Tuesday, January 8, 2013

twenty thirteen ... Back to Basics?

So, yesterday I mentioned that I was working on my list of goals for 2013. The Mister and I actually sat down and talked about what we want for our family for this year for a few hours (that hasn't really happened on such a broad scale for quite a while ... we've been sort of on autopilot & tend to focus on bits and pieces as need be).  As we wrapped up our talk, I felt invigorated and excited, but a little nervous too. So much to take on. Can we really do it? All we can do is try, right? And with both of us investing our hearts into it, both of us truly on the same page ... well, that has to make it a little easier.

And then I also felt a little nostalgic.



I know life brings us along a twisty, winding little road of a journey with hills, steeps mountains,
valleys and canons, but when did life get so incredibly busy? I feel like I accomplish less, while my list of "needs to get done" grows more... while I am aggressively being sucked into social media or the lastest email, advertising some sale that cannot be missed.

I affectionately remember a time (about 7 years back), when the kids were in preschool, the weather was near perfect most days, as we lived in California, and things were ... well relaxed.

We did what we wanted, when we wanted. 



School was only a few hours a day, a few days out of the week. We had one of the top ten children’s museums in the country, a small local zoo and amusement park,  literally 5 different community parks to walk to, all within about five minutes form our home.

 

We could even walk into our sweet little town for a frozen yogurt, Starbucks, or margaritas in the evening. Our community centers (like 7 or 8 of them!) offered every class imaginable for kids and we signed up
for a few interesting afternoon courses each season.



The weekends were ours ... to hit Santa Cruz, visit Monterey Aquarium, hike the redwoods, drive along the coast, bike the day away at the most amazing rail trails, explore hidden unpopulated beaches, spend a day in wine country.



Gosh i miss it.

We were always doing something, going somewhere but it wasn't busy. It wasn't stressful. It was fun and relaxing.

We were explorers and we did it together.



We were so active, so fit, so healthy. sigh.

Snapping back to reality ...
I realize that with two middle schoolers ... in all day classes, with piles of homework with honors classes, foreign language and exploratory classes, after school sports, activities, violin practice, school dances, birthday parties and sleepovers ... that twisty, winding road is meant to be very different today due to the life stage that my children are presently in. (Plus the cold weather at least 5 months out of the year, doesn't help!)

But darn it, can’t I get a little of those sweet toddler & preschool years back... or at least a small, teensy taste of that lifestyle back?


I want the family connections, the getting up and moving more together ... a chance to explore again.  I want to enjoy, really enjoy, some small part of each and every day together. And truthfully, most week days feel like a giant, stressful race to the finish line ... to get everything done, be everywhere we need to be, complete with me nagging every step of the way to beat that dreaded clock.


Hurry up, let's go, 5 more minutes, faster. We're gonna be late.


Seriously ... I need to count how many times a day I say these words between the hours of 3pm and 10 pm. It's not pretty!

To answer my own question, "Can’t I get a little taste of that lifestyle back?":   YES!

But I have to make it happen.

With our crammed schedules, it isn't going to be easy, but I do believe it can be done, even Monday through Friday!



 I want that feeling of everyday simple, back to basics, pleasures out of our life ... every day, not just on the weekends. Because, honestly, two days out of seven simply is not enough!

And to finish off the list of goals and wants for 2013 (after talking with the Mister yesterday), I want to:

-Exercise regularly (and lose the 15 lbs or so I gained since moving to NY)

-Make healthy meals, stick to a weekly meal planner, and limit take out to 2x per month

-Waste less Food by buying less but shopping more often if need be

-Stick to a Budget and track spending

-Make time for more meaningful family moments (like baking/cooking together, exercising together, etc)

-Get the kids to unplug more (TV and video games)

-Seriously limit online social media time (such a big time waster, imagine if I could get back all those minutes wasted and put them to good use. don't get me wrong, i like social media, but it really must be limited. that is the key.)

-Tackle something on my Home Project List every week. (even the smallest simplest project counts)

-Spend less time on laptop and more time with a book

-Become as comfortable with Illustrator as I am with Photoshop

-Actually complete the two classes on Surface Pattern Design that I signed up for last year (there are enough hours in the day, I just choose to waste them in frivolous ways... see four lines up, ahem!)

-Design more! (a long time personal goal that i have been neglecting)

-Purge! (basement/closets/storage areas/kitchen and my studio!)


So my WORD(s) for 2013 is Back to Basics. I know it's supposed to be ONE LITTLE WORD, but it's my year and my goals and I can use THREE LITTLE WORDS if I choose.




It's about paying attention to the things that really matter. Simplifying. Finding little pleasures in a rushed and hurried life. Remembering a time when life was relaxed, carefree and striving to bring that back in small, meaningful ways. It's about family connections. It's about home cooking, moving our bodies, and spending time in more gratifying ways. It's about doing the work to reach my own personal goals. It's about leaving out the unnecessary, saying NO to the frivolous.

Back to Basics.


Yeah, I think I like the sound of that.

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