In which I get my life back in view (#7). Maybe.
Long time no see, 101 list. Not that I’d forgotten about it, or even stopped accomplishing things on it, since last I posted, but I’ve been a little busy…
Good busy, but really hard busy too. I’d told myself that I wasn’t going to worry about getting balance in my life until four months after the baby arrived — fourth trimester, plus a little buffer. So at four months, when things still felt overwhelmingly impossible and I was trapped by the cutest jailer in the world who refused to be put down for entire months, I started to worry without any clear path ahead. I’d lost sight of myself and felt like I couldn’t see my son or my family clearly either. I didn’t recognize my life either as it had been or as I’d thought it would be. I didn’t recognize myself physically, emotionally, or mentally. It’s been getting better since the holidays, and I’m feeling generally fine and capable now. And finally, at eight months, I’m starting to feel my way back to some sort of a new balance around here.
I think I’m starting to be a person again. Hi.
I just had a birthday. 30 wasn’t a hard jump for me, but I’m feeling 31 a bit. Where did last year go? I am over a year into my 101 list. I’m turning my attention to one main goal right now: Make a plan to maintain three important aspects of my life over the next year, with monthly actions and results. (Spirit of the goal preserved, even if it didn’t work out to be quite his first year. I’m declaring this the new, practical starting place.)
I was having a really hard time articulating three overarching aspects in a way that felt cohesive and correct, but I realized that I’ve already done this in my big five from a blog challenge back in 2011. I glanced at it for inspiration, and it was like stepping through the looking glass. I think I remember being that person, and though I don’t remember exactly how it felt, I want feel that way again.
I’m going to focus on three of the five wants this year, and I think my original explanations are still spot on:
I want to feel awesome.
I want to have routines that support but not restrict me.
I want to be active and present in my life.
(Our home is pretty set at this point, and I’ll get back to living broadly in a little bit. Right now I just want to live and am content to let my life broaden away from baby poop conversations at a natural pace.)
I’m sure of a few more things. Most of my monthly actions will encourage me to edit. Edit my wardrobe, my habits, my systems, the sheer amount of stuff I touch on a daily basis. I need to make the most of my time and brain power because I feel the lack of both. I seek grace, here. I can find the joy in my life now, but grace is sorely lacking.
In March, I intend to tackle my three overarching themes (in reverse order) through these small actions:
Post at least once a week about the things I’ve already accomplished on my list.
I need to remind myself that I wasn’t absent last year. I am very slowly shaking the feeling that I missed this patch of time. I definitely couldn’t see the forest for the trees in relation to motherhood, and I know it’s the same way for other aspects of my life. It happened. It was what it was, and I was there. It was more challenging than I thought it would be for me, and I was tired, covered in bodily fluids, but that’s how it was. I didn’t miss it. There were parts of it that I enjoyed and ways I made progress on both parenthood and personal goals. I need to see that I didn’t disappear for the year.
Find two things to donate or get rid of each day for one month. (#2)
I’ve already started this one, and it is long overdue. I think that my frustration level with my lack of time and control may finally kill the guilt over letting “perfectly good” things out of my house. My sanity is worth any money I may have spent on an item that I’m no longer using. Once I get a better idea of what my stuff will look like after a big clean out, I’ll have a better idea how to create some useful maintenance routines.
Go through all my clothes and purge or store. (#29)
I feel like a shapeless blob, but I will no longer try on five things each morning that exacerbate that feeling while living with different sizes and styles of clothes piled on every single surface I can find. I enjoyed defining a style for myself back on my very first 101 list, and I was excited to adapt that style to my maternity clothes, so I’m hoping to get back to that feeling. (I might be the only person on the internet who misses maternity clothes.) My life is different, so my style needs to be different too. I’ll be clearing my slate here. I need to see what I’ve got so I can seek out the pieces I need to get dressed easily and happily, even when it is my third outfit change of the day.
So there are my first actions of what I expect to be an interesting year-long challenge. I am hoping for a lot of results with these monthly goals, but I’m most excited to identify small actions. Just thinking about what I can reasonably hope to achieve each month should help me get my perspective back. It will certainly help me get back in gear on my list. And maybe my list is a path back to a more balanced life.