So, it’s been awhile.
Ira is bigger (ok, mostly in the wider sense), and has hit a sweet, sweet age that I’m not sure I appreciated fully with Elliott. He’s mobile, happy to explore, loves to eat, and lights up with every new face. Eight months is great! And I’m going to cherish every single toy I can take away from him without him fussing. I can’t wait to see what kind of kid he grows up into, but right now, I’m thankful for a pre-toddler breather. He’s not a needy newborn, and he’s not a tiring toddler. He’s just a chubby, chuckling, crawling machine. I love him.
Elliott is not all that much taller or wider, but he’s grown in other ways. His conversation, vocab and reasoning skills make him more and more fun to talk to. His memory is scary good, and he surprises me every day with his continued love of learning, reading and singing. Some weeks go by, and it seems like Elliott may finally be out of his dreaded months (or has it been years???)-long “no” phase, and then, all of a sudden, like a giant storm, defiance and no’s come raining down on me yet again. And every single thing we have to accomplish from getting out of bed to going to bed is a struggle. Sometimes I’m a super patient mom, and sometimes I’m a super short fuse mom. Patient mom feels better.
And, best yet, when Ira started crawling, they became “Brother Buddies.” (Yes, I have made up a song by the same name). It’s a lot of fun to watch them start to enjoy each other.
But we’re not here to talk about them.
We’re here to talk about ME. Yeah, I’ll try not to yammer on. The boys are way cuter, I know.
I just turned 31, so this is a good excuse to renew some personal goals. Putting goals in writing is a thing, right?
I’ve never really struggled with sticking to goals until it’s come to blogging and creative writing projects over the past few years. Sure, I’ll wake up early to work out. Or use naptime breaks to clean or meal prep. But I don’t (or won’t) make time to write. It weighs me down – all this avoiding. But I think I’ve finally come to the bottom of it.
Writing isn’t passive. It’s hard. It stretches my brain. And often, my brain doesn’t want to be stretched. When I was a full-time writer, my blogging slowed down extensively because I wrote all day. Now, I write and edit for clients, but (let's be honest) my most demanding job is chasing two wild children.
Different excuses. Same aversion toward finding time to write. Same writing less than I feel good about result.
So last week, I wrote down my major personal goals, and gave them all a timeslot. And I realized if I don’t watch TV on Monday-Thursday night, I have time to write for an hour or two a night. I can still workout. Still clean. Still cook. Still read. And still get to bed at a decent hour. Nothing has to go except Netflix binging...on Monday-Thursday.
I should have known that I actually DID have time if I looked hard enough. Now that my excuses are gone, it’s time to stretch that brain. So I’m re-re-re-re making the goal to blog weekly. I plan to spend the rest of my weekly writing time on other creative writing (let's hope I have more to report on projects soon).
Here’s another confessional goal: I struggle with contentment in the now. If I’m working, I wish I could be relaxing. If I’m holding a baby who refuses to be put down, I wish I could be doing the dishes. If I’m doing the dishes, I wish I could spend time with the kids. And on and on and on. It’s an exhausting cycle of missing what’s right in front of me. My now.
So how do I work on being present? Here are a few concrete mini goals:
Mini Goal #1: Take note of small moments.
Not every moment is a sun-filled, take-your-breath away second. But some are, even if they are more subtle than sunset on the beach beauty. No, I’m not going to cherish dirty diapers (or underpants...ah!), but extra cuddle time, sweet giggles or budding conversation skills? Yes! I want to be all in for moments like these.
Mini Goal #2: Make less goals each day.
Sounds like a strange goal for a post about goals, but it will help! If I have less things I feel I have to do, then I will be more free to relax into what’s happening right now.
Who knew this would ever be a goal of mine? But cleaning less will help me keep my Write More goal. Sometimes, I just continue with dishes or straightening after the boys are down, eating into my precious downtime each night. I say NO MORE! No more cleaning after hours if I want more writing time.
It will also support my goal to be present. I actually made my own mantra. If the boys are
awake (especially on mornings when Elliott is home), I remind myself that I have no house goals. Or, as I often text Ike, #NoGoals when I survey my house after a morning of boy mayhem. Feeling free of any house goals helps me enjoy just sitting back and playing with the boys.
So, see you next week! I’ve got b-day clothes to show off, podcasts to recommend, a creative project to reveal and sugar intake to cut down. Sounds like the makings of a fun editorial calendar, no?