Saturday, January 1, 2011


New Year's Resolutions. I love to make them and never care too much if I break them. Each year my resolutions are about the same (see resolution posts from 2008 2009 2010). I'm a work in progress, and I'm okay with that.
Inspired by Gretchen Rubin's blog post about choosing one word as a theme for the coming year, I decided to, drum roll please, choose one word as a theme for the coming year.
My word: stretch.
The perpetual English major in me is tempted to filter all my favorite resolutions through this new theme.
Relax more. You know, stretch out on the couch in the evening instead of multi-tasking (television with laundry folding and blog commenting).
Exercise. Try something new and stretch my muscles (do I have any?) with Yoga or Pilates or something else I've never tried.
Spend less. Stretch my resources and my imagination.
Be a better mom and wife. Stretch my patience.
Make an effort to be more fashion forward (i.e. stop wearing sweatpants multiple days each week). Stretch the new skinny jeans I received for Christmas over those hips of mine and walk tall (personal guideline for the skinny jeans/legging trend: Walk tall and wear ye a big sweater.)
I want to stretch in other ways that will require even more courage than donning skinny jeans.
My day-to-day life is a bit lonely and has been for several years now. Throughout my life I have been blessed with good friends, and I have many people I can email or call or travel to visit. What I need more of are people in my bunker day-to-day: people I can laugh, talk, and eat with in person and in/very near my home without my feeling like I need to apologize for whatever my kids are or are not doing. I would like to nurture my relationships so that some of my acquaintances become friends and my friends become really good friends. I'll have to stretch though. Reach out. Initiate plans. Be a little vulnerable. Ask for help.
There also some people in my life who need a lift. Stretch out a helping hand, MEP, a listening ear, some positive vibes. I'm going to try to stretch to be as generous and kind as I can.
I'm not teaching right now and feel okay about it. This moment in my life is not my "career moment" and I'm mostly at peace with that. I feel good that I continue to nurture my passion for reading and writing, but I also want to continue to stretch my conceptions of who I am and what I can offer, dream a little bigger perhaps. Will I start the new website I've been thinking about? Will I think about calling myself a writer? Will I consider a future career that isn't in teaching? I don't know, and right now, I don't need to know. You stretch before a big game or race, right? I want to frame this moment in my life as one of enjoying my children while stretching in preparation for whatever is next. Arm circles and toe touches for my mind and soul, if you will.
When I'm faced with challenges in 2011, I hope I can stretch in ways that make me stronger and happier -- take some risks, speak my truth even when it's tough, trust that my good intentions are clear, be less hard on myself and others.
It's no stretch at all to proclaim that the highlight of 2010 was welcoming our sweet and beautiful daughter into the world. There is nothing like a bright-eyed, smiling, squealing baby to remind you that life is meant to be enjoyed, that you can approach the world with open arms. And there's nothing like a nursing or sleeping or snuggling baby to remind you that life is meant to be peaceful and that we need to rest, trust, and be vulnerable enough to depend upon others.
My life is good. As ever, I seek to better appreciate just how good it is and to enjoy it more. I'm ready to stretch and look forward to seeing what shape I'm in when 2011 draws to a close.
Any New Year's Resolutions? What one word would you choose for yourself for 2011? Have you chosen a yearly theme word before?


Steph said...

Happiest of new years to you, dear MEP. And thank you for the lovely family photo!!

You are totally going to ROCK those skinny jeans - you are gorgeous! And I love your word, stretch. I wish we lived closer!

Stacia said...

Heck, I'd move to where you are just to be your in-person friend, if I could. And maybe you could talk me into some skinny jeans. Then again, probably not. Unless I could borrow a big sweater??

dusty earth mother said...

Look at that adorable little girl that came out of you :-) Talk about a "stretch". Happy New Year, dearest wonderful Mep!

Heather said...

LOVE your word!

I've done the word for the year once (see my post today b/c obviously great minds think alike and that was my theme, too). My word this year is "charity".

I would love to be your everyday "bunker" friend, if only we lived closer. Guess I'll have to settle for your bloggy friend, for now :)

And I agree, you will ROCK those skinny jeans in 2011!

Anonymous said...

Stretch is a wonderful theme for 2011! May the New Year bring you so much happiness, and a couple of mom friends to ease your loneliness! (I know that feeling; I lived with it for many years.)

Actchy said...

I am sure I'm not alone in my surprise that you haven't already referred to yourself as a writer. No stretch there, my friend.

CaraBee said...

Happy new year, MEP!

I think STRETCH is an excellent word for the year. It is appropriate for so many situations. I know that I could do with some stretching. In a number of ways.

As always, I wish that we lived closer. Heck, I wish I were even in short driving distance. We could have playdates and girls' nights. Sigh.

What one word would I use for myself this year? Hmm. I'll have to think on that one.

Tiffany said...

That's perfect. I think mine is done. Writing a post about it tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

Love the post in every way. Good things are coming your way in 2011. I think my word for the year may be "dream", it has been far too long since I have done that. m

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

I love that you see this period as a stretching period before the next big stage. That's a really good analogy for parenthood. Some stages require active preparations and coordination and some flow more easily.

Hope to get to see YOU this year! We should do a blogger coffee luncheon thingybob. :)

E... said...

What a great word. One of the things I love about you is your ability to have this sort of perspective on your life and that you usually are actively involved in improvement.
You KNOW that I wish I could be in your day to day bunker. I still hold out secret hope you're coming back to the promised land sometime. But I am going to mentally release that hope, because it is high time you find people who recognize what an awesome friend you are.

Anonymous said...

I am not commenting on the stretching, although I am liking that word for this time of life too..

I bought and tried and think I ate more than I needed of those samoas tyoe cookies from Keebler - they were on sale at the Jewel - oh that was a bad thing to introduce to me! -sarah

Hope you guys are all good - let's do another play date soon - the basement is finished so it would be easier, and less messy!

Lady Jennie said...

Wow that sounds great. My word was strength, but as the new year passed I began to realize that 2011 need to be about building. Building family in our church, finish building our house that has been under construction. Building friendships in my area - like you I am lonely.

Anonymous said...

I miss you in my day-day life. You got me through a long chicago winter once upon a time.

sara g.

Anonymous said...

Stretch will be a great outreach effort!!! Am always very proud of you and I know that soon your loving care of very young children will not be so isolating and lonely. Why don't we plan a playdate asap??? Love to you and your precious family!

Blog Designed by : NW Designs