It’s funny that this word and what it means scares me more than any of the “big” “dream” resolutions of years past. I look at all these New Year’s posts and pins that are all about swinging for the fences and trying new things and living life more colorfully, and it feels so strange to kind of be doing the opposite. But, really, that’s why it’s right for me.
See, I’ve always been a “big” “dream” resolution-er. Write a book! Learn a crazy new thing! Accomplish big goals! S.M.A.R.T. goals! Career and world goals! The inspirational designs featuring quotes from badass females about crushing life and tackling your dreams have always been a favorite of mine. Seriously. Pinboards full of them will attest. And some years that has been really good and made me really happy.
But this year is different. I’m coming off a year that really beat me down pretty good. I was humbled, schooled, trimmed. It’s not that going after big dreams is a bad idea, or that it failed because that’s not the case. It’s just that big dreams should never be the foundation of your pyramid, and when storms come it’s the foundation that you need. Storms came last year, and it was so painfully obvious that my focus on revolving projects and ideas was only going to make me happy if it came at the right times – when everything else was solid. So many of my projects, ideas, dreams, and goals were derailed or scaled back last year due to the simple storms of life. I learned the hard way that living a foundational life gave me stability and happiness, and adding in projects slowly and where I had the time/energy was not only the NORMAL way of doing it, but was also much more successful.
2017 is about that. 2017 is about foundations. 2017 is about Home.
I am so excited for it because I know it’s right and it has a high likelihood of success. I am so scared for it because it’s a whole collection of things that I’ve enjoyed, but never came naturally.
Who is a Danica who doesn’t throw a party/gathering each month? Who is a Danica who doesn’t run all over Orem every day? Who is a Danica who cooks every day? Who is a Danica who doesn’t volunteer to host showers and sign up for every commitment? Who is a Danica who sweeps her floors? We don’t even know, you guys.
I’ve always felt comfortable with the labels “busybody” or “go-getter” or “psycho” or “overachiever.” But I think the problem has come in me feeling like I had to *live up* to those labels when I didn’t feel like it or it wasn’t right for me. More importantly, I’m about to be a mother of two. I can only hang onto the parts of those labels that benefit my little family. Am I going to plan like a fiend? ALWAYS. Am I going to do Harry Potter Book Club and blogging and Favorite Things and Bach Night and Mommy Walking Group and the gym and teach planning classes? Yeah hopefully! But the focus can no longer ~be those things. They will have to fit in once I’ve found a good balance and foundation in the things that matter. The things of HOME.
So what does “Home” mean as my word of 2017? It means waking up every day with my priority already set to be my home, rather than things/people/events outside it. It means spending more time here. Making it our own. Keeping it running smoothly. Filling it with the feelings we want. Nurturing the two little girls inside it. Moving toward our next home. Inviting the people we love into it. Fewer vacations from it. More memories in it.
As with any “word” versus a “resolution” it’s going to be more vague, but there’s power in that. You can tackle big problems, small problems, happy days, sad days, questions, puzzles, and blank spaces with a “word” when resolutions seem more targeted and limited. A word will flow with you through big changes and unforeseen challenges, when resolutions (lose 10 pounds!) become obsolete (I got pregnant!). Of course I am still going to set some resolutions and goals, duh. And some of them will stem from this word: home. Here are a few (more solid, official list coming Thursday!):
- Clean more and clean daily. I am so much happier with a cleaner house! I just don’t do it for some reason. It’s the first thing to be thrown out when pursuing all my lofty projects and dreams. But instead I’m chilling on those and filling up a bucket of suds.
- Cook more and eat at home more. This is HUGE for us. We eat out A LOT. Not only do I want to learn to cook more, but we’d also like to save a good portion of that eating out money for our new home. We got 3 cookbooks for Christmas and we spent last Friday night going through them with sticky flags and one of us (I’ll let you guess who) made a spreadsheet to log all the recipes we want to try. We’re excited!!!!!
- Reese Time. I’ve written about this a lot, but I want to spend distinct, planned, good time with her that makes us both better. Rather than getting her situated with toys so I can write or do laundry or eat a snack, I want to spend some real one-on-one, nurturing mom time with her. The toddler book I read said toddlers need A. Reading Time, B. Creative Time, and C. Outside/Physical Play Time every day. So it’s my goal to get her that time every day. We won’t be perfect, especially in the newborn adjustment phase. But I’m gonna shoot for it!
- Babies > Work. Kind of along with Reese Time, I want my babies (yes I’ll still call Reese my baby) to always take priority over my work. I never have ~that much work that I can’t put it off until they go to sleep. My goal is to do no work while they’re awake. I know I won’t stick to that – some days I’ll be busy, some days they won’t sleep, some days Reese will magically be playing perfectly on her own and I’ll just smash out some work quickly. But the goal stands.
- Be Happier at Home. This means spending more time here. Spending less time and money at malls, on vacation, attending various events and parties, etc. I still love and need those! I just don’t want it to be because I’m bored or escaping home. Making my home a happier place where I want to be isn’t hard, and will make everything so much better.
- Buy a Home! This is it. This is the year. I thought it was last year, but job changes and health rodeos meant most of the year was spent in reaction/survival. But this year IT’S ON.
- Refine my taste, style, design. I want my home to reflect who I am, who we are. I started this process in September with the KonMari method, and I’ve also started to dabble more in home design blogs and pins and general browsing.
- Systems. Meal planning, grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry, baby/toddler schedules, taking advantage of everything all the time. I want my home and life to be a well-oiled machine, as much as it possibly can be with a toddler and a newborn.
- Christ-Centered Home. During the #LighttheWorld advent I sadly realized I didn’t have a picture of Jesus in Reese’s room (I bought one), and only had ONE in my house. And only one temple pic! Not that we need Jesus on every wall or anything, but I really want to bring Christ into my home more this year. Simple stuff. Prayer before bed with Reese (we started recently and it’s adorable – she loves yelling “A-Meeee!” at the end). FHE. Sunday rituals. Stuff like that.
These goals seem so lame. Like, doesn’t everyone just already do this? Cook and clean and hang at home? Danica, you’re the lamest. Also you’re a terrible feminist. None of this is your ~stuff.
But that’s the thing. All of this is my ~stuff. All of this is going to BE my stuff for a long, long time. And I am very happy about that! Being a stay-at-home-mom is much better than I anticipated, and I want to be better at it. Being a good mom will bring me much more joy than all the projects and side hustles and groups of friends, even though I love them and they’re important too.
I am afraid this will make me stir crazy. I am afraid this will make me lose myself. I am afraid I will find a way to fail at being just an average mom who cooks and cleans and hangs with her babies.
I am certain, deep down, that this is what’s right for me and my family right now. I am certain that saving the clubs and parties and projects and ideas for when I have time and energy will make me happier and help me appreciate them more (they can be fun and not work!). I am certain that my husband, my babies, my God, and my best self will benefit from focusing on the stuff that truly matters, even when mopping a floor seems awful compared with creating a toddler playgroup co-op club. (I’m still gonna do that this year, stay tuned lol.)
2017 is about HOME. You’ll find me here. And hopefully it’ll smell like Pine-Sol.