I know New Year’s is when you’re supposed to do it. I know that’s the time to look back on the past year of your life and check out all that you’ve done and fantasize about where you yet want to go.
But last week, as we were prepping to leave for the beach, it hit me suddenly: an entire year has passed since I last did this. An entire year since I last dug for sand buckets and broke a sweat trying to jam all the sandals I own into a suitcase. Because I don’t know how to pack.
Crap. Everything was the same. And what had I done?
You see, the kids did pretty much everything. Started preschool. Started Kindergarten. Learned to ride a bike. Pooped in the toilet. Related, learned to wipe their own butts. Tried soccer for the first time. Made new friends. Began reading. Began writing. Grew about 5,000 inches. Figured out how to pull a chair over and pull open the security lock on all the doors. Fantastic.
Their lives, every second that they breathe in and out, they change and grow, experiencing newness of life at every turn.
As for me? I’m still crawling out of bed every morning, blindly smacking the power button on the same old tired coffee machine. Nothing has really happened.
Unless I’m wrong and lots of things have happened.
I mean, I basically look the same. Sure, my hair is blue now, but I’m still cozying up with the same 15 extra lbs., and you know I haven’t given up my go-to shorts. Our house is the same and my husband still runs himself in circles pursuing infinite hobbies. Our dog is still a grouchy old man who hasn’t forgiven us for having human children.
It’s all the same.
But that doesn’t mean that nothing has happened. Because it has. Countless times over, it has.
I believe there is a victory in the day to day getting up and caring for your family, doing the work set in front of you. This has happened, inarguably, this has happened. But there were new things, different things, things of pride, big things that rocked my own corner of the world in the past 365 days.
I got my blog trademarked. What does this mean? The United States Government has officially titled me Mom of the Year. I know.
Despite a total lack of familiarity with the public educational system, my husband and I navigated our way to our son’s IEP. If you’re not a parent of a grade-school child, this is far bigger than it sounds.
I hung with a dear friend through the worst time in her life and was captured by the depth of our relationship.
I taught myself to create graphics on my blog. I’m not saying I’m good at it, but I DID IT.
I planned an uber-successful second year of BlogU with some of the smartest, coolest women I know and it was awesome.
My hair is blue. I didn’t mean to casually write this off above. It’s not casual. It’s blue.
The thing of it is, the kids look different than they did last year. And they have all these mile-markers they can tick off as evidence of their growth. All these tangible ways to measure their change.
When the adult years roll in, it doesn’t work this way. The surface remains the same. And no one else but you might know of the waves that crashed upon your shore while others weren’t looking. I mean sure, you could get a blog and endlessly pummel everyone with your updates, but really, how classless…;)
But it’s okay. Because while my yoga pants still strain over my thighs the same (albeit with a few more threadbare patches), I know that I’ve done different things.
I may not have changed, but that’s okay; I’ve still lived. I lived a year of my life, and lived it the best way I know how.
And as I continued jamming those sandals into the suitcase and grunting over the stubborn zipper, I reflected on the truth that while I’d tackled no major feats in the past year (such as that nifty learning-to-use-toilet-paper thing my kids were on) my life wasn’t really so stagnant after all. Not really at all…