I really like new beginnings: New Year’s, the start of the school year (even though I’m not in school), flipping to a new month on the calendar, the beginning of a new season, my birthday. I really love the feeling of starting fresh that comes with a new beginning. It gives me new energy and hope.
I recently completed another year around the sun and the eve before my thirty-something birthday, I decided to take stock of my past year of life. I looked through a year’s worth of pictures on my phone and wrote the highlights and life lessons from this past year. This is the first time I have ever done this exercise, but I think I’m going to make it a new tradition. Here are a few takeaways:
- I’m actually a pretty good mom. As moms, I feel like we aren’t allowed to say that. However, looking at all the activities, outings, doctor appointments, planned vacations as well as meals, laundry, baths, books read, teeth brushed, and more. You know what, I’m doing alright. Sure, I’m not great at monitoring sugar intake, my house is nowhere close to being spotless, and some days we watch a lot of shows, but I’m trying my best and I love those boys of mine. So I’m going to say it: I am a good mom.
- Navigating friendships as an adult is just as hard as in my teens and 20’s, in fact, in some ways it is harder. I’ve had a lot of changing friendships in my 30’s. Some have bent, but not broken and others have weakened and faded. It’s hard. At this point in life, especially with kids, I don’t have as much time/energy to put towards my friendships, and yet they are so important. I need those friends so desperately to feel like myself and to buoy each other up. I still don’t have answers, just sharing.
- I am making headway on my goals. I am working on a book. I want it to be published. At times, it feels like I’m just barely inching toward my goal. However, looking at all I have done in a year’s worth of time, it is clearer that I am moving forward. This gives me hope.
- I’ve had a lot of tests with boundaries this year. At least I have the knowledge I didn’t have in my teens and early 20’s of what boundaries are. It has been tear and anxiety-inducing, but at the same time, needed. This recovering people-pleaser is getting better at saying no.
- I think mid-life crises are real. The way I handled mine this year was running away to Europe with some friends. I lived in England a couple of times in my 20’s. Going back to those old stomping grounds was a much different experience than I expected. I had envisioned it as a coming home scenario full of bliss. The trip actually reminded me of so many things I didn’t love about my 20’s. I came home a little humbled, but also really grateful for the life I have now. Sure, I don’t have the freedom I did when I was younger. Mom Life really means your life is not fully your own. But at the same time, it makes my life so full.