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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Not a resolution, just trying something new

I don't make New Year's resolutions. I can count on one hand the number of times I've done it. I remember my 3rd grade class making resolutions. I wish I could remember what they were. I imagine they were probably pretty entertaining. :) I attempted a couple of resolutions 2 years ago that I thought I could maintain throughout the year, but like most resolutions, they ended in me not being able to keep up with them by about mid-February, and ultimately feeling like I had failed yet again at doing things that I thought should be totally do-able. It seems like resolutions are like what Mary Poppins called "pie crust promises" that are easily made and easily broken. Heck, breaking resolutions is almost as much of a tradition as making them!

At the same time, I DO like the idea of what resolutions are supposed to be. Change is hard though. Consistency is hard. I can think of LOTS of things that I'd love to change and improve about myself, but to be realistic, at this exact point in my life, I'm doing well to just keep my head above the water with everything else that's already going on.

IF I was to make a resolution, it would be to get better at planning our meals ahead of time. The number of times that my family has eaten burritos for dinner in the past 3 months since we moved and I started my current classes is embarrassing.

IF I was to make a second resolution, it would be to go to bed earlier and get up earlier. (Old habits die hard. :)

IF I was to make a third resolution, it would be to potty train Raya and get her off the feeding tube this year. Ha ha. More realistically though, I would really love to expand her selection of foods, both things that she CAN eat and things that she WILL eat. That is definitely more realistic.

Since I don't really make resolutions though, this is one thing that I'm doing instead. I have found that like many women/wives/mothers, I am really good at being hard on myself. There are many nights that I go to bed feeling like I have been busy all day but accomplished NOTHING. I have a hard time not comparing myself with the idealistic versions of my friends & family members that I see through the small glimpses I get into their lives from social media or in real life. I have friends who are amazing when it comes to doing fun and creative learning activities with their kids. I saw this meme on facebook the other day and got a good laugh out of it because it's way too true:
(This version is even better than the original because it has "took a shower" crossed out!) I have other friends (2 in particular, whom I love dearly and greatly admire) whose houses are always spotless and have not a thing out of place, and yes, they do have young kids. All of my friends & family members have qualities that I admire and would LOVE to develop in myself, but I can't morph myself into some superhuman combination of the best traits of all of my friends & family members. Nobody can. We were all created with special talents and traits, and we're SUPPOSED to have different strengths and weaknesses than each other. If we all had the same strengths and weaknesses (or no weaknesses), then there would be nothing left to learn or improve upon in life. That doesn't mean that we can't make weaknesses become strengths, but we should not allow ourselves to feel bad or inadequate because we're not as {fill in the blank} as our friends or family members. I often feel frustrated at the end of the day because it's hard to see progress in any aspect of my little world. In order to combat the feelings of inadequacy that come from not feeling like I've accomplished anything, I'm doing this:
I got this cute little calendar (it's about 6x6) in the dollar spot at Target. It was marked 75% off so I paid a whopping 25 cents for it. Rather than set myself up for disappointment when I don't consistently follow through with unrealistic resolutions, I'm making daily lists of things that I DO accomplish. It will vary from day to day. Some days, I'll accomplish more than others. Heck, some days I'm doing AWESOME to remember to stop and feed myself, but no matter how much or how little I get done, I will be able to visually see what my accomplishments have been that day, even if they're not visible from looking around the house. In a way, maybe this is aiming low and I should try to set higher goals for myself, but I don't care. I'm looking at it as a way to foster my own self-confidence and feelings of self-worth. Maybe the more I see myself accomplish, the more I will push myself to do more just so I can see my lists get longer. Maybe I'll run out of steam and stop doing this mid-February too. Either way, I think it will be a nice little experiment and a little bit of taking care of me. ♥

3 comments:

  1. Brandis, this post is priceless coming from you because other moms look at you and think "how does she so optimistically deal with her challenges and accomplish so much!" It just goes to show that feeling inadequate is a common trait among women.
    And I think it does help to keep a record. I had a boss tell me that if you keep score, the score gets better. I see that in my own life. If I'm blogging about my accomplishments or even write them down in a planner, I try harder to make my days worthwhile than if I'm not making any record at all.

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  2. Hi Brandis, I have been reading your blog for a while after stumbling on it through the FTA site and your adhesives post. My own tubie is 16 months old and a complex kiddo with a syndrome (Cornelia de Lange), heart condition and some other challenges. She spent 8 months with an NJ before getting a MIC-KEY. I am coordinating Kaylee's needs with the needs of my five older 'typical' kids and it is a juggle some days and an adventure every day! Anyway, I love your honesty and although I am on the other side of the world (Australia)and in a different place in our journey I find a lot in your words to encourage me. Thank-you! I was doing some reading the other day and came across some directions for coconut milk kefir which I thought Raya may like ( http://www.culturesforhealth.com/coconut-milk-kefir-recipe ) specially as it can be made into a creamy, yoghurty consistency similar to her sour cream. I thought it could perhaps introduce some probiotics to her gut too which can't do any harm. An idea anyway, I know I have about a dozen ideas on my to-do list for my girl and only having 24 hours in the day is an ongoing problem :). My own tubie's reaction to food is to paint herself and fill her mouth before blowing raspberries, filling her stomach with air that needs venting! So I think we have a bit of a road ahead of us (especially as we will probably have more surgeries ahead too). Thanks again for your words and honesty

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  3. This goes to show that nothing is as it seems. I look up to you as you take care of your own complex kid, along with three kids. I only have to track one complex kid and my house is still a disaster. Some days you win and some days you don't. I often feel that I am failing big time - that I just can't keep up. I came across an idea that I have implemented into my house. A "good things" jar. Whenever something good happens, something I am grateful for, a kiddo milestone, accomplished goals, funnies, etc., I will write it on a slip of paper and put into the jar to be read when I need a lift and at the end of the year. I admit it's a pinterest idea but it's one I think I can keep up with. I hope.

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