Giving birth to James in September made 2018 my most life-changing year so far. It has only been 16 weeks, but I can barely remember what it felt like before him, and I like that. I like that he feels like someone I’ve always known and always loved. Nothing and no one has ever made me feel such uncontainable joy all at once. But motherhood is a ride. It’s the highest highs and the lowest lows and everything in between dialed up to a ten.
I’ve never felt such gratitude—for my baby boy, for my unconditionally loving and patient husband, for my family and best friends, for my health, and for you. I’m so lucky to get to live another year of this life.
In 2019, I resolve to:
This year, I’m resolving to practice mindfulness in each and every moment that I can. I’ll acknowledge now that as someone with a very, very busy mind, it won’t be easy and I won’t do it all that well. But I can commit to trying. So when I find myself in that familiar pattern of either ruminating on the past or stressing about the future, I’ll breathe and start again. And when I find that I can’t focus on the here and now because I have a constant loop of shoulds and wishes and dreads playing in my head, I’ll breathe again, and start over, again.
I’d like to think I’m a kind person. Kindness, after all, is a quality I value deeply in others. But if I spend, oh, say 12 out of every 24 hours tearing myself down, I have to wonder if maybe I’m not doing kindness right.
I heard Brene Brown say recently that you can’t give anyone anything that you don’t have. That feels true, and it reminds me how faulty it is to think of kindness as a one-way street. It also reminds me that if I’m ever going to show James how radiant, how meaningful, how transformative kindness is, I’ve got some work of my own to do.
For the past two months, since James hit 8 weeks, I’ve been eating mostly wholesome food again. I’ve been buying vegetables, like I used to. Daniel and I returned to cooking dinner every night. All of these things we’d abandoned in the zombie apocalypse that was our first month with James. But it’s easier now. Our lives are steadier, more predictable. We can string together five hours of sleep in a row. And slowly but surely, I’m seeing the weight come off. I have a long way to go, but for the first time in my entire life, I don’t feel at odds with my body. Eating is the easiest it’s ever been and no one is more surprised than me to say that. I hope to keep this good feeling throughout 2019 and beyond.
Since it can be so cold this time of year, we don’t take James outside all that much. Either it’s a quick walk to the mailbox or we’re transferring him from the car to the house. But whenever we do bundle him up and take a stroll around the block, he seems to enjoy it (at least before falling fast asleep). I’d like to get him some fresh air more often, even if only for a few minutes.
Spend More Time as a Family
James is the sweetest, smiliest little person in the world, but he seems to have a tough time with sleep. To help him and also ensure that both Daniel and I get some rest, we started taking shifts. And for the most part, it has improved our lives significantly. But sleeping at opposite times can be lonely, so one hope I have for 2019 is that James will begin to sleep a little better (can you sense my fear of jinxing us?) and that Daniel’s and my sleep will align more and more, allowing us to do even more things all together as a family.
Do the Hard Work
I leave 2018 acknowledging that I definitely didn’t get enough work done. I could tell you all of my excuses—about how pregnancy made me more lethargic than normal and how once I gave birth I felt like I’d been turned inside out—but the truth is, I just need to own it and do better. I need to write even when I hate everything that comes out of me, I need to write through the many, many times that lead me to google “how to put two sentences together” because every time I want to run in the opposite direction of my laptop, I always, always, always feel better when I move past my own resistance and just do. the. work. This resolution isn’t about making promises to you; it’s about keeping promises to me.
What are your goals for the upcoming year?