Fresh start.

365 days stretching out into the distance, all clean, empty and waiting to be filled. A whole year of days, as Anne says, “with no mistakes in them yet.” It feels good to stand here at the beginning looking forward. It makes sense that the new year arrives in the dead of winter. The cold feels cleansing. The empty trees and hard dirt feel like a beginning, like something waiting, preparing to start over.

I’ve heard people say that new year resolutions never last, or that if you’re serious about change you shouldn’t wait until the new year to get started. I think any opportunity to take stock start again is a good one. Aren’t our lives full of missteps, failings, mistakes, and equally, chances to restart, try again and do better? That’s the hope of being human.

Here are some of the things I’m going to try for in the coming year.

  1. Eat healthier, exercise regularly and lose a good bit of weight.I know, I know. Everyone says this. But I’ve gained a good thirty pounds over the course of having my three children, and since I don’t plan on having any more babies any time soon, it’s time to get rid of it. I love food too much to do any drastic diets (and according to every doctor in the world, diets don’t work anyway), so I’m trying to find ways to make healthy eating creative and interesting. Look for my food posts to follow this trend.
  2. Get up earlier. I have discovered that if I wake up before my kids our days are much  better. It’s tempting to lay in bed until Seamus comes into the room, especially with a newborn that’s still waking up for nighttime feedings. It’s even more tempting to turn on the t.v. for him while I doze a little longer. But for whatever reason, every time I do that, he’s grumpier, I’m more lethargic, and our days are more frustrating. If I get up first, have my coffee, say a ten second prayer for help, and give at least a passing thought to organizing my day, the whole family is happier.
  3. Plug in less. With a laptop, smart phone, and the Kindle Fire we received for Christmas, it’s easy for a mama trapped in kidland to distract herself all day. I want to be more present to my children. With three kids under four, part-time work and a home to run, I’m distracted enough. When I’m with them, I want them to know I’m really with them, not just sitting in the same room.
  4. Write more. Writing gives me life. It’s who I am. No matter what the end result is, when I’m writing, I feel like I’m doing what I was born to do. That’s a necessary feeling.

There are a hundred other things I want to do more of, get better at, or try for the first time, but these four are more than enough to get me going. Happy new year. Happy fresh start.

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