Ready for 2017 – and another Thing done

First of all, thank you for reading this. I started off with a bang and I feel like I’ve been moving along with a whimper so I appreciate you sticking with me through the fits and starts. Good news – I have finished another Thing! We did Meatless Monday for Three Months, img_7015including this stew/chili which was made by my flavor-master of a husband, Adam P. Newton! The only times we cheated were when we were out of town and when we had meat-based leftovers to eat, which amounted to about 3 times out of the 12 weeks. And I’m ok with that. So now I’ve finished six Things and started two others in a year and a half. Not a bad pace.

Seeing as it’s a New Year, it’s a good time to reflect on life. 2016 for me personally, at a micro level, was very good. My daughter continues to grow and thrive and become the person she is going to be. She charms me and delights me and blows my mind daily. I feel more settled into my role as her Mama, but I still think being a mom is much harder than I thought it would be and I knew it wasn’t all snuggles and bubbles. I finally recovered from the postpartum depression that had its way with me. My husband remains my favorite person, someone I can always depend on and my biggest cheerleader. My parents are, all things considered, in good health and they’re still here, for which I’m immensely grateful. I have a job that I love and the best bosses anyone could ever have. And I have so many other things to be thankful for.

On a macro level, 2016 kind of blew. Cultural icons died and it seems like the world has gone crazy. Or maybe I’m just more aware of things and care more? Sometimes I feel ashamed that it took having a child to make me truly care about a lot of world-level things, but on the other hand, better late than never, right? And now that I care, how does that translate into action? When “he who must not be named” was elected, I was shocked and dismayed and my first thought was, man, I really need to get back to church regularly. That’s because my church is actively engaged in fighting for equality and social justice and helping the least of these. And that fight is going to become increasingly important over the next four (or god forbid, eight) years.

What does turning caring into action look like for me? I’ve decided that it must start with listening. That’s something my church and the people who make up that community strive to do. So I’m going to work on that this year.

Other resolutions include writing for myself more. I was really shaken by Carrie Fisher’s death and I have been really inspired by this quote:

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I am awesome at being afraid. And I am awesome at letting that fear paralyze me. I think I’ve always had this idea that I must conquer the fear and then the action will come naturally. But this idea of doing the thing, even with the fear choking me, is something I need to hear. My goal is to write more about what this idea means to me, because that’s what I’m afraid to do. I’m afraid of my voice. I’m afraid of what people will think of me. I’m afraid of sounding stupid or vapid or just uncool. So I’m going to blog more and journal more (I got 5 journals for Christmas so I really have no excuse!). And blogging regularly is a Thing so my plan is for this post to set me on a good track for completing that. I’m even making an editorial calendar for myself. So official! I hope you enjoy my digital content!

I have three other resolutions. One is to be healthier. That includes sleeping less (yes, I said less, not more. I can sleep like a boss.), listening to what my body says it wants to eat, and carving out time to move my body. Another resolution is to take Fig out to do something fun and active at least once a month. Adam and I are real homebodies and I’m basically a hermit so it’s something we want to be intentional about this year. Because our daughter is social and active and loves to be on the go and now she’s old enough to really interact with her surroundings and experience new things. My final resolution is to go on a date with my husband at least once every other month. Fig’s pediatrician says we should go out every two weeks or so but that’s just not feasible. We don’t have the money or the time to go out that often. But every 6-8 weeks, I think we can handle that. Just need to find a babysitter.

So that’s where things stand with me. I’m entering 2017 with an open heart and Brené Brown-style courage and a shitload of vulnerability. I only hope that I say something that someone needs to hear. Even if it’s just me who needs to hear it.

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