December’s theme focused on joy. The last question I’m tackling is: What do you hope brings you joy in the coming year?
Ever since I started writing these posts ( a lot more frequently at the beginning of the month than the end, holidays, you know…) I’ve been thinking a LOT about what makes me happy. Daily. Sometimes hourly in fact.
There are quite a few things that don’t make me happy.
One of the ideas behind the theme was that you’d start 2015 with the things that made you happy, and not the things that didn’t.. and I liked that idea.. a lot. So I’ve been trying to figure out how to delete the things that really don’t fit with my life. Add in the things that make me happy. Things that make my kids happy. Things that work for us. Get rid of the things that don’t.
Sometimes, I’ll admit, it’s a struggle. I recycled a ton of my daughter’s school papers. We had a giant stack and just didn’t know what to do with them. So we gave ourselves permission to get rid of them. Then it was papers that came home from church. 2 scribbles on an old piece of stationary? Why are we keeping that? It’s not a masterpiece, it’s what kept a 3 year old busy during story time. Recycle. What about the projects that come home from their club? I take off the brads, clips, etc. and then recycle the papers. Strings from a project that didn’t get finished. A giant bag full of candy from parades that we didn’t want the kids to have. I was going to take it in for the junior high kids to have… but.. it never got done. Trash it went. I’m doing little bits here and there as I can amongst this rowdy group.
Some things are harder. While the kids would have loved to have had the big tree up this year, we don’t have enough ways to cordon off a tree from an extremely enthusiastic now toddling thing– so we did the ‘tree on a table’ and put on the yearly ornaments (picked out this year by them!) and whatever they brought home from their activities. Our oldest picked out the bell from Polar Express as our family ornament (we adored watching the movie together as a family this year)– we had to order it as they were out in the store, but nevertheless, it really expresses how we are solidifying as a family unit. So we didn’t have a big tree, but they still had presents! We added an advent calendar they could put a magnet on daily instead of just doing a paper one like in years past. It’s something they can look forward to next year as a tradition. Candy free, waste free, and a daily reminder of the season. We put up a handful of other decorations, and just figured that next year we’d go all out. We’ve made some pretty big plans, actually, so hopefully (fingers crossed) it goes well. It involves a lot of Christmas lights bought on clearance.
So while we’re trying to ditch some things, we’re adding in new. We’re streamlining, but making our lives more of what we want them to be. Permission to get rid of things is difficult to come by sometimes. Permission to stop doing things that don’t make us happy. Permission to add in things that make sense to us. I’ve been reading a lot. Researching. Sitting on the floor playing with my kids. Making the kids do more chores. Giving them more treats (it is the holidays). Not letting the mess get to me. Asking for what I need. Seeing those things get done. Seeing my husband happy. Staying up later, sleeping in a little bit. Ahh, I love it when my hubby’s home from work at the end of the year. Just getting to talk to him for a few minutes a day is wonderful. I’m letting the joy sink in more. More time with the 6 year old out of school means that we can correct bad behaviors instead of just punishing them. Getting to the root of the problem instead of just being disgusted at another new, bad behavior, and yes, she has come home at winter break with quite a few that she never had before. Quite a few. Schedules adjusted finally, and without continuous interruptions and oddities of coming and going, the 3 year old is napping well, and the toddler..baby.. well, the youngest is working on changing hers, but fingers crossed it means she’ll sleep through the night consistently soon! She actually slept through the night twice in one week… and then that was over, but still, the first time in… EVER! Yeah!
So what do I hope for in 2015? More joy in my kids’ faces. More singing along to the music we play. Teaching the kids more-watching them learn is such a delight. More family outings. More snuggles and stories. More family movies with popcorn. More healthy behaviors. More growing our own food. More tramps through the woods and flowers. More beauty. More bubble baths. More painting of toes. More impromptu dance parties. More cooking with tiny elbows in the way. More date nights. More me time. More love. More faith. More believing in us. As a team. I want more.
What do I want less of? Rushing around. Stress. Worry. Arguing over silly things. Being concerned with what other people think. Acting on those concerns to the detriment of our family’s (and my own) health. Illness. All these things make me less joyful.
What are you adding in or taking away as the new year rolls around? How will you find your joy?