Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Fresh Start: Take 2

It's a new year . . . a fresh start, a clean slate, a chance to get rid of old habits and foster new ones, the season for making resolutions with no intention of keeping them.  I gave up on resolutions years ago, but I do like to pause at the beginning of the year to ponder what the year holds in store, and what I need/want to do to cope with it - good or bad.  In January of 2014, I anticipated a year of changes for our children - college graduations, a wedding, new jobs, new homes, new cities.  My focus for the year was on them and my "mom" role in each event.  I couldn't have foreseen how the year would actually go.

We did have two college graduations in May, but the wedding was called off, another marriage ended, some job offers were accepted and and some jobs ended.  One graduate moved 1500 miles and one moved twelve blocks.  It was, indeed, a year of changes for all of us, just not always as I expected.  We are gearing up for another year of big changes. I'll get into the specifics soon.

Although parenting never really ends, by August 2014 the anticipated events were past and I was feeling a restlessness about the future.  The restlessness lead to my "Life Under Construction" project, based on a newsletter article about mid-points:
"One of the challenges of the mid-way point of a project is pressing on to finish in spite of the setbacks of tiredness, lack of motivation, or loss of vision for the completed project."
I was feeling decidedly tired, unmotivated and lacking in vision, so I identified five "focuses":  faith, family, home, self and fun. (click on the LIFE UNDER CONSTRUCTION label below or in the sidebar to find all posts on the project).  I had some pretty good insights in a few areas, but I failed - epically - at the follow-through.  So, my fresh start is getting a fresh start for 2015.

While I'm keeping the name - "Life Under Construction" - and the premise - "to create a life where I'm comfortable" - the slightly rigid and entirely vague structure is outta here. My focus has swiveled from children to self - not in a selfish, egotistical way, but in order to "finish well".  
 When a woman makes the choice to marry, to have children; in one way her life begins but in another way it stops. You build a life of details. You become a mother, a wife and you stop and stay steady so that your children can move. And when they leave they take your life of details with them. And then you're expected to move again, only you don't remember what moves you because no-one has asked in so long. Not even yourself.  - from Bridges of Madison County
It's time for me to move again. During our New Year's Eve celebration, Dave commented that 2015 could possibly be our happiest yet.  That thought immediately made me feel guilty - as though it is wrong for me to be happy without children living in my house. At least not as happy as I was during the "glory years" of being a stay-at-home-mom with toddlers - the years that have always been my favorite.   But in the light of day, I realize that comparing the "happiness levels" of different ages/phases of life is impossible, not to mention pointless.  This is the phase I'm in now, and it's ok to be happy now.  I believe there are two keys to that happiness:  balance and independence.  I'll explain those in the next few days.

  My theme verse for 2015 is Philippians 1:6: 
"...being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." 
I will not be complete in this life, but it's time to start moving forward purposefully rather than just aging.  


  1. I love the title 'Life Under Construction'. It's quite appropriate, actually, since as Believers we are being molded and shaped into who God wants us to be. It's sure not always easy, and life throws us some challenges. I pray this year will be full of joy for you and your family. I also like that you use a theme verse for the year!

  2. Anything under construction comes up against obstacles and changes often have to be made so you're right on track as with any construction project. It is hard to figure out how to move forward when your life has been so completely centered around being "Mom." Which is the greatest job ever and never ends. But it certainly reaches a point where it's no longer the focus of life. Nothing selfish about moving that focus back to you!