I’m not sure where or how this idea came about, but I’ve seen a lot of bloggers post about their “word” for the year. Somewhat like a new year resolution, I take it. I think it’s a pretty cool idea so I’ve been using the month of January to ponder what word I might pick for the year. Okay, Okay, I haven’t been “using the month of January” but it has floated through my mind several times in the month of January ;) It wasn’t easy picking out one meaningful word, I can tell you that! With all that has gone on in the past year, the ways I’ve grown and been stretched as a mother and wife, both the good, bad, smooth and difficult parts of it all, there seem to be a plethora of words my heart could rest on and hope for in 2013. How about patience? Learning to let go of my expectations and more readily go with the flow when things aren’t going as planned? How about contentedness as I continue to wrestle with wanting to be home more with my baby girl? Or humor as I, like pretty much everyone, struggle with the day to day minutiae of waking sleepily to get ready for work, packing bags, doing laundry, making dinner, sending and replying to emails, blah blah blah, and forget that life is good (!), there are things all around to make me laugh and smile and, oh yeah, why don’t I try to make people smile while I’m doing the day to day?! Then there is romance. Yep, that would be a good one. You mean couples with toddlers can have romance in their lives?! Is that question only coming from this girl? Oops!
Those are just a few words that flitted through my mind. Yet the word I want to really give my attention to, is CHERISH. Why on Earth should it be hard to cherish something or someone, someplace or some season or time? I certainly don’t know, and I don’t want it to be hard, so I will try to use 2013 to change that. As my tiny baby, who is no longer tiny, continues to get less tiny, I want to do all that is in me to cherish each day with her. Not to say there won’t be hard times, even times that are pretty much un-cherishable. Rather, to say that I want those sweet, special, even normal times to far outnumber and outweigh, both in the moment and in my memory, the less smooth times. Like watching her feed herself a new food that brings a smile to her face, watching her sign a word with such a look of pleasure that she could actually communicate, taking a moment in the grocery store to see things as she sees them, showing her fun, new things to do and play with, rocking her to sleep (an hour later!) and treasuring her weight in my arms rather than mentally going down my list of other things I could be doing. Even cherishing the learning that comes with mothering. For example, I recently learned that giving her a sticker while I change her diaper makes the whole process much easier for me and more pleasant for her. YAY! I want to relish in that goodness, however little it may seem. I want to use that experience to help me find ways for other tricky areas to become more cherishable.
AND, maybe more importantly, I want to shift my focus, lift my eyes up from my sweet girl and cherish other areas in my life again. My husband! No one seems to tell you how a marriage will change with a baby. Maybe some marriages don’t. Ours has. Not necessarily in a bad way, but it sure is different now. It’s so easy to put all our time and attention, our focus and energy on our baby. And why shouldn’t we? This little life, constantly growing, learning, relying on us. We are who she learns from! I want her to see and learn about love from us. I want her to learn about fun and relationships and partnering from us. My desire is that she will see me cherish her Daddy every single day! Again, I’m not naïve enough to think that focusing on a word will make all things cherishable. Who can cherish scooping cat litter for heavens sake? But I’m hoping that I can really soak in thankfulness for the things he does for me, for us. Appreciate his selflessness, his intelligence, his wish to relax and laugh and enjoy life (yes, even if that means watching every episode of The Big Bang Theory 8 times.) Encourage his talents and the way he lights up when he can do things he loves. Notice and support the way he impacts not only us but his students. I want to cherish this man and in doing so let him feel how thankful I am for him. I want to take time every day to sit with him, play with him, laugh with him, or just BE with him and show him I love him.
For some reason it’s not easy for me to stop, pause, take a breath, notice, focus and CHERISH some things. I know time is flying by. Stages are moving from one to the next. Life, in all it’s lifeness is going whether I take the time to appreciate things or not. All in all I think this word will help me fill in the gaps to the other words on my list. Maybe cherishing will pull me out of my selfishness and teach me how to give more. If I can slowly but surely meditate on soaking in the moments, people, places and things in my day, won’t it be easier to become selfless, to smile and laugh and see the humor in things, to be happy with things as they are, to love more easily? I believe so!
Did you pick a word for 2013? How about just a word for today?
PS, I just thought of something else a few minutes after I posted this. I also want to cherish the people in my life, which can be tricky for me to remember while I'm sifting through, well, my life. In reality a better word may be to appreciate them, but I will say cherish for the sake of the goal. My co-workers, my parents, my relatives, my friends, the milk man, the grocery store clerk, the tele-service rep, etc. You get the idea. These people, no matter how big or small of a part they play in my life, deserve my best attitude, some of my energy, and a lot of my love and gratefulness. Again, clearly not always easy. But what will it hurt me to give an extra smile, an extra thank you, and extra minute? Probably nothing.