In years past I haven’t been one to choose a word on which to base the upcoming year. I’m not a bandwagon jumper. I don’t make concrete resolutions. Sometimes I formulate an idea in my head that I want for the months to come, but it’s likely forgotten by February or March. But this one came to me in a dream, or more like a drive to the grocery store, and I had to sit up and pay attention.
2012 was a good year. Despite the fact that I didn’t seem to be able to remember much about it, I did some amazing things. I attended three small, but inspiring conferences. I stood on a real stage and read one of my most heartfelt and emotionally exhausting pieces to an audience of nearly 200 real people. I trudged through 12 miles of mud and obstacles and lived to tell about it. I signed on and started training to run my first half marathon, coming up in March. And in between all of those events, I shared some wonderful times with my family, from road trips to lazy Sundays.
I feel fortunate that I was able to take part in these things, but something is still missing. I feel disconnected from myself and from real life in general. I feel discombobulated. Unorganized. Disheveled. Let’s see how many more synonyms I can look up. Basically I feel like I am constantly grasping for something just out of my reach. My calendars are half filled, although my days and weeks are booked. My house and mind are cluttered in a way that makes me feel like I am drowning. I can’t remember a thing, and I can barely finish a thought.
I’ve been trapped in a fog. For almost 5 long years. My dear friend Christina has coined this the Kid Fog: the haze that often overcomes parents of small children. We’re so busy caring for these little people — and let’s not pretend that they aren’t more demanding than a drill sergeant on a bad day — that everything else falls by the wayside. We maintain our home just enough to keep it from imploding. I scramble to get everyone dressed and out the door on school days. We have plans for things we want to do, then get caught up in the monotany of day to day life. My goal each morning is to get through through that day. I rarely look ahead to the next, even less the upcoming weeks or months.
But I need to emerge from this fog.
I came home from those three conferences with pages filled with notes and a head filled with inspiration. But that’s where I stopped. I haven’t instituted any of the tips I learned to help tweak my site or better my writing. I haven’t set goals for myself, much less mapped out a plan on how to reach them. Even pieces published here on this blog are often written quickly and with less thought that I would like. See, I enjoy being inspired. I’ll nod my head along with the best of them, but when it comes to taking action…well, it all goes on the backburner because the three squeaky wheels are getting all the grease.
I must say I’m tired of it. I’m tired of squinting my eyes through the fog and struggling to see what’s next. I’m ready to see again, ready to make plans and set goals and forge a path to what I want to come next, even if it’s tentative. I’ll still welcome the happy accidents of life that often surprise us (unless that happy accident includes a baby. Then I would like to choose another path please).
But am I supposed to wait for this fog to lift on its own? Won’t that be like waiting until you’re “ready” to have kids or waiting until you’re “ready” to jump into that pool of ice water? (Hint: you will never be ready for either.)
My word for 2013 is emerge. Instead of waiting for the Kid Fog to lift, I’m ready to emerge and start collecting more bits and pieces of me. I want to DO more, but that doing has to be productive. I want to feed my mind more. I want to see my friends more, start journaling again, read more, write more, run more, clean more (yes, you read that right). I want to see more, take my kids more places, experience more of my wonderful city through them. I want to spend more time with my husband. I want to live my life, not just get through my days.
2013 has a lot in store, and honestly? I need to get my shit together. I have a new writing gig that I’m very excited about that I’ll annouce soon. My first half marathon is coming up in March, and I plan on running more races after that. Christian and I want to complete the next Tough Mudder Austin in April, even though I’m still terrified of the electricity. If I skip it, I skip it, but I want to see if I can push myself like that again. I plan on not just surviving this summer with my kids, but enjoying it, as it will be our last summer before Rachel and Claire start kindergarten, and I want to soak up every ounce of them before sending them off. And let’s face it, I’m a much better mother when I’m not consumed by said motherhood 24/7. I think we all are.
All of this sounds overwhelming in a time when so many others are choosing to simplify. But that thing that I’m constantly grasping for that is just out of reach is my life beyond the fog. It’s the me that I haven’t been able to tend to or pay as much attention to in the almost 5 years since having children, these sweet and wonderful girls who fill me with so much love, yet zap me of all of my energy and brain cells. It’s the me that needs to be there as they grow older, and in order for me to be ther for them, I need a little of myself back. I’m selfish like that.
So. 2013. You. Me. Emerge.