I know that I said in this post that I don't normally make New Years resolutions, but this year is an exception for me. It's not so much about a new year as it is about a fresh start. I feel like our lives have gotten a bit out of control. It seems that we've been so busy adjusting to mountaintop life, making our second tin turd into a home, and juggling all the other demands of a large family, and life in general, that we've lost our focus. Most days it seems like we go from putting one fire out, to recovering from our firefighting efforts, to the next fire, and that leaves me feeling like life is living us instead of us living it.
I'm ready to take my responsibility in that and do my best to get things under control. At some point I've got to accept that the best I can hope for is controlled chaos, but that doesn't mean that I have to settle for utter chaos. It's so easy to let life take over and make excuses for why I'm not being and living who I want to be. Survival mode has become comfortable and known, and a crutch that lets me hobble along making enough forward steps to look busy, but not enough to get to where I want to go.
I always struggle with my dreams because they don't just include me. I've got eleven other people coming along for the ride, and it's not always easy to provide enough motivation for myself and them. Most days I feel just managing the kids and keeping them on task is a job in and of itself. Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining about them. They are not a burden and I don't feel underappreciated. Exactly the opposite - my family is my bliss and it is a rare, rare day that I ever feel unappreciated. But that doesn't mean that I don't feel like I get lost in their care.
I've spent most of my adult life popping out a baby every other year, sometimes two at a time, wiping noses and butts, cleaning up one mess or another, teaching them how to do simple things like wash their hands and brush their teeth, or how to co-exist with each other, and I've done most of it lactating and sleep deprived. In between the logistics of parenting I've eked out a few rare and brief periods of time for myself, and I've had the joy of watching all of their firsts. I've seen the world over and over again, for the first time, through their eyes. A first step, or word, or smile. The first time they said I love you, and the first time they said it and understood what it really meant. I was there the first time they read, spelled, and figured out what two plus two equaled.
Those years have whizzed by, and now here we are, after a couple of rough years, up on our mountaintop....and it just finally feels like the time is now to reclaim the order and structure that we lost along the way. A dear friend of mine told me, in not these exact words, that 40 was mine and that I owned it - this time in my life, this season of getting older and accepting who I am and not caring what other people thought so much, and I'm feeling what she said. I'm feeling like this is going to be a great year for us and that we can have the life that we want if we make our best effort to create it, and this Monday morning - it is the first day of the rest of my life and I'm going to start now.......