Yesterday I wrote about dreaming big and reaffirming my life vision as we roll into the new year. While those dreams were future-oriented, I've also been reflecting on the year that was. There have been successes, challenges and surprises. There have been old cherished traditions kept alive and new ones added to the mix.
Why do I spend a few moments looking backwards? Part of the reason for looking in the rearview mirror is to see where we've come from and how we've grown. The other part of the reason is to acknowledge areas I've struggled with and resolve to make changes to lessen their impact.
It makes my heart feel light, even gleeful, as I think about how my hands, heart and mind have worked together in ways they never have before. I've learned to be more authentic in how I mother my children. In fact, I feel that I've been privileged to observe the inner workings of these precious children - I'm experienced them like I never have before. I've felt a peace settle over our home. We've all learned by doing. We've met new friends. We've opened up the space to experiment and take chances, and we've made this place called home safe for flops to happen. These are characteristics I want to make sure stick around in the coming year - and the first step to doing that well is to articulate and acknowledge them.
When I consider the challenges, I do not berate myself and feel down about them. Rather, I like to consider the source of those challenges and whether adjustments need to be made so they don't happen as often. As I think back on the past year, I can classify all the little things under one big banner - balance. Our decision to homeschool was a big change for us. It has definitely been with its rewards, and it has also moved to my attention to being focussed solely on the children. As a result, I've neglected taking care of myself or my relationship with my sweetheart. I feel the strong desire to raise my children, yet my mind reminds me that it takes a village to raise children and it is essential that they grow in a warm circle of caring, compassionate fellow "villagers".
Tomorrow I'll write about goals for the next few years, and we'll see how those big dreams and the glance backwards come together.