Because everyone is doing it! I’m a little late to the New Year’s resolutions game, but hey, #momlife, right? That’s how we roll and I’m OK with that.
I love goal setting, but this year, I’m also, I don’t know what the word is, perhaps more lazy? realistic? tired? Whatever it may be, I just don’t feel that frantic OMG, I have to do ALL THE THINGS right now and conquer the world!!
In a lot of ways, I feel like this year is a year of recovering and healing for me. I still have a lot of things I want to accomplish, but I also feel like I’ve spent the last eight years running at this frantic pace, trying so hard to escape the “stigma” I thought I had from becoming a young mom, the depression that haunted my entrance into motherhood, and the misery I found in working night shifts as a nurse. I threw myself into carving a career as a writer — something that truly felt like a dream job for me, something so unattainable it would never happen — to escape it all.
I worked my buns off, but it was always with this feeling like I was running from something, that if I stopped running for even a second, my “old” life would catch back up to me and everything I had worked so hard for would come crashing down around me. I was running so fast and working so hard, mostly because I was afraid. I was afraid of having that old feeling of desperation as a stay-at-home mom, the one where I would wake up every day and want to hide under my blankets and cry because I just couldn’t face one more day of cleaning up after kids and exploding poop and stomach bugs and bone-aching weariness that I wanted to be anywhere but there, but feeling so guilty for not feeling grateful, all at the same time. I was afraid of going back to work night shifts at the hospital, where I missed holidays and weekends and would scream at my kids because I wouldn’t sleep for 48 hours straight sometimes and my whole day was spent trying to sneak a nap in and you know the same days I had night shifts were the same days my kids would refuse to nap.
I realized near the end of 2016 that I’ve been operating primarily out of fear. And then some crappy stuff happened last year. The politics, more tragedies that my eyes have been opened to, some of it through my writing, because I cover some of those hard stories, and some in my own life. We lost a family member to suicide, I had a miscarriage, and then, just when I thought the year was safely rounding, I was in a car accident. A lady ran a red light and T-boned my trusty Traverse. I’m OK, thankfully, aside from my shoulder issues and whiplash, but in that moment, I thought I was going to die. I honest-to-goodness thought I was going to die. It’s hard to shake that feeling and walk away back into “real” life, you know? But the strangest thing is, is that in that moment, right when she hit me and I realized what was happening — I knew she had ran a red light and I knew I was in the middle of a very busy road and I knew I was heading into the other lane because of the force — I was angry.
I was furious that it was going to end that way. I was flat-out screaming that that’s how I was going to die. I was mad as hell that there had been no “epiphany,” that my life wasn’t peaceful and great and I wasn’t full of wisdom and that my last words to my husband had been a fight about wrapping paper.
I don’t know exactly what it means that in the moment I thought I was going to die, my only reaction was to be pissed off, but I’m guessing it’s not good. I’m actually going to see a counselor this week, because I’ve decided it’s time to talk to a pro about all the weird, icky stuff I have going on in my head, and I’m excited about making a move towards recovery.
So yeah, I guess that’s my theme for this year. Just settling down a bit, focusing on slowing this weird fear I’ve had my whole time as a mother, and getting more content, you know? Like bone-deep content, to the point where I actually feel equipped to handle the growing needs of my kids, who are quickly entering adolescent time and not just “wipe my butt, Mom” time. I feel strongly like I need to be more grounded and secure before I can safely attend to their emotional needs.
Aside from that, here are my goals for 2017:
- Break into travel writing. I was thisclose to going on a press trip to Punta Cana this month and it appears to have fallen through and I couldn’t be more devastated, but such is life. It’s my big goal to break into travel writing, because um, that would be the dream, am I right?
- Get published in some glossies. I really, really want to get published in some “real” magazines this year. We’re talking Glamour, Cosmo, Elle — some biggies are on the menu for me.
- Take on one more copywriting client. Copywriting is a big goal of mine, simply because I really enjoy doing it and there’s only so much of my soul I can spill online anymore in exchange for money. Which is ironic, considering I’m writing this, spilling my soul out online for no money, but hey, it’s my blog and I can do what I want with it.
- Make 10k/month. Ambitious? Insane? Don’t care. It’s my goal to maintain a six-figure freelance writing business and I promise it’s not as crazy as you think it is.
- Finish my novel by May. This is about one hour a day of writing and I’m already behind, but oh well.
- Put down the freaking phone. I’m an addict, there, I said it. It’s partly because of my job and the never-ending cycle to always find the next big “viral” story, but I’m sick and tired of my phone controlling my life. It’s the first thing I do in the morning and the last thing at night and I’m over it. I want to stop checking it so much and go back to doing things I enjoy doing, like reading at night and savoring my breakfast coffee instead of checking my phone while I shovel food into my mouth like a crazed animal.
- Take more date nights. Ben and I have both been in “work” mode for pretty much our entire marriage and we’ve been OK with that. He’s trying to build his woodworking business and I’ve built up a writing business and we’ve had four kids along the way and blah, blah, blah. But there comes a time when you realize you need to like each other to make it and I’d really like to spend more quality time together this year.
- Enjoy my kids more. So I do this weird thing when I’m alone with my kids that is essentially punishing myself. I talk myself out of taking them to lunch (there are people starving in the world! who am I to spend 10 bucks on a meal for you punks?!), out of letting them play a game, out of doing anything that I think I “shouldn’t” do to be a good mom. And I’m over it. Seriously. I only have Jake home with me for another year, probably, so I’m saying screw it. I work from home and I’m a stay-at-home mom, so perhaps I can cut myself a break now and then and let the kid get a freaking happy meal once in a while. I also just want to do more fun things with my kids instead of working 24/7 like I currently do.
- Save 6K for a Hawaii trip. I made last year a huge year for saving money — I paid off all of our debt, so we have just our mortgage left (and even that is within reach of being paid off if we wanted to, but I don’t want to be cash-poor). It feels amazing and I never want to be in debt again, although our big goal is to build our dream house on a beautiful piece of property soon — we just can’t seem to find the right place. But anyways, rambling. So I feel comfortable with how much we’ve said for a down payment and how much we’ve paid off on our debt, so next year, I want to save enough for our kids’ school tuition (also about 6K) and enough for a trip to Hawaii in December for our 10 year anniversary.
So there it is. I’m sure I have a million more other smaller goals, but my main theme for 2017 is rest, recovery, and just learning to be content more with who I am and where we are in life. Hopefully while on the beach in Hawaii come December.
What are your goals for 2017?