2018 was intense, harried, and a blur. There were highlights, like our first international trip to Italy in June (amazing, loved every minute, especially hiking through Cinque Terre and going on a timed family scavenger hunt through the streets of Florence), but there were also times that were just so busy that we were just trying to get through the week and not forget anything big (like that First Communion parents’ night meeting that I totally forgot).
The busyness was entirely self-inflicted, a combination of too many kid activities, daughter applying to high schools (yes, it’s a thing – a very stressful and energy-sucking thing), did I mention too many kid activities? There’s three of them and we try to make sure they all get enriching experiences that they are interested in, but it’s reached a comic/insane level if I do say so myself. Soccer alone.
Upon reflection during this sedate winter break, I’ve decided that I’d like to work on some life goals for 2019 for our family and home.
- More time with friends. We once tried to have friends over once a month which was awesome until it petered out. I think this is important for all of us and also important to our house in terms of general upkeep. We are resurrecting Guests of the Month and thinking of our first invites!
- De-cluttering. Our next door neighbors have the same exact house as we do but the mirror image. They had a holiday party which we attended last week and each time I’m in there, I marvel at their lack of clutter. They have NONE. Now I know it’s a party and I’m sure they got it party-ready, but they are naturally immaculate (have 2 older kids) and spare. I came home from the party ready to donate 1/3 of the items in our house. We started with the Great Clean Out by having a family organization event of our basement storage room. The storage room has items like Rollerblades circa 1992, a small couch, and 5,395 other items strewn about in no particular order. It’s level 2 Hoarders, Buried Alive. All 5 of us were down there, throwing things out, cleaning up, organizing, donating, and it looks amazing! No longer an embarrassment when the plumber needs to go in there! It felt good and didn’t take too long. We also unearthed some forgotten treasures like my medical school commencement program and a birthday letter from a college friend.
- Developing kid grit. Husband and I have decided that at least some of our kids lack grit and tend to give up easily. While watching our two boys, 7 and 10, on an unseasonably beautiful day during this break, I decided we needed to go on a Mom and Sons Run to enjoy the day and get some exercise. After the complaining and realization that I was set about this plan, we all ventured out to do a neighborhood run – just 1 mile! Now, we’ve all run a mile before- they’ve all run a 5K – so a mile is nothing right? Well, during that 1 mile, there were 40 stops, crying (someone fell), pushing (in play but still), a side cramp, and so much walking–I had to pause my activity tracker twice until we could continue. It was like the Bad News Bears Go On a Short Run. I told Husband and we decided there would be a repeat Family Run the next day as part of Grit Bootcamp. It was actually pretty fun. The 5 of us ran 1.25 miles with minimal stops and the 7 year old said, “We ran faster, longer, and it wasn’t as bad!” We want to teach them they can get through discomfort and to be mentally tough too. More Family Runs to come!
- Mangeable kid activities. I want to include a question mark here since I’m half-hearted about this goal. I think 7 soccer teams was definitely over the top last fall, but I also want them to have time to pursue their interests, develop themselves, etc etc. I guess my goal is to be more conscious of our whole family schedule and to make sure everyone has some down time. Spring means only 4 soccer teams so that’s a start!
- Be more connected to others. Beyond having guests over, I want to reconnect more with friends and make time for that. I want to carve out more time to be connected with my husband. And continue to have great family unit time. I think this means committing to the bullet point above because connecting takes time and time is of short order around here.