Wow. I can't believe yet another year has flown by. Time flies when you are having fun, right? Problem is, I don't recall a lot of fun last year. Don't get me wrong, there were bits and pieces of it here and there, but I don't recall a lot of laughter. More on that in a minute...
Like many, the end of the year for me causes me reflect on what went well and what didn't. There was lots that went well, i.e., everyone has been healthy, the kids are doing well, I've got a job I enjoy, we are managing financially (notice I said managing vs. thriving) despite the crappy economy, etc. We are fortunate and most appreciative for all this.
But the other night, while we were having what seems to have become a rare family movie night, I heard something that I have not heard in a very long time -- belly aching laughter. It was infectious as it spread around the room. It made me feel warm inside. As I basked in its glow, I realized it does not occur nearly as much as it should.
Why, I wondered? Why is true joy and hearty laughter not a daily occurrence in our house? Could it be because I spend so much time worrying about things such as how clean my house is, meal preparations, work, etc., you know, stupid stuff. Am I sucking the fun out of the house?! !
This really got me to thinking about my mind set when I am with my family as opposed to other situations. I realized that when I am with my friends, co-workers or families that I work with, I am completely in the moment with them. I'm not thinking about bills, grocery lists and all that other crap that clutters my mind when I am at home. I make a conscious effort when I'm outside the home to be present with those around me. Why is that so hard for me to do it home?
My inability to maintain this level of focus and concentration with my own family causes me to be irritable and distracted. Why would I not make it a priority to be more present with those who are most important to me in life? Have you ever really thought about that? How we (well, at least some of us) seem to share the ugliest parts of ourselves with those whom we love the most? I often tell parents that kids are ugliest for us because they know that no matter what, we are not ever going to stop loving them. While I guess this goes both ways, shouldn't we as adults be held to a higher standard? I mean, I know better for heavens sake!
Having said all this, I should share that in my mind, there is no such thing as a perfect parent. To be honest with you, I wouldn't want to be one if there were such a thing. Why you might ask? Simple: because, I don't want my kids to grow up and think that they have to be one either. I do, however, aspire to be a better parent. This means making a commitment to constantly learning and growing from my mistakes; brushing myself off when I fall down; asking for forgiveness if need be; and vowing to do better the next time.
So, I am going to make being present in the moment with my family and increasing the joy and laughter in our house my New Years resolution. How about you? What things are you planning to achieve in 2009? Post your thoughts and/or resolutions.
Happy New Years to all of you and here's to a joyous and growth filled 2009!