2014 went by in a blur…My daughter started the year at just 4 months of age, and is now just on the cusp of her 16 month birthday. In this short expanse of time, she's changed and flourished before our eyes. Milestone after milestone of laughter, babbling chatter, and messy hair-in-your-face smiles later, here we are at the dawn of a new calendar year.
These were my goals for 2014, here's my own critical review of how I did…
+ Maintain balance
I feel like this will be a goal of mine for the rest of my life, as I think it merits a weekly, if not daily reminder. Balance is essential, and to "have it all," balance is everything. Ultimately, I think I've done a pretty good job at balancing my home life, my work, my time with my husband, family, and friends. Heading back to work in January was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I had a bit of a mini-emotional breakdown in the few days before I was slated to return to teaching. And now, 12 months later, after the start of a new school year, I pride myself on the balance I have established between work and home, being a mother and a 1st grade teacher, because in all honesty, it definitely did not occur overnight. I think, what I've most importantly learned is that everything in life ebbs and flows, there are times when the schedule is brimming with obligations, when a million little loose ends need tying up, but there are also times of lulling calm. I invest my time much differently now than I ever did prior to life as a parent. My time is more valuable than it's ever been, but I recognize this now in a way that I couldn't have understood in my previous life.
+ Explore and discover
We venture to a few destinations in 2014: Bozeman, Montana; Ojai, California; Los Angeles, California; and Kona, Hawaii - all with a baby. However, what I truly meant by this goal was to see life through my daughter's eyes, and I think we did our very best at that, putting down the camera to enjoy the moment of discovery in actuality. I want to be able to say I lived my life in the present, not just through a snippet of film I witnessed live behind a screen.
+ Meal Planning
Yes! Hoo-rah! I even posted about it here.
+ Be active
Well this goal I admit, I wasn't the best at achieving. Returning to work full time, with a baby - now toddler - is exhausting, especially when my full time job is corralling, listening to, and teaching 26 eager, curious, and exuberant first graders. That and a bout of the flu, followed by pneumonia in late October which sidelined me from any activity for a month didn't help. But now I'm just making excuses. This will be a goal for 2015, you can bet on it…
+ Unplug, write letters, call friends
I tried on this one. I wish I could say "I tried my best," but frankly, that isn't true. It is hard to unplug. While I'd prefer reading blogs to social media such as Twitter or Facebook, I have a strange attraction to instagram, I truly enjoy viewing photos of friends near and far. As much as I've tried to limit my own "screen time," until after my daughter goes to bed, it is a challenge, and I need to remind myself to unplug often. Not helping in this department, my work email syncs on my phone, which frequently has me reading a message from a parent, student, or colleague after hours more than I'd like. However, with written correspondence, I think I have upped my ante, especially with my sister moving to Spain for the year, I have even more reason to write letters. I've made a conscious effort to send photos and cards to my in-laws and my husband's family in Michigan, updating them with visuals of our daughter's growth.
So…all in all, not too bad. What are your goals for 2015?