When the New Year hits, everybody has their list of resolutions. The older I get and the better I understand myself, the more I realize that specific, lofty goals don't sit well with me. Or maybe it's that I don't create a detailed plan of action to attain that goal and follow through. Here are just a few examples:
Lose X amount of weight
This goal is usually thrown out the window come February. I get so fixated on my diet and become so strict on daily visits to the gym that shortly following, I explode. AKA I throw in the towel and go back to my old habits. And to top it off, my husband, who is a personal trainer and could call the gym his second home, will regularly stick to his salmon-only dinners and hit the gym for cardio and weights twice a day. I think to myself, I want his will power and motivation...oh well, guess I'll watch this Long Island Medium marathon and eat more chocolate. FAIL.
I log onto FaceBook and see all my friends hopping from place to place. The east coast, the west coast, another country. It really does sound lovely. But let's be realistic. In order to have the funds, I gotta work. And if I'm at work, I ain't travelin'.
Work with 2 new clients/month
If I'm solely focusing on the quantity, am I providing quality? Probably not...at least not all of the time. I found that I was stressing so much about scheduling and making ends meet financially that I had a difficult time enjoying my job.
My goal for 2014? To be more mindful.
The dictionary defines "mindful" as attentive, aware, or careful. Being more mindful in all areas of my life is a very feasible goal. Instead of negative self-talk about my figure, my work load, or my boring 'ole Indiana life...I will put things in a more positive light. I'll be more mindful of my strengths, my limits, and of those around me. I'll do what I can, with what I have, exactly where I'm at.
I will be more mindful of:
It's pretty often that 5pm rolls around and I've got a pounding headache and no energy. You know why? Because at that point in time, I realize I've had 2 cups of coffee, 2 cups of water, a yogurt, and maybe a banana. This is not good. Will someone slap me and remind me that I will die if I don't provide myself with nutrients and WATER?! In 2014, I vow to pay attention to my nutrition, and there will always be a cup of water on my desk.
I cannot go to the gym today because:
A) I didn't get enough sleep
B) I didn't pack a gym bag the night before
C) the house is a mess!
The answer is D) All of the above...because I am an excuse maker! THERE, I SAID IT! I feel like this could only get worse, especially if we throw kids in the mix one day. So, in 2014 I promise to take better care of myself. I'll let those dishes pile up and leave the laundry wrinkly if that means 30 minutes of cardio. Or better yet, I'll make...I mean ask... my husband do it ;)
As a birth and postpartum doula and childbirth educator, I know that evidence-based information is key. I understand that every family is unique and what works for some folks won't work for others. My goal for 2014 is to become more aware of the information that's out there (both good and bad), become better at active listening and brainstorming, and be a better advocate for families. Okay, so that's more than just being mindful, but you gotta start somewhere!
My internet usage
It's so silly...but it's so true! It's a love/hate thing when it comes to me and social media. I love FaceBook...I could scroll through my news feed for hours, browsing through various articles, memes, photos, you name it. That being said, it is a TOTAL time suck. I could be doing so many other things! This past October, I decided to deactivate my account and didn't log back on for 2 months. I do believe that my time away from FaceBook helped me separate my *actual* world from cyber world. Letting go wasn't as hard as I thought it be, and in fact, I kind of enjoyed it. Not exactly an "off the grid" status, but it allowed me time to focus on what really mattered. It will be okay if I never saw photos of your fabulous wedding or adorable baby or that time the temp went into the negatives (wink, wink).
So, I may still post photos of my dinner (sorry), create a status gushing over the best day ever, or share a number of parenting articles, but I will do it with discretion in 2014. I promise!
The love I receive
Damn, it feels good to feel cared for, doesn't it? I realize that I take that feeling for granted every single day. In 2014, I promise to appreciate kind words and thoughtful gestures. I will express my gratitude, give hugs, and tell my mom I love her more often. I will also make more phone calls and write more letters, rather than emailing, texting, or sending a FaceBook message.
The energy I put out there
I may not live by the "YOLO" motto, but you only get one life. I hope that in 2014, I will gain more knowledge, meet some new people, pick up a new hobby, and experience new things. And I'll do what I can, with what I have, exactly where I'm at....'cause it's a good place to be.
2013 had its ups and downs, but overall, it was a fantastic year. Here's what made it so great:
Josh proposed on Christmas Day 2012, and the days that followed were filled with love and support, not only from my hubby, but from our close friends and family members. We want to thank everyone for your kindness and enthusiasm throughout all of the festivities. Married life does not feel any different, but I believe we have a stronger sense of community since our special day.
The Maxwell clan grew in 2013 as we added a new kitten, September, to our family!
Thanks to Colin McClain and Katie Vernon's amazing artistic abilities, I got a rad tattoo.
Josh and I traveled to North Carolina and Florida for a couple mini-vacations. A little fun in the sun, hiking and rafting, and catching up with old friends made for fabulous getaways!
I supported many new and growing families as a birth and postpartum doula. It was a pleasure getting to know each and every one of you! Thank you for welcoming me into your lives.
I had the opportunity to meet amazing families through my involvement at Bloomington Area Birth Services as a childbirth educator and volunteer birth doula.
I provided childcare to a few of my favorite families in the Bloomington area. I also helped lead the summer program at Harmony Education Center--full of outdoor activities, arts & crafts, field trips, and phenomenal little humans.
And last, but not least, I accepted a job offer as a leasing consultant at Abodes, Inc. I've been at it for a little over a month, and I really enjoy the work! This job is really the opposite from other gigs I've worked-- as I am now in an office full-time, Monday-Friday. The consistent hours are definitely different from what I'm used to, but it feels good. Unfortunately, because of my new position, I can no longer take on birth doula clients. I do believe the skills I practiced as a doula have carried over into my new profession. Being an active listener and helping people feel comfortable in their homes is a huge part of my job as a leasing consultant.
With that being said, I want folks to know that I will still be offering postpartum doula services in the evenings and over the weekends. I also hope to continue teaching childbirth education when I have free time, too. Although I am sad that I will not be attending births in 2014, I know that this community is full to the brim with compassionate birth workers who can help Bloomington families advocate for healthy, happy birth experiences. I will miss the prenatal meetings, the exciting, "I think I'm in labor!" phone calls, and seeing the look on parents' faces when their babies are born. I do hope I can return to the birth world someday in the future when the time is right-- I can't imagine staying away for too long!
Happy New Year!