Resolutions for the New Year

Can I just say that 2010 went by at lightening speed? I can’t believe that another year has passed and I’m staring 40 in the eyes. Not that I have a problem getting older. I have a problem remembering to capture life as I enjoy it. Brennan will be 3 in April and I keep thinking about all the things I forgot to capture this year. I really hate New Years Resolutions because I feel that people make them in a last ditch effort to soothe their conscious. Are you really trying to change? Do you believe you have the will power to change? Have any of your New Years Resolutions ever been successful?

When I started to honestly think about what I wanted to resolve to do in 2011, I wrote out a list of things. In reviewing the list I found that I had three emergent themes: family, friends and self.
The fourth quarter of 2010 was very hectic for me. I worked crazy long hours and I was rarely home to see Brennan go to sleep. Lee told me that Brennan started asking for me at night. He would ask “Daddy, where is mommy?” Hearing that he used to ask about me all the time made my heart break. I wanted to be there to bathe him, read to him, tuck him in bed and kiss him goodnight. I didn’t want to be stuck working late and missing a moment of my son’s life. If you read my earlier post, you know I got over that guilt, but what I resolved to do in 2011 is be at home more, spend more quality time with Lee and Brennan. Document through journals and pictures our life throughout the year. A lot of good photo opportunities were missed because I wasn’t around or I forgot to bring a camera. No more. I will journal, photograph and video all of our the “little things”.
I think as busy working mothers, we tend to forget our girlfriends. If they are like me, busy working mothers, they understand the pressures and scheduling demands so they understand and there are no hard feelings. In 2010, I missed 3 birthday parties for close friends due to unfortunate accidents (pipe burst, out of town and funeral). I didn’t get a chance to give the children’s their birthday presents until December when I was handing out their Christmas gifts. That is sad. I resolve that in 2011, to be a better friend. If I have to miss a party due to an unforeseen event, I vow to mail all their gifts right away if I can’t get over to drop them off. I don’t want to hold on to gifts for months at a time and feel like a bad friend. The guilt is killing me. I also resolve to have more “girl time”. That means happy hours, dinners, plays, etc. We need to find time to catch up and be ourselves. Your girlfriends are your rocks of Gibraltar. They will always have your backs. Making time to just hang is a key component of reinforcing your friendships. I’m already on the right path… A few of my girlfriends and I are going to see Alvin Ailey Dance Group at the Kennedy Center on February 4th. It’s about 10 ladies already. See, we’re making time for each other.
This was a hard one. I know that I am constantly struggling to make time for me. Me time includes: catching up on some reading, talking with friends, sending cards, movie time or sleep. As many of you may know, sleep is one of my favorite past times. I love to sleep and unfortunately, I don’t get much of it lately. I love to come home and take a long hot shower, put on some smell good lotion and climb into bed in fresh sheets for a long night’s rest. I never seem to have the time to do it. I come home and I’m preparing for the next day by reviewing homework (yep, he has homework at 2), washing clothes, cleaning the kitchen and bathing the baby. I don’t have the time to spend with me. I shop on-line rather than in the stores because I can’t afford the time to go in and try on clothes. I resolve that in 2011, this will change. I will take the time to spend alone with myself doing whatever I want. I will make sure that at least once a month, I do something frivolous just because. I need to be a better me in order to be a better wife, mother, sister, friend, daughter, etc.
So, if you’re like me and you feel that you need to create some resolutions this year, how about lumping your goals into themes so that you can meet your resolutions? Don’t let another year pass and you by and you’re still trying to seek a balance to your life. I won’t die feeling as though I never lived. I resolve to make 2011 the year of me!

Friends of Your Marriage

Lee and I recently celebrated our 8th year of marriage. By no means is it historic by most standards, but we are very proud. Lee and I come from somewhat similar backgrounds. His parents were never married and my mom married my dad after I was born and divorced before my 10th birthday. When Lee and I got engaged, we immediately began pre-marital counseling. One of the things we unanimously agreed on was the fact that neither one of us was raised in a successfully married family, so we needed help. Successful marriages take work and we wanted to take advantages of all the things available to make it happen. A great piece of advice that I received before I got married was that “The key to a successful marriage is two people who believe in the institution of marriage and will do whatever it takes to fight for it.” I loved that thought. I began to wonder would Lee and I fight for our marriage? We spend so much time fighting over the little things, but would we fight for the sanctity of our marriage? Would we preserve what God has blessed us with and not let any foreign or domestic invaders inside of our house?

I was scared at the thought that our marriage would be a failure, but I’ve learned how to work on the issues and not hide behind the problems. When I seek counseling from friends about our situation, they laugh at me and the situation, but their advice comes from a place of love. Until today, I didn’t know that they were “Friends of Our Marriage”. These friends give supporting and encouraging advice and tell us that we can weather the storms that come our way. They are the community that promised to love and guide us through our marital journey. Lee and I are thankful for the Friends of Our Marriage. There are too many to name, but you know who you are.
Do you have friends of your marriage? Read this article and find out who really is a friend of your marriage and who is a potential jump-off.