Monday, January 1, 2007

A Fresh Start or One Step Closer?

So, here we are at the beginning of another calendar year. There's no reason why January 1st should be any more of a watershed day than any other on the calendar. In fact, days with much more personal meanings, such as birthdays, anniversaries, religious holidays, or the start of the school year, would seem to be more appropriate times for reflecting on the past, evaluating the present and planning for the future. I don't even start a new calendar in January since my calendar goes from September of one year to the December of the following year; therefore, I'm always getting a new calendar in September. Also, the Jewish year begins sometime in the fall on the standard American calendar, so for me, I'm compelled to become more introspective at that time of the year, when the leaves are falling and the warm temperatures are quickly fading. And yet, there's just something about the new year that makes us all want to start over with a clean slate.

For the past eight or so years, my life has changed very much. First, I left my law practice after reaching the undeniable conclusion that I didn't like it and wasn't going to like it in the future. Soon thereafter, we bought our house and started really settling ourselves into the community we'd already been renting an apartment in for four years. After two years of work on the house, we decided it was time for children and, although we planned to adopt, decided to try to have a biological child first. Our reasons for doing so and our two failed pregnancies are a topic for another blog posting, but suffice it to say, that the two years that we tried and failed to create a child were very emotional, frustrating years. Once we decided in the spring of 2003 to return to our adoption plans, we immersed ourselves in the adoption process and research that goes along with it. That was also the year that my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and RockStar's mom was mauled by a dog (within days of each other, in fact!!!). Their medical emergencies definitely helped me have a better perspective on our adoption problems! It was also in 2003 that I realized that we really needed to get our acts together and start living like adults: keeping our house cleaner, being more organized, controlling our finances, etc... If we were going to be parents, it was time we started acting like it!

The first half of 2004 was extremely unpleasant and frustrating as we ran into one obstacle after another in our Russian adoption process. Finally, just when I was ready to throw in the proverbial towel and seek another path, we were surprised with referrals and before we knew it, we were parenting the world's best children - Handsome Boy and CutiePie. Needless to say, 2005 was a blur! I enjoyed almost every second of it, but if it weren't for photos, I'm not sure I'd have any clear memories! Going from no children to two children (who are able to run from you in opposite directions at the same time!) was life-changing, to say the least!

Last year, 2006, I worked hard at getting our lives stablized again. The boys have fallen into a great rhythm with their various schools and activities and are completely adjusted to living in a family rather than an orphanage, I've gotten back on schedule at work, RockStar has taken over some household responsibilities on a regular basis while still working mega hours at his job. On the whole, 2006 was a great year for us all!

So, now it's 2007. Do I have any resolutions? I'm trying to take the FlyLady approach and not make resolutions, per se. I'm trying to look at what I've done well and see where I can make improvements. Baby steps, right? So, on that note, here's some "improvements" I'd like to make in my life:

  • Work more hours. We can use the money and I enjoy working. Last year, I got back into a good routine with work, but I need to be there (or work from home) more.
  • Continue to control our budget. I've been paying all the bills ontime and taking care of those things pretty well all year, but now I need to take a serious look at our expenses and find a few places to cut back. Nothing drastic, but I'm sure we're still wasting money unnecessarily.
  • Read to my boys more. I love reading to them. I mean LOVE it. And they love it when I read to them. However, at the end of the night, I'm tired and they're fussy and I get frustrated. It's so much easier to let them watch a movie and then carry them to bed. Maybe I can aim for every other night.
  • Keep in better touch with those I love. This is a perpetual goal of mine. Maybe the blog will help; maybe not.
  • Be better to myself. Although I try to take care of myself (regular doctors appointments, regular meals, good food, relax when necessary), I know I can do better. I need to work out more, lose a few more pounds and read more books for myself.
  • Make my marriage a priority. Poor RockStar -- I'm always running around, going this way and that, zipping from one thing to another, and he always seems to get my attention (or maybe just my presence) at the end of the day when I'm tired and cranky and worn out and miserable and critical and ready to snap at him for not carrying his weight around the house. It's not nice and it's not fair. This year, I'm going to make more time for him or at least find a little more energy at the end of the day to be a good and pleasant partner!
  • Continue to get more organized and on top of things. I've done so well the past few years! When I found FlyLady four years ago this week, I was at rock bottom. The house was a pit, I had no control of my life and we were living minute to minute. Now, the house is in okay shape (lots of room for improvement, but soooooo much better than it used to be), I manage to get myself and the boys through each day and get work/homework/lunches/projects/etc.... done on a regular basis. The FlyLady system is just common sense, but I guess I needed to hear all of it from her before I could internalize it.

Well, I guess that's enough to think about for now. There's so many other things that I could list, but if I just work on those areas, my life will be significantly improved.

Happy (secular) New Years to you all!


The Trace said...

What a nice little summary of the past couple of years. It sounds like you have a good plan for the upcoming year! Flylady is pretty great. In my case I found (not only fantastic friends) that it forced me to think about different aspects of household management.

Nancy the Romancechick said...

Hey! I didn't realize you'd started blogging! Like the FlyLady "cult," this sucked you in, too, huh? Anyway, It was great to see your name on a comment on my blog, so here I am! Add you to my bloglines and will visit more often.

Kiss those boys for me!

Lucy T said...

Ha! You managed to have a blog for what four days or so before I knew about it! Lookin good.