Posted on: Sunday
A new year is upon us, a new start, a renewal of all that we strive to be. For the second year in a row, I reminisce: this past year was a very beautiful and very hard year. I had high hopes, big dreams, and goals that soared above Manhattan's tallest buildings- and the funny thing is, they were all realized. Somehow, through determination and unyielding belief, I accomplished more in this past year than I have in any year. I had another baby. I started a business. I began exploring the worlds of professional writing and photography. I learned how to make Sufganiyah for Channukah (that one's been on my list for a hot minute). Did I mention that I had another baby?
And yet, this past year was trying, burdensome, and challenging beyond belief. Jumping into the world of parenting two young children tests your relationship (and your tolerance of sleep-deprivation) like nothing else. A start-up business takes every ounce of every second of every spare day that you've got, and still the work is never done. Health issues arise. Money comes, and goes, and sometimes waits in limbo just long enough to give you a panic attack. Each step forward is paired with two leaps back, and we tread on. There were times this past year when the going got so tough that I found it hard to see the light. And just as the mounting uncertainty and fear would start to overwhelm me, an unexpected window would open and light would beam in from a most surprising source, and all would make sense once again. But that uncertainty and fear was real, very real, and immensely challenging. This past year was also filled with a tremendous amount of good- good opportunities, good times, and good people. Sometimes, the only way I managed to keep on the sunny side of the street was by keeping grateful, for the good and the bad, and by accepting the help and support of the people around me.
I step into this new year with a clearer focus of what I want my life to look like, and a deeper understanding of what I need my life to feel like. I want to focus on two things: purposefully directing my attention and focus onto what I want to manifest and grow, and putting more time, effort, and love into my relationships. I aim to ultimately get to a place where I can naturally focus all of my attention and thoughts on the good around me, stop worrying, and stop wasting any effort on that which I cannot control. I know this is easier said than done, and I want to work on it one day at a time. I hope that by giving myself the next 365 days to consciously work towards this goal, I'll be able to grow into a better woman and mother. There's just too little time in this world to distress, and too much good and magic to live any other way, at least for me.
As an extension of that, I want to really work on cultivating my relationships with those who are dear to me. I've begun to realize that with more children comes a greater need to schedule everything. Friendships that I've had for years, which have always blossomed and grown on they're own without much conscious effort (mostly because we were all in the same city and in the same places most of the time and naturally spent a lot of time together) have unintentionally been pushed to the wayside in recent years. Understandably, life became really busy. But one too many times I've found myself saying to a dear friend, "Has it really been that long since we've seen each other?!" And the answer is: yes, it has been that long. Weeks turn to months, and months turn to years, and suddenly that person you used to talk to every day becomes your friend who has gotten married and moved three times and had an art opening since you last saw her. Or it becomes your Aunt who you haven't called in a year, or your husband who you haven't been out on a date with in months. Time has a way of slipping by while you're busy raising your brood, but I no longer want to let my relationships fall into the past.
So even if it means squeezing in coffee with a friend super early in the morning, or random playdates on the other side of town, or makeshift lunch dates in between meetings (and hopefully it also means more kid-friendly dinner parties and long evenings out and weekly playgroups!), I want to dedicate more time and energy to feeding my relationships and to building my community, which will in turn feed my soul. I feel so blessed to have so many amazing/crazy/supportive people in my life, and I want to take more time to nurture my relationships and to show people how much they mean to me.
So hello 2014. I'm ready to focus on all of the good you have in store (over coffee and a croissant with loved ones). Let's go.
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