New Years Reflection 2015/2016

2:16 PM

I've been trying to fill out a little "resolutions" survey every Dec 31st on this blog. I was shocked to realize this is my fifth year in a row posting a New Years Reflection on this blog... 

Just to keep myself accountable, here are my former reflections:


So let's get into it... in 2015:

What did you create?
  • I built a massive heavy duty shelving system for all my Rubbermaid storage totes, I felt like a freaking Hulk when I was done
  • A 3 bed garden which gave me so many delicious things
  • A therapeutic gardening program for the forensic mental health clients at work, including cooking classes from the harvest
  • A daily yoga routine that also creates: a butt (needed one)
  • Hundreds of yummy meals
  • More organization in a number of places in the house (the pantry, the front closet, my side of the bedroom closet, the kids' toys)

What challenges did you face with courage and strength?

  • A close friend's cancer diagnosis
  • Losing my regular rotation shift and going back to working part-time
  • Deciding our family stops at two children
  • The Keg taking the goat cheese appetizer off the menu
  • Suicide Squad releasing a trailer SO SO SO long before the movie comes out (omg, I'm dying in anticipation)

What promises did you keep? 
  • My usual car related promises: always wear a seat belt, always use a car seat properly, never stop on a railroad track, don't text and drive, don't drink and drive. I'm like scary-good at this stuff - if I drink half a cider beer four hours ago I still make Calvin drive. :)
  • To be gentle on my children
  • I don't call in sick to work when I'm not sick
  • I don't buy dinner when I could make dinner  (same goes for breakfast and lunch)

What brave choices did you make?
  • To eat this chicken that kind of looked undercooked
  • To attend work functions even though I feel so socially awkward
  • To dye my hair light blonde

What are you proud of?
  • I've just interviewed for a leadership role at work
  • Oliver is learning his letters really well
  • Dakota eats super spicy food like a champion, and sushi and seafood, and fine cheese

What was disappointing?
  • All the times I forgot my leftovers after they'd been boxed up at a restaurant
  • Getting a ticket for forgetting to update my licence sticker
  • Turning 28 which is so close to 30
  • The night I stayed up for SNL and then it was a re-run
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs

What was scary?
  • Our car hitting black ice and smashing into a pole last month
  • Every time I hear a noise downstairs in the middle of the night & think I'm being Elizabeth Smart-ed
  • Donald Trump

What was hard?
  • Oliver starting school full-time
  • Saying good bye to our very best friends, the Medlands, as they moved to Scotland

What can you forgive yourself for?
  • The amount of chocolate I've consumed
  • Briefly falling asleep during Star Wars: The Force Awakens (honestly, it was like 30 seconds)

The next step is to say out loud, “I declare 2015 complete!”

How do you feel?
Like a baby sparrow flying through a warm rain, gliding along toward a full harvest moon that illuminates an entire field of sunflowers below, while the rest of the world sleeps in silence.

The final step is to consider your primary focus for the year to come. What is your primary intention or theme for 2016?

Let's first take a look at how I did with my 2015 focus...

My intention this year is to find a routine. That I can see a week and know our rhythm. To reduce the chaos. For my children to feel secure in where they'll be and who will care for them every day of the week. To always pack my lunches, pull out my clothes and have my bags ready for the day ahead. 
I've really attempted to do this but the biggest barrier is my work schedule. I made a calendar with magnetic photos of myself, Calvin, my mom, and Calvin's mom so Oliver could always know who was babysitting him the next day. I stopped using it when he started school because he knows he has school every weekday and Dakota is too young to really grasp the calendar. I do pack lunches and lay out my clothes the night before, pretty religiously. As I move toward my goal of having a regular work schedule this will fix itself somewhat.

To snuggle my two treasures constantly, and be amazed by them, and listen every time they're talking, and never chose a screen over them. To write them emails to read in the future, and take pictures of everything. To find out who they are, what they need, what drives them and what exhausts them, and how I can make them better, every day. To invest in them and model what a good person is like, so that they can say that I was a positive example in their lives. 
I think I've chosen a screen way too many times. The phone needs to go away. It's terrible. That said I've done well at the rest: I send them future emails all the time and take photos of the important stuff/ nag family members to forward their photos to me when I can't be at an event. I love listening and trying to understand both of them. I have really nailed Dakota's eating and sleeping pattern needs, Oliver is still a mystery to me. I try to model the character of a good person to them (I make sure to let them see me - donate money, do things for other people, say yes to filling a need, etc.) and I loudly recognize the character of other people (if they get a free cookie at the grocery store I announce - isn't that awfully generous of that baker?) - sadly I was recently asked by Oliver if I'm actually a good person or if I'm secretly a bad one. Too many Anakin Skywalker library books for him.

And to ship them off to bed at a reasonable hour so that I can spend one-on-one time with the only man I need be spending one-on-one time with. To actively do things to make it known that he is special. To never leave him seeking for attention, compliments or approval. 
This is my year's greatest fail. Typically if Calvin and I have evening time together it's spent in front of the tv. Or I'm on my phone. I use up all my 'nice Amy' for everyone else and save all the 'exhausted Amy' for him. I think I've done an absolute ton in my eyes to make him feel special but the bulk of it is in my love-language - so I cook for him constantly, take care of his laundry, the dishes, clean up after him, and then I think I've done a great job when really he doesn't respond to acts of service, he wants touch & praise. I hate praise because it feels fake if it's not authentic. I definitely need to try harder.

To give credit where credit is due, and then even extra where it's not. To give more than I receive. To over-praise and under-complain. To be a treat and a joy to be around, 99% of the time. 
I'd like to say I'm doing well in this area. I would like to do even more of this with the staff at work, including sending cards of gratitude for a job well done.

And to myself: to get enough sleep, enough water, enough activity, enough greens, enough alone time, to be my very best at almost-all times.
I've certainly tried to get my sleep (and have succeeded more often than not), I drink all my water, I eat all my veggies, and I've exercised (in the form of yoga) more this year than any other year. I spend the time I need to alone, and I do try to be better and better every day. Good job, Amy. Now read more books you goof. 

And now, for 2016.
My occupational goal for the coming year is self mastery. On a moral/cognitive/political level I am an eclectic ball of weirdness, and there's nothing wrong with this, however, my many inconsistencies don't work in a leadership role. At work, as I look to bigger and brighter things I need to be able to align with and articulate the vision of the organization in a way that doesn't waiver when others disagree with it. I am eternally hearing people's side of the story and then validating it, rather than helping them understand my side (with empathy of course) and looking for their understanding of where I'm coming from. Maybe it's just because I'm in an 'interview' season but this career goal is pretty pivotal to me.

At home, I'd like to see some of our junkier meal choices (mac n cheese, etc.) find their way out of the frequent rotation. I'd like to continue with my daily yoga and arse-loads of water and commitment to sleep against all odds. I'd like to wage war against sugar which I don't even like much, and it certainly doesn't like me because after consuming it I feel like death.

I'd like to listen, listen, listen when people talk and remember the things they say as though they are as important to me as they are to them. I want to be a "So how did your daughter's math test end up going last week?" type person. I adore those people.. when you think, how did you even remember that I talked about that? I want to be a massive source of positivity in many lives, that time spent with me leaves others believing in better things. This would be helped by complaining less and speaking poorly of people as-close-to-never-as-possible. I'd like to play more music, read more books, spend more time in nature. Snuggle tons of dogs and babies. Put lavender bath salts in a tub of hot water more often.

2016 will see my daughter as a two year old, and my son turning five mid-way. It will be my six year wedding anniversary. At the end, I'll turn 29. I'll have been with my current workplace for three years. And we'll celebrate two years of living in this house. I'll renew my licence plate again, probably break a few wine glasses, cry when the Leafs are mathematically out of the playoffs, and go on a family vacation to somewhere warm. I'll get max two hair cuts, I'll be convinced I have a broken rib at least once, I'll be told by a doctor I need antibiotics but not actually fill the prescription, and I'll stop at a yellow light that I should have driven through upwards of 500 times - these are guarantees.

I hope this year I choose myself when I need rest, nourishment, quiet, excitement, encouragement or creative pursuits, to be my best person; and then choose others the total rest of the time. I want to care for myself so that my cup is full, and then pour, pour, pour into whoever needs it. And maybe I'll update the blog a handful of times too. Love you all.

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