The New Year always has me looking at my life, taking stock of where things stand and where I want them to be. I can’t help but acknowledge life’s wins and losses, especially as my age now hovers closer to 50 than 40. My body and mind still think I’m 27, but my real age says otherwise.
The last couple years have been rough ones. After six years, I’m only now coming to terms with the loss of my dad and the changes I see in my mom. I’ve accepted that my beach house will most likely never be replaced after the fire that destroyed it. I don’t need to build another. I’ll visit new places now. I’m ok with the fact that what I want for my children isn’t really what they want. I know they have to live their own lives and my job is to make sure they know I love them. They’re mostly at the age now where they are ok pointing out my downfalls, too, and I’m even accepting of that. I know I made the best decisions I could for them at the time those choices were made, with the information I was given. No, I don’t have nearly enough money saved to retire any time soon, but luckily, I love what I do and don’t really want to stop doing it any time soon. The paycheck pays the bills, but the work is something I’d want to be doing even if I wasn’t paid to do it (just don’t tell my boss). I’m fortunate in that way. I carry more weight than I’d like (physically), but that’s because I still have a hard time saying no to a cookie and really don’t enjoy exercise the way I wish I did. All in all, I’m good. Life is good.
Sure, I’m a mess when it comes to love. I blame part of this on my dad, who pretty much adored my mom, setting me up to look for men who would do the same for me, not realizing just how rare it was and how much work it would require to make love last. They made it seem so easy. That’s just not been the case with me. I’ve struggled in relationships…still do. I used to say I blame my picker, thinking I chose the wrong guys, but I know I play just as big a role in the failures as they do. However, I am still in the game, still full of hope that one day things will be easier in the love department. Until then, I’ll work on loving myself a little more.
That’s a hard lesson to learn. I know so many people these days seem to be the other extreme—very selfish and wrapped up in their own dramas, but I’ve had more than a few friends share with me that they’re exactly where I am. Struggling to put themselves first after years of being last on their own lists.
For so many years—decades even—they’ve taken care of everyone else. While no one was taking care of them. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be, and my friends—and I—are waking up. Like little Sleeping Beauties all around the globe (who, ironically, for many years got very little sleep because of our penchant for putting others first) are now staring in the mirror and saying ‘it’s my turn’.
Sure, life is good. Good enough.
But it’s not what we thought it would be and many of us want another chance. We want our second act, our next chapter, our do-over, if you will.
And I want to help make it happen for all of us.
So, part of my new year plans include a new project. Something that will fill my soul, and hopefully, your soul, too.
It’s called Celebrating Simple, and it’s a movement, if you will.
A movement among moms who have always taken care of everyone else, now eager to take care of themselves.
Nope, we’re not ignoring our other responsibilities. That’s not who we are.
Now, we are just looking for our identities to be less about being mom, and more about being ‘me’.
We’ve learned so much as moms. Now, we get to learn about just being us again.
I want to ignite the movement because I believe deep down in my gut that this is not all there is. We are more than a mom, more than our kids, and more than a wife. I think finding out who we are again starts with the simple things. Remembering what makes us smile—beyond our families. Whether that’s a piece of dark chocolate or a great glass of Prosecco… a walk in the park or a great session of yoga…small things that make us smile when we take the time to enjoy them.
I want to find these things—and help you find them, too– and celebrate all of them together.
Look for more information on Celebrating Simple in the coming weeks. In the meantime, start thinking now about the little things that make you happy. Let’s make this the year you reconnect with the good stuff, the year you fill your soul with your version of happy.