2012 was hard. I understand that it is relative, but for me, it was hard. New baby, new address, new job, new financial challenges.
I am not a person that makes resolutions at the beginning of a new year. Mainly because they typically last about 4 days. This year, however, I am finding myself re-evaluating, and desiring a simplification of sorts. I am uncomfortable with my current state of complacency. I am hungry, and unsettled. After much thought, and a few circumstances, I need 2013 to be the year that I “return” to…
Sanity. I became acutely aware of the difference between the baby-blues and post-partum depression following baby number two. Before this experience, I naively thought PPD was something you could choose to smile your way through. I mean, you just had a baby…shouldn’t that make you insanely happy?!? While I will leave the details for another post, L is 9 months today, and the weeds are getting shorter every day. My plan is to sleep more, to write out my thoughts, and to find some quiet amidst the noise.
Sensibility. At the end of 2012, we determined that our first son T would require some developmental assessments and possible therapy. (They no longer call them “late bloomers” btw) The Google machine led me in many directions, but one that particularly resonated with me was environmental toxins. What role are toxins playing in the development/behavior of my son? Could I be exposing him unknowingly to dangerous items which manifest in these delays? There was no way to be sure, but just in case, we did a home detox. We said goodbye to ALL chemical cleaning products, all personal care/beauty products containing questionable ingredients, and we committed to knowing exactly what is going in our mouths. In our home, I can and WILL control what we breathe, what we put on our skin, and what we eat. I am also learning to control our budget. By learning I mean the elementary school, possibly kindergarten, kind of learning. Like…the “let’s practice our letters” kind of learning. Yeah, I am thirty-some, and have never lived on a budget. This B word has led me to go on the hunt for value. At what store can I find the cheapest (fill in the blank) and still not sacrifice food/product quality. I am finding both areas of sensibility exhausting in the read-every-label and bust-out-the-calculator-to-find-the-per-ounce-price kind of way, but I am unwilling to drop either cause.
Service. Before I was married, I gave much of my time to our church’s high school ministry. I cherished this time, and made some of my favorite memories with this wonderfully amazing group of young people. After my PPD adventures, in a way that I cannot really describe, I felt connected to other new moms. Not just moms with multiple kids, but any mom with a new little tiny. Most new moms go through feelings of inadequacy, but not many speak up about needing help. I am still sorting through how this will play out this year, but I want to help. I will find a tangible way to help. Given my paralyzing inability to talk to people I do not know, this will stretch me. Bring it.
Lastly, I will return to my God. Roughly five years ago, I went on a women’s retreat to Montery, Ca. In one particular exercise, they had us take a rock from baskets on stage, and write a word on the rock. The details of the whole process get a bit fuzzy, but I came home with a rock that was promptly stuffed into my sock drawer. You know, I wanted to keep it and all, but it was not really a convenient time for me to follow through on any kind of promise I had made to myself at this conference. Rewind even farther back in time, and a tough broken engagement shook my faith. Hindsight is perfect, and I can now see how choices I made had consequences. So…shaken faith, selfish attitude, but persistent God. In June of 2012, our family moved to a new home. When putting our bedroom together, what did I find in my sock drawer? Oh how I needed this…
It is quite clear that I am not capable of much without God. He has been calling me back to him for several years, but the mud is THICK, and I have so.much.baggage. He is patient, and very very gracious. It is time that I return. I need community. I need accountability. I need study. I need grace. I know I will find all of these things when I return.
So 2013, be good and gentle with me and my family, and may I be met with constant reminders of my declaration to return.