Monday, January 3, 2011

A Brand New Year

"This very moment is a seed from which the flowers of tomorrow's happiness grow."
~Margaret Lindsey

On New Year's Day, Robert and I were debating the concept of resolutions. Some believe in them and some don't.... For some people, a resolution may evoke unrealistic expectations foredoomed to failure and self-loathing; i.e., I vow to work out every day this year... or only eat health food. For me, I like resolutions. I love the dreams and possibilities, to plan, plot, grow!

Here are a few of my resolutions this year:

1.Travel More
The world is full of beauty, whether it's found in people, culture, scenery, art, and I want to experience it. I'm not going to lie to you, with little children, it's not an easy feat. But it can be done! Besides, I enjoy a challenge!

It's amazing, the amount of paraphernalia that someone (especially two tiny someones) can amass! Aidan must have four sets of Toy Story toys. Mia has every princess costume known to man along with jewels, gloves, and shoes to match. We spend time on our stuff: buying it, sorting it, organizing it.
Adults aren't much better. (When you pass the dollar bin at the entrance of Target, just say no!) It's been an epiphany of mine that stuff is time consuming. It's in bins in our closets and under our kitchen cabinets and in toy boxes: open one of the aforementioned and it goes spilling into our lives. I've been trying to be more judicious about what I buy; as I have begun the slow process of de-cluttering, I have made "the burden of stuff" my mantra. Instead of spending time on stuff, I want to spend time on relationships... forgo a trip to Target for a walk at a nature conserve or an hour picking up toys for making cookies with the kids.

3. Use More of My Creative Energy for My Family
It's hard to discern which contributes to this more: the kids or the business. Either way, when Robert and I were first married, I cooked gourmet meals and carefully decorated our house. Back in the day, I was always scouring flea markets for vintage treasures. I'd roll up my sleeves and transform a dusty old armoire into a beautiful hand painted wardrobe. Or make my own bread or make a wine reduction or sew for our home. Now? Almost never. I seldom make anything for Mia or myself. I'm going to try to bring some of this back, at least once a week.

4. Slow Down
One of my favorite verses is Psalm 27:8, "My heart has heart you say, 'Come and talk with Me.' And my heart responds, 'Lord, I am coming.' " I was at Bible study confessing that it is so tempting to jump on the fast-paced bandwagon of our culture. Drink another Red Bull, have another latte. Do more, be more, get more done! This is essentially how I survived the holiday season. The problem, aside from the obvious exhaustion, is that it robs me of my spiritual sensitivity and compassionate parenting. I want to trade the rush, rush, rush for rest, breathe, pray. Which leads to my final resolution...

5. Enjoy Today
This is a recurring struggle for me. I am goal-driven. In part, I love this about myself because I see the world as brimming with possibility, and I believe God gave us the ability to manifest an amazing life. Sometimes, though, I live so much in the future and what will be, that I don't enjoy today. Joyfolie has created immeasurably more possibilities that I ever imaged, and there are some amazing prospects in our near future. But today is still today, and today is good! Likewise, with my kiddos, I think, I can't wait until they are old enough that they aren't always destroying our couch with chocolate milk or leaving toys everywhere or naked half the time. But as much as this stage of life can be overwhelming, it's special, too. I'm trying to savor the sweetness of this moment, rather than be fixated on decisions that will bring joy tomorrow, instead of today. For me, my challenge isn't just creating a business, but creating a business that facilitates a balanced life. It is quite the challenge indeed! But when I look at my two little children {who are getting bigger every day} anything less just isn't an option.

So, wherever this turn of the year finds you, I hope you find it filled with joy and happiness and possibility! I would love to hear some of your aspirations for the coming year...


Meredith B. said...

A good list of resolutions and observation on your life going forward into 2011.

I've made none, except my usual...paint more, paint more, paint more! oh and reply to your fbook message :)

I threw a few wishes into the wintery air on January 1st - an easy delivery, a healthy baby boy, a wonderful year at home learning to be a mother of two and enjoying my expanded family...things of those sort.

Good luck with your aspirations Jessica!

Jessica said...

I LOVE your final two resolutions. I too have been striving to live in the now, to slow down, live simply and enjoy the precious moments with my husband and two small children. I'm also striving to be more self-disciplined and not to just allow life to happen ... but to plan, pursue, live purposely and not just swept up in the chaos.

seg said...

Love your post! Can't wait to catch up! xo

kristen said...

i made a similar post a few days ago... mine were to: craft more, exercise more, read more (devotions and christian books) and to bake more. Being a stay at home mom, i want some type of outlet for myself, too, but also don't want to always be stressing about how imperfect my house is. It's just a season in my life and i need to enjoy my kids when they are so young!

Jessica Haley said...

Thanks so much for sharing.

It's interesting, my blog stats are the same, but comments are so much less than last year. Sometimes I wonder why... maybe FB?

Anyhow, I love your sentiments, Kristen. It is so important to take time for yourself! I always think, "I'll do it next week... or when they're older... or when the biz is more established." It can sound selfish to take time for yourself, but it's not! As a mom of two wild little ones, I think it's a necessity. I find the "mommy monster" rears it's head a lot less if I take a little time every week to do something relaxing sans kids!

(Hi, Meredith! So glad you don't want to ring my neck *wink*)

Brianne-zam said...

Beautifully said Jessica. I love all of your resolutions! I especially love #3. I feel that Heavenly Father has blessed me with a creative spirit but for me, a mother of 4 active little children, I feel like I don't know how to channel it in to parenting yet. I sometimes feel like I am so much better and creative in doing things other than being a mom, but I want so much to be able to harness that energy and light into motherhood. I pray for it regularly. I look forward to hearing how your resolutions are coming along as the year progresses.
Briana J

Julie said...

thank you for sharing! xoxo Just a reminder to put family first and enjoy today!


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