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Words for the New Year

Christmas has come and gone. I hope you enjoyed your holiday as much as I did. The biggest highlight of this holiday season was seeing my son experience so much joy and happiness from spending quality time with parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

As 2017 comes to a close, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want my focus to be for next year. As I think about what I learned about myself in 2017, I have settled on two words that will be important for me to focus on in 2018. Home and Self-care.

Home.

We’ve been in our house now for almost 3 years. However, I don’t feel like I have really embraced this house as home. When we first moved in, I was busy finishing graduate school. I got pregnant soon after and then we had our son. In the midst of all those big life changes we slowly started making the house our own. Throughout this year, I have found myself thinking about what our next house could be like. What features I want in the house and neighborhood, how I would decorate, what I would do differently in the home buying process, and on and on. If I’m honest, a lot of these thoughts have been motivated by comparison to what others have. Beyond that, the housing market in our area makes the thought of the next home even more enticing. In the last few years, the area we live in has grown tremendously and our home value has increased. We could probably sell our house quickly, but it would be hard for us to find another house that we could afford in the area. The reality is, we will likely be in the house for many years to come.

I realize now that the thought of the newer, nicer house has limited my appreciation for the house I currently have. In focusing on unrealistic ideas of the next, I have lost my focus on making my current house home. So, in 2018 I want to invest time and effort into projects that will help cultivate a greater feeling of home. For me that means finally creating my office/reading room, decorating, and organizing our spaces to make them as functional as possible. Beyond that, I hope to continue to be able to open our home to others.
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Self-care.

I’ve encountered the term self-care a lot lately in various books, articles, and podcasts I have read or listened to. I have come to understand this concept as essential to personal well-being.

As I think about my life, I feel like self-care is something I’ve always struggled with. My personality naturally leads me to put others before myself, but in meeting the needs of others I often neglect to take time to care for me. Becoming a mom hasn’t made the struggle any easier, instead it has added another element to my struggle with self-care, mom guilt. In the moments when I have taken some time for myself mom guilt usually set in quickly. As a result, my focus during “me time” usually isn’t on me. I cut me time short or don’t have it at all which only makes me crave more and more time to myself. Then I feel more guilt for craving more time and the cycle of poor self-care continues.

I’ve realized how this lack of self-care has “damaged” my soul. At times I have lost my sense of self and haven’t been sure how to reignite passion for things that I enjoy. I know that I can’t continue like this. If I’m not taking time to care for me, how can I really have anything to offer to others? If I want to be the best version of me for my husband, son, family, and friends I have to do better at caring for myself.

I want to enter 2018 with a fresh perspective on self-care. From all the books, blogs, podcasts, etc. that I’ve read or listened to two things has been consistent in the self-care conversation

1) take time to do something for yourself  that nourishes your mind, body, spirit, and soul every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes

2) communicate with those closest to you what you need

I have to be intentional about making self-care a daily practice and I have to do better as letting my husband know when I need a moment to myself. In 2018, my hope is that I can truly commit to doing those two things better.

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Stay tuned for updates in the new year on how I’m doing in these two areas.

Happy New Year!

Have you made any New Year’s resolutions? What will be your focus in 2018? Comment below!

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