Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My Theme of the Year: NOW

Yesterday I introduced you to a little bit of my Happiness Project and why I am doing it. I also introduced you to my theme of the year: NOW.

I was inspired while I was reading Gretchen Rubin's Happier at Home, she talks about a theme of the year. A word that represents something you want to change, appreciate, etc. Do you ever have moments where your mind is speaking so loudly that you can't even concentrate on what you are doing? While I was in the middle of reading this I kept hearing, And so I decided at that moment, NOW, was my theme for this year.

I believe the reason that this word came to me so fast is because it is so truly needed in my life. I do believe God speaks to us in small subtle ways and great big ways. I believe He has been putting signs in  my life about this for an incredibly long time.

The first sign: A song

Do you ever hear a song on every time you turn on the radio and it annoys you because it is like it is talking to you? There is a country song, You're Gonna Miss This by Trace Atkins. It talks about how this girl just keeps wishing for each phase of life to go past: get out of high school, get a bigger house, the kids to grow up, and so on. The chorus is:

You're gonna miss thisYou're gonna want this backYou're gonna wish these daysHadn't gone by so fast

These are some good timesSo take a good look aroundYou may not know it nowBut you're gonna miss this


It is an older song so the fact that every single time I was in the car and listening to country (I'm a channel surfer) was a bit ironic. After the 3rd time in one day, I found myself crying. It hit me that this song was ME. I was ALWAYS rushing through life. I was that girl in high school wishing it by, I was the wife who wouldn't let her husband by a kayak, I was the mom who wasn't taking time to watch her little girl grow each day.

During AG's first year, I decided to start a business. I was a SAHM and I wanted to help with money so why not start a business. I opened a cloth diaper store at the end of October 2011. She wasn't even crawling yet. I thought I could do it all. Then she started crawling, then walking, then running. And the business was actually growing. Then I learned two things about myself; first, I am not that passionate about cloth diapers and second, I don't like all the little details of a retail store. We had invested a large amount to us and I could just quit. I tried and tried but I had already made some big mistakes and the business didn't make it. I felt like such a failure the first few months (it's still closing and almost done.) I then looked at the debt I got us in and immediately started thinking about going back to work. I was just jumping from one thing to the next.

I love being a mommy. I am so blessed to be a SAHM. But some days I need a little more stimulation. I still feel guilty for saying that. In August, we put her in a Mother's Day Out program and I am so incredibly thankful for that. Since then, I can now pick up days at my old job and teach CPR classes while she is there. It's a win/win :)

Back to signs.

The second sign: A quote

"Bloom where you are planted." 

( I couldn't find where this quote originally came from. If you know, please let me know!)

So often I have said I can't do things because of where I live or I don't have this talent or I'm not that good and made excuse after excuse. This quote has always been one I think of from time to time but I would think of it almost everyday for the past few months. It started with this blog. I kept saying I can't blog, I don't have anything interesting to say, until one day, I couldn't ignore the calling to do it any longer.

I believe that this quote not only refers to the physical place you live but also the time and circumstances of your life at a time. I am so guilty of making these make believe adventures once AG is grown up where I can do help people. But I can do it now, with my toddler or while she is at Mother's Day Out (MDO). I can do things here in Nashville, while I have a toddler.

Good ol' Gretchen also helped show a sign in this one too. In Happier at Home, she talks about finding your own "Calcutta." When I read this my heart was heavy because I am so guilty of thinking of all the big trips I can take to help other when there are so many hurting right here in my town.

And Shayne Moore's book, Global Soccer Mom, also helped me see that I can "Blood where [I'm] planted" by discussing how we can do so much to help others by advocating. This wasn't a new fact to me but it help revive this.

The third sign: A conversation

It happened while I was riding with my brother-in-law and we were discussing work and family.  I said something about maybe when AG is older I can do this or that. He said, "She could be your only one. You want to enjoy her childhood and these phases because there might not be others." I have no idea why he said this. He and my sister-in-law have 4 children so it's not like he was talking from experience. But it hit so deep. Was I taking AG's childhood for granted? Was I wishing away the only baby phase I would personally experience?

My heart stopped and I looked in the review mirror into her baby mirror. She was 20 months at the time, about to be 21 months. Where had the past 20 months gone. Yes, the first 13 were devoted to breastfeeding. Then I started the business. Now I had this toddler who was starting to communicate. She was no longer a baby. Her baby phase was completely gone. I don't want to wonder what I have missed.

And then I think we all got a reminder after the events at Sandy Hook. (My thoughts and prayers are still with those families.)

I will also use this word to help me with the goals I have for this year (organization, procrastinate less, be less messy) and do the things I can now, not later. I will clean up the spilt milk now, not in 5 minutes...

But for the big picture of the year, my theme is NOW. I will appreciate the Now. I will live in the now. I will still look forward to things in the future but that won't be my focus.

Today, NOW, this moment that will never ever be back or repeated. My life is happening NOW.

Family business plug: My brother-in-law owns his own business and it is an amazing popcorn company called Catoctin Popcorn Company. (When I say that they make amazing popcorn, I am not just saying that because I am family. I mean it. Their Chocolate Carmel Popcorn kicks any rivals behind. And AG l-o-v-e-s their White Cheddar Cheese Popcorn.)

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