As part of my One Little Word (R.E.S.T.) this year I’ve decided to intentionally focus on one thing each month that will help me to dig into resting. I recognize that this year is going to be full. With adding two people to our household – one being introduced to Canadian culture for the first time and the other being a newborn who will need a lot of care and attention – it’s bound to be crazy and at times stressful. So resting is even more important for me this year, it will be absolutely necessary for my health in every way. My mental, spiritual, and physical health will all need to be nurtured and paid attention to.
January I decided I would do a “spending freeze”and not spend any money beyond groceries, medications and gas. I wanted to be able to not stress about money and wanted to start the year off with responsible and healthy spending. Well that was a complete and utter failure. I brought it on myself by not planning properly. I didn’t look ahead at the month and anticipate expenses, and so necessary (and super expensive) things like car maintenance came up and because I hadn’t budgeted or anticipated for it I ended up feeling like a failure. After that I just threw it to the wind but at the same time I always had this nagging in the back of my head. So instead of completely giving up on my financial goals this year I am picking myself up and trying again in February. Today I sat down and mapped out a budget that included expenses that I could anticipate. My knitting obsession was included in the budget so that I didn’t feel like a failure when I know for sure I would give in and just go buy yarn. I also know that I have a ladies date day with some friends that will cost money so that was included. Lastly this month is seed starting month and I need a few extra supplies, so I built that in to the budget. I’m ready to be financially free this year and I am determined to make it work.
Instead of just use my January goal for February I decided to keep on going and also focus on meditation as planned. This summer I started practicing meditation in the early mornings but once I got pregnant all of that fell to the wayside. I know that there are so many benefits to meditation and I am looking forward to including it into my prayer life as well. Mentally I know that I will need an outlet and a coping strategy when things get overwhelming this year. If this pregnancy goes as predicted that stress is probably going to start soon with a babe born a bit too early (although we are trucking along very well so here’s hoping the predictions are wrong!). I know that I am going to become obsessive over certain things like pumping enough breastmilk to meet the demands of a growing preemie and getting the house ready for two new people. On top of that I know I will be stressed about splitting my time between home and the hospital. I am hoping that being intentional with meditation and learning coping strategies to deal with stress will help me to recognize my stress early and take time to deal with it instead of push it aside. I rarely feel stressed mentally but I have come to realize that although I don’t feel it mentally I am still stressed and my body eventually manifests the stress in other ways.
I am so looking forward to this year, to being able to have the capacity and time to focus on becoming a happier, healthier me and in turn becoming a happier, healthier wife and mother.
So I’ve shared my “One Little Word” for 2017 already, but I’ve also made a list for myself of some specific things I hope to see in 2017. I’ve labeled the list “Goals,Thoughts,Wishes” they are 7 things that I’m going to work towards. They are specific and I really believe they are achievable, two must have things for any goal. I thought that I would share my list with you all as a way to keep myself accountable. I know that I won’t nail every single item but I do hope to make some good progress on each item.
So without further ado:
- Home Pre-schooling – This is probably my loftiest goal by far but one that I’m really determined to do and try to do well. Besides adding another wonderful child to our family in 2017 I’m most looking forward to spending the year with Ezekiel. Some people keep their toddlers in daycare for the social aspect, and some make sure to put them in a pre-school. I’ve chosen to keep him home for that extra one on one time during home-schooling and to save a substantial amount of money. I’m currently working on researching and developing a curriculum based on where Ezekiel is at currently and where I think he could be at the end of our year. I’m cognizant that this will have to be flexible but the important things to me is that we have variety, socialization (outings with friends, library classes etc.) and get outside to explore as much as possible so those will all be worked into our curriculum. I’m hoping to start by mid-June depending on when this new babe decides to make an appearance so the next two months I’ll be in organization mode to get the curriculum finished up. I’ll write an updated post before we start and maybe blog our experience as we go, there are sure to be lots of mistakes and a steep learning curve!
- Post-Partum Restored Health – Last year my health was so far from where I wanted it to be and although a lot of it wasn’t in my control, there are many things that are in my control. I will be going gluten free again (this is a recommendation from my GI doctor and he wants me to do it now, so this may start earlier than postpartum). I’m really looking forward to being home and having the time to focus on food, nutrition and cooking it was a huge highlight from my first maternity leave. I will also try to be active each day – whether that be walking, yoga, or a home workout – moving my body will AGAIN be a priority. This will be a struggle in the beginning given that I will be coming off of several weeks of modified rest and many more weeks of not being able to do much other than walk for a few minutes.
- Financial Stability and Wellness – This could be one of the bigger struggles coming up. After 3 years of being a one income household and struggling just to keep up with it I’m ready to take back some control. I’m researching and hoping to find a way to make some extra income this year to put towards my debt. Luckily my husband has little to no-debt and is amazing with his money. It’s my debt and payments that are the problem and so in 2017 he’ll be working and able to contribute to household expenses while I’ll be able to focus on paying down my debt and being smarter with my money. I’m starting this one off with a bang by making January a “no spend” month. That means that nothing more than the necessities will be purchased.
- House Decor and Maintenance – This one is big! The three years that we have lived in this house there are things that we’ve never done like clean the carpets and furnace ducts – I’m embarrassed to even admit that! I’m also really terrible at deep cleaning, I’m talking light fixtures and baseboards so I’ll be working on a list of tasks that should be completed within the year and splitting that up into 12 months to make it more manageable. Then there are the wish-list items that may not happen depending on our budget like painting.
- Social – Last year we tried monthly dates and I think we only did three months – a terrible attempt. This year I’m going to try to do this again. With school, work and now adding another little soul to our family it will be easy to forget that marriage takes work and maintenance. I want to spend time focusing on us beyond just our kids and responsibilities. I’m also excited to start up some ladies nights with friends to keep connected and build a community around me. This is something that I’ve lost over the last couple years and as I sit at home on modified rest it has been so apparent. I’m a homebody but I also crave community and connection and I’m ready to get back to that.
- Family Trip – This may just be a week in the mountains, or maybe it will be a week in another country. I have no idea but we need a trip away together. I’m going to be spending a lot of time researching, budgeting and planning it well so that it is something we can afford to do.
- Gardening – My garden last year was beyond what I could have imagined but I’m dreaming even bigger this year! I’ll be narrowing down what I plant for what we actually use. I want to plant even more flowers, get even more tomatoes and peppers harvested, maybe even sell some. I also want to start the front yard landscaping project – this one may be put on hold or only partly done depending on budget but it’s something we’ve been dreaming of for a couple years and now that the back is more or less complete it’s time to focus on the front.
That’s it! As I wrote it out I began to think maybe this is all too much! Yet one step at a time is what gets you to your goals. So I’ll be focusing on the small steps that will take me closer to each goal and I’ll be happy with progress whatever that may look like.
Happy New Year friends! Praying it’s the best year yet for you!