can totally see now why people say you have to work at a marriage.  We've discovered that and have certainly done a pretty good job navigating it all, but I want to prioritize Tony more this year and carve out more time for us together.

+My family - This sorta ties in to the one above, but I want to make sure we don't end up counting down minutes to bedtime or wasting the weekends being lazy.  I want to plan fun activities for us to do together and to grow and learn together and to build our bond as a family unit.  I want to make sure to start this now, as I know when kids get older it can be hard to prioritize family time in the shuffle.  This one is more ambiguous but I know it's so important.

So there you go.  The circles could keep expanding outward- to friends to community, etc.  But I just really want to invest in relationships that matter.  I don't want to be biding my time, but instead really living and soaking it up.

Farewell, 2015!  2016, I'm ready! 

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