Last week, I wrote a post about my resolutions (or goals) for the New Year which included to be gentle with myself, to maintain balance, and to connect with family and friends (read more about my resolutions here). Shortly after, I also adopted the mantra “good enough is good enough” as a means to be rid of my perfectionist view on life in general (read more about that here).
Well, it’s only been just a little over a week and already I am feeling positive effects from these three simple promises to myself. Of course, one of the ways my life changed recently was by leaving my weekend job in order to have more time for my family, household responsibilities, and ultimately, myself. Although we spent a night out of town at my son’s hockey tournament, I’ve found I still had time this weekend to get stuff done (something that was very difficult to do while working seven days a week!) I have to say this new “weekend freedom” has been absolutely wonderful. For instance, I spent the entire day today in my pyjamas hiding from the blizzard outside, drinking coffee, and slowly working away at plans for the upcoming week at school. While this certainly may not sound thrilling to some, is truly something that I find fulfilling and enjoyable and in my mind is one of the perfect ways to spend a lazy Sunday!
I’ve also been working really hard on taking things one day at a time and only worrying about what has to get done each day. While some future planning is inevitable, I often plan so much in my head that I easily become overwhelmed and stressed out. I am now starting to realize that all that tiresome planning and thinking doesn’t really serve a purpose (other than to exhaust me). Things are much clearer and less stressful, if I can focus on just a few small things at a time. Surprisingly, training my brain to focus only on each days’ tasks hasn’t been nearly as difficult as I had anticipated. I’d often argued with my husband that all the planning ahead was just “how my brain works”, but suddenly it seems that I can control that thinking (at least to a certain degree). It’s something that’s definitely a work in process but certainly worth my time.
The mantra “good enough is good enough” has helped me immensely in only thinking about each day’s tasks (and to be clear, I try to focus only on one or two tasks each day… not an exhaustive list, otherwise it’d be pointless!) For example, I am slowly learning that something as simple as cleaning my house does not need to be an “all or nothing” job. So today, after we had finally packed away the Christmas decorations, I simply passed the vacuum quickly, rearranged a few décor items, and said to myself “that’s good enough for today”. Normally, I would have moved on to dusting, cleaning the bathroom, doing heaps of laundry, scrubbing floors, and purging closets which is not only exhausting to me but would make my family members miserable and resentful too. So, in the end, my house may not be spotless from top to bottom, but it’s presentable enough, and best of all, my family’s had time to enjoy our day doing the things we love!
In addition to maintaining balance by reminding myself of the good enough mantra, I have also made strides on my resolution to connect with family and friends. My husband and I decided that this year we’d go all out for birthdays. Fortunately for my friend Jason, he was the first person I got to test this resolution out on since his birthday was this past week. Since Jason lives so far away (as do many of my best friends), I couldn’t really go all out but I still wanted to think of something I could do to brighten my friend’s special day. That being said, I knew if it wasn’t something easy, manageable, and inexpensive, I’d be less likely to follow through. I started to think about what I could do and realized that over the last few years, I’ve completely dropped the ball on sending my friends’ something as simple as birthday cards! I immediately set out and spent several minutes in the card shop picking out a card that I knew would make Jason smile. Then, another idea came to me! I am blessed to have so many wonderful memories with my friends, why not create a list of these special memories to send in the birthday card? So that’s what I did. It took me only a few minutes to write a letter to Jason full of meaningful and hilarious memories we’ve had over the years. I was thrilled when he responded to tell me that the letter not only made him laugh, but nearly brought him to tears! It amazes me how something to simple could have such an effect! I was so happy I made that connection with Jason on his birthday!
(As a side note, now that I’ve conquered the first birthday, I am thrilled that we get to go all out for birthdays two more times this month! Next week, we’ve planned a terrific party for my stepson Brandon who is turning 12… stay tuned for an update, we’re really going all out for his birthday… and my younger brother’s birthday is also at the end of the month… still working on ideas on how to make his big day extra special!)
I know it’s only been a little over a week so already celebrating my New Year’s resolutions as successes may be premature. But the fact that 2016 has started off with a lot less stress, crying, agonizing, and worrying, is definitely a step in the right direction…. and the fact that I found enough time to write three blog entries in just over a week? Well that in itself makes me one very happy girl 🙂