Is it really 2016?! There are times when I think I'm living someone else's life...I still feel like I should be 18 or 19, going to class, reading in my spare time (HA!), playing tennis, feeling like an adult because I pay a few bills and drive my own car. You all totally know what I'm talking about!
And yet, I'm so not 19. I'm 31. 31 with a husband who's 35, we have three kids and a mortgage on our first home, a cat, two heavy callings and more bills than I think I can ever keep up with. I do still enjoy driving my own can, though the novelty has faded just a touch. Realizing all of these things and the life that I've lived in those 12 years since I was 19 makes my head swim, sometimes quite literally! The idea that with age comes wisdom...well, that is something I am finally starting to understand. Not to say in the least that I consider myself old, but I'm certainly older and much more seasoned than I was 12 years ago.
The difficult things in life have flavored my soul, truly. I see each experience as if it was yesterday. The tests for nursing school, my crazy 1990 Toyota Tercel; oil guzzling, black smoke spurting from the exhaust pipe trying to make it up the back hill to my grandmother's house in 2nd gear because it was really just a little gray tin can with wheels. Sobbing in my car when my best friend Luke fell away from the church and wondering how it could hurt so bad. YSA activities and meeting afterwards for appetizers at Chili's; regional dances that took two hours to drive to! Meeting my husband on E-Harmony and thinking it was just some awesome guy to e-mail. Marrying this man I had met online and thinking I wouldn't do it any other way. Moving across the country with my new husband and a cat, living life as a newlywed in Las Vegas and working as a nurse. The disagreements and tears that come with being in a marriage. Birthing our first child, oh the newfound realms of pain! Moving to Oregon and feeling so poor it stung. Birthing our second child and finding new realms of peace amidst the pain...finding my own strength. Moving to Utah and feeling, again, so poor it stung, but a little less this time. Assisting a dying father, and burying him. Moving into our first home with fresh excitement and healing. Raising a family! Giving birth to our third child and realizing I'm not getting any younger! Feeling so poor, again. Raising a family.
So many memories and experiences packed into 12 short years. Yes, my body is well aware that I am no longer 19. And it's on that particular note that I started my 2016.
I finished my 2015 trying to rush an accomplish all these things that I hadn't managed to finish, and New Years Day rolled around, and I hadn't finished them all. My husband was happy and excited for a new year (as per usual), but I was sad and mopey, to put it mildly. I was kind of depressed that day, feeling pretty sorry for myself and the things I hadn't been able to finish, thinking to myself, "Well, if you could finish these things...or even make headway...what's the point of even making any resolutions?!". Yup, it was a tough day. Truth be told, I'm still working through some lingering sentiments about that, but I've decided that if facing the whole year seems too tough, the day ahead of me right here, right now...needs to be lived. My husband needs me, my kids need me, my callings, my family, my job...they all need me, right here, right now. And I can face today. I can do today and move forward. I will not be perfect in each thing I'm aiming for as a goal each day. I will most likely eat that chocolate cake, BUT, I can stop eating it and pick up where I left off. I can do one small thing to make one small change, and eventually, they WILL add up. It may take longer than until midnight on NYE of 2016, but I can do what I can.
Perhaps that's kind of a mushy goal. It's not amazing, it's not running a marathon or even saying I'll lose 40 pounds (though that would be stellar...wish fairy, if you're out there....), it's not saying I'm going back to school or that I will be more patient or kind this year. Because, let's face it, those are kind of goals I work towards everyday *anyway* (well, except for the marathon). I just need to be kinder to myself, and by that I don't mean scarfing health food or going organic or doing Zumba until my feet catch on fire. I just mean stop beating myself up for being human, for making mistakes, for forgetting, for eating that piece of pizza, for not fitting into the size 4 jeans that 'cool' moms in Utah are supposed to fit into six months after giving birth. I'm giving myself a 'get out of jail free' card, essentially, for ALL of it. I am not giving up on anything, I am not copping an "I don't care" or an "I hate you if you succeed" attitude, because those attitudes really bug me. But I *am* going to be kind to myself and allow myself time. I'm going to move forward with my plans in whatever capacity that might be with faith and courage and the full knowledge that I'll most likely trip along the way at some point, and that's ok.
My husband was so sweet and encouraged me and loved me and was so positive about 2016 being a great year. I believe him, now. It will be a great year. I look forward to many things this year and whether things are finished this year or next, it won't matter. The year will be great either way.