Oh geez- I just cant bring my self to write my last Christmas post. It was last year for crying out loud and I am ready to look forward, not back.
Last year I gave the 52 blessings bit a good college try. I did. But even though I stopped numbering them one by one, I dare say, I did record a whole heap of blessings in 2012. Way more than 52. So I am not counting myself a total failure on that one. No sir.
I've been reading every ones, "one word" post for 2012. You know....pick a word and let that word be your north star of sorts for the entire year and I've come to the conclusion that the 'one word" thing- may not work for me.
In the fall of 2010 I was pregnant with Cali and had one particular child that was coming apart at his little seems. My world started to crumble into fragments of debris that I didn't even recognize. I felt like things were spinning around me faster and faster and I was running frantically and constantly but never really getting anywhere. I realized that my boy was fraying off at the ends every day because I was giving the world my best and I was giving my kids whatever was leftover to give..which was sometimes- not that much. His behavior was a mayday cry.
I changed almost everything about how I mothered and how I navigated the outside world and how I organized our home. I put up a giant barrier around my family. I vowed that I would no longer say "yes" to the world and it's demands and "no" to my kids as a result. "Yes" to the world is ok but not when the kids get a "no" (or a grouchy stressed out Mom) because of it. I also became much more strict about the "things" and "stuff" that came into our home. And guess what? That smart little rule has turned out pretty good for me.
My plate is clear enough these days, for us to make snow cones on any particular afternoon, to let Ella bathe all day long ( to take bathez as she calls them), to watch magic tricks, to have lunch at he park with our friends, to schedule play dates with the cousins, to ride bikes, to let the kids "help" me with dinner, to do homework with Kaden (barf), to read scriptures together, to get us to bed at a decent hour and to let the kids play with the neighbours like little street children whenever they want. (mostly). I also hold myself to a pretty strict cleaning schedule so that we are not constantly buried in laundry and so that my kids are sleeping in clean sheets. (I have a thing about dirty beds).
So I guess if I had to decide on "one word" that would be a good sticker for my heart in 2012, it would be the one I started back in 2010, when things were falling apart and my belly was pending with yet another soul to care for.
It would be "clean".
Clean out my schedule, clean out the house, clean out my brain.
It seems to me that if I keep my schedule, my house and my brain as clean as possible... that when the really hard stuff comes along...like it always does....there is room to stand up straight and deal with it. This last year that hard stuff was a baby that couldn't eat for months, who woke up constantly through the night, who got sicker than any of my children have ever been. A daughter that contracted MRSA, a son that lost his footing and flipped into an anxiety induced panic when he started middle school and a few other things that land firmly, undeniably in the "hard" column. For me, I can see the way out much clearer when the pathway isn't blocked by clutter in the form of too much un-needed stuff and an over scheduled calendar.
And you know who else likes clean?
And let all things be done in cleanliness before me D&C 42:41
or if you like...
In a world that wallows in filth, be clean—in language, in thought, in body, in dress.
President Gordon B. Hinckley
It feels strange to be closing the book on 2011 and to be already writing the stories of 2012. I am so thankful for 2011. It just may have been the hardest year of my life so far. Not in a sad sense just in a "oh my goodness, I have so many little needs to meet every single day and night" sense. 2011 gave me some challenges to face and some problems to solve but it also gave me a precious new daughter and it doubled the priesthood in my home. I could not be more thankful for those priceless blessings and all the lessons learned.
Welcome in 2012.