As I look back on 2012, I feel as though it was the year of downsizing. I had the distinct goal of making my life smaller, in the sense that I wanted to focus on my family and my home. I alluded to this in this post last February.
You know that feeling of being stretched too thin? Pulled in too many directions? Yeah, that's how I was feeling at the end of 2011.
I'm striving for simplicity. What's important in my life? My kids, my husband, my family and friends. That's it. The rest are just possessions, and those don't love us back.
I scaled back on social media - I relinquished my volunteer position as Twitter coordinator for Postpartum Support International of Washington. I rarely post on Facebook and I quit my fashion blog. Because, what started as a light-hearted outlet to express one of my hobbies became something different - I started to feel the need to Keep Up With The Jones', or in the fashion blog world, Kendi. On this blog, I posted exactly 6 times in 2012, compared to a few times a month in 2011. My dad always says (in jest), "I post, therefore I am" regarding the frenzy of social media postings. I don't need to tell the world that I'm doing laundry in order to feel validated. All I need is the love of my family and friends. And oh, the hugs from those two little girls.
Lately, I'm big on perspective. When our completely decorated, HUGE Christmas tree crashed onto the coffee table, obliterating glass ornaments and creating a mess of pine needles and tiny spiders all over my living room, my girls were practically overwrought with anxiety. I hugged them and told them the only thing that is important is that we are OK. And I believed it. Yes, it was a mess to clean up, but I want them to focus on the big picture...
In 2012, I drove 16 hours with two spirited 4 year olds to see my "baby" cousin and his new wife celebrate their wedding. I traveled with my dad to visit family in Ohio, and I cherished every moment with my aunts, uncles, cousins, and my 94 year old grandmother. I celebrated my step-mom's birthday lounging at a Russian Spa with her and my step-sister. I celebrated 12 years of camping with our closest friends, who have become like family. I reminisced with old friends at my 20 year high school reunion. I took my daughters to visit my mom for a week in August. I attempted quality time with my mom friends during Friday play dates. And I hugged and kissed my daughters every single day.
The horrific shootings at Sandy Hook brought it all home for me. I wept looking at those earnest faces of the children, the same ages as my daughters. As with many mothers, I'm sure, those 2 words still make my heart quiver with pain... The pain I felt validated that I am on the right path, so long as my children and my family are my biggest priority, and my possessions are just that; possessions.
The company I work for is moving our office and as I was packing up my desk, I came across a book called The Little Book of Calm. I noticed that a page was marked. When I turned to the page, it read: "S I M P L I F Y: The fewer things you must do in life, the fewer things you own, manage or are responsible for, the fewer are the stresses that accompany them".
I don't remember marking that page, but it would seem that my subconscious does.
|This was our Christmas card photo. Family + Mini-golf + ice-cream = the perfect day.|