Do you make New Year’s resolutions?
Well, that’s not entirely true. I usually promise myself I will eat healthier foods and consume less booze, but after making the same commitment every single year since before I can remember, I’ve come to realize that I’m just not designed to eat berries and drink 8 gallons of water each day.
It just doesn’t work for me.
And I’m perfectly okay with that.
So I’m not making any promises to myself about food and booze this year, but after very suddenly and unexpectedly losing my dad in July and spending the last 6 months burying myself in work to help me cope with his loss, I have come to realize I need to make some changes in my life.
I feel like I owe it to him, you know?
He was so full of life and laughter and love, and was such a fantastic mentor and role model to me, that I need to make sure I honor his memory and live my life to the fullest.
Because that’s what he would have wanted.
So I wrote down a few New Year’s resolutions I hope to keep this year, and in an effort to make them stick, I’m taking accountability by sharing them with all of you.
What would you add to my list?
1. SLEEP MORE
My parents lived the other side of the world for most of my adult life, and every time I responded to one of my dad’s emails or phone calls after 10 pm my time, he would always say, “GET TO BED!” I always thought he was just being a parent whenever he said those words, but after averaging 5 hours of sleep a night for most of November and December, I realized how important his advice really was. Not only does a good night of sleep make me more alert and better able to focus during the day, but it also makes me a more involved and patient parent.
Which leads me to my second resolution…
2. FIND A BETTER BALANCE
My dad traveled A LOT for work and many people would probably describe him as a workaholic, but what few people realize is that being a dad was the most important role he had in his entire 68 years. He took so much pride in my sister and me, and there was nothing he wouldn’t have done for us. And while we didn’t get to see him often, he was always 100% present when we did. He played with us. He proof-read our homework. He took an interest in our lives. And when we talked to him, HE LISTENED.
Admittedly, I often fall down in this aspect of parenting. I may be physically present all of the time, but I feel like my mind is always somewhere else. I used to think this was just par for the course when it comes to being a mom, but after my daughter pushed me out of her room and said, “go and answer emails!” when she wanted some alone time with her dad a few weeks ago, I realized I need to do a better job of knowing when to push the pause button so I can give her my undivided attention.
Just like my dad did for us.
3. APPRECIATE THE ONES I LOVE
For the last couple of years, my husband has been working on a really big project at work which keeps him at the office late and requires a lot of travel, and about an hour before I learned my dad had died, we had an argument about how little time we have been able to spend together. I will always regret that argument, but rather than dwelling on it, I’m using my dad’s death as a way to remind me to always appreciate my loved ones. Especially my husband. That man works his bum off to make sure the 3 of us are taken care of, and while I would give anything to have my dad back, I’m glad he gave me the gift of realizing and appreciating how wonderful my husband is while I still can.
4. WRITE MY OWN ENDING
My mother, sister, and I have been stuck in a rut for the past 6 months. It seems like every time we take a step forward in coming to terms with the fact that my dad is gone and never coming back, something happens to make us take at least 3 steps backwards. And it sucks. But it wasn’t until I had a heart-to-heart with my husband over a glass of wine last weekend that I realized just how much this rut the 3 of us are in has been affecting everyone else around us. So when my daughter and I were watching YouTube videos after lunch this afternoon and we saw this quote in a Jim Henson video, I took it as a sign that it’s time to stop dwelling and start living again:
“Life’s like a movie, write your own ending. Keep believing, keep pretending.”
Like my husband, my dad was an optimist. He saw nothing but good things in the world, and when life threw him lemons, he didn’t just make lemonade. He made margaritas.
And I plan to do the same.
5. TAKE TIME FOR MYSELF
Like most moms I know, I rarely (if ever) make time for myself. It seems there’s always a bum to wipe, a toilet to scrub, a meal to prepare, and a blog post to write, but after biting off more than I could chew in November and December, I decided it was time for some R&R over the holidays. So when my daughter was safely tucked into her crib each evening, I poured myself a glass of wine, kicked my feet up, and read.
And you know what?
I loved every single minute of it.
I had forgotten how magical it is to lose myself in a book at the end of a hectic day, and when the holidays came to a close, I made a promise that I would continue to make more time for myself in 2015. And in an effort to ensure I take accountability for that promise, I’ve already downloaded 10 books to my eReader, and I’m committed to reading ALL of them before the year is over.
Now, I don’t know what your reading preferences are, but if you’re a sucker for fiction and literature with a bit of a romantic twist like I am, you’ll love my list:
1. The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty (I’m halfway through this and it’s FABULOUS!)
2. Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult
3. The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks
4. Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
5. Look Again by Lisa Scottoline
6. Still Alice by Lisa Genova
7. The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan
8. The One & Only by Emily Giffin
9. Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner
10. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Selecting them was a fun little Sunday night project for me. I simply logged onto Kobo.com, clicked “fiction and literature” under “browse categories” in the left-hand sidebar, clicked on the first title that caught my eye, read the synopsis, and then sorted through the “people who read this also enjoyed” section immediately below that. And each time I decided on a title I wanted to read, I clicked “add to cart” until I had settled on all 10 of my books.
It was that easy!
And thanks to the Kobo app, I can enjoy each book on my eReader, iPad, AND my iPhone, which means I have the flexibility to read whenever and wherever I want to.
Pretty cool, right?
But wait – it gets better!
As part of my participation in the PTPA Brand Ambassador Program with Kobo, I get to give my fabulous readers a chance to win one (1) $100 Kobo gift card! All you need to do is enter using the link below between now and January 15, 2015.
And here’s to a happier and healthier 2015!
Disclosure: I am part of the PTPA Brand Ambassador Program with Kobo and I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.