I have declared 2016 as “the year I take my life back.” Oh my, don’t I sound ever so melodramatic. Not the intention. No, it simply means that my overriding goal for the year is to remember that this is the only life I get and that’s it’s up to me to make it what I want it to be. No one else can live it for me.
It’s somewhat inevitable when you make the choice to have children that you will give up some amount of freedom. In many ways even more so when you have what I tend to call a “high maintenance” kiddo (by no means a perfect term, but I prefer it to “special needs”). But the responsibilities of parenthood aren’t to blame for me failing to take myself seriously. I know that I have internalized the messages of society of “woman as caretaker” and especially “mother as caretaker” very deeply. Despite having it click over the last decade (thanks to some wonderful friends) how incredibly unfair and unhelpful that is to everyone involved, it is a message that persists in the core of me: Everyone else must come first.
It’s not that I plan to run off into the sunset and leave it all behind. There are no plans for drastic changes. More like baby steps. A few projects to start that are exciting me at the moment. A determination to carve out me-time every day. An attitude change that makes me ask, “Do I really *need* to do this, or do I just feel like I *should* do this?” A willingness to let go of things that are no longer making me happy.
So I’m starting 2016 full of hope. There’s just nothing like a fresh start, is there? And I have to say that waking up to snow falling on this first day of the new year seems like a very happy sign to me. 🙂
Happy New Year, friends! Happy New Year, strangers! Happy New Year, world!