This past year was full of exciting work projects and volunteer work at my son’s school and in my community that meant a great deal to me. But I also burned the candle at both ends. Then I invented a newfangled candle that had 8 ends and burned all of those too.
Then one day, in a particularly stressful moment, I put my hand on my chest and felt my heart racing. It scared me. And over the course of the next several weeks, it happened again and again and again. The only way to stop the fluttering was to slow down and take some deep breaths.
Though I haven’t had my own “back to school” experience in years, there’s something about this time of year that makes new beginnings seem possible. Like you can start fresh. I’m ready to make some changes. I’m ready to slow down and take some deep breaths–so life can be better for myself, and so I can be better to the people I love.
So this year…
1. I promise to say “yes” if it means bringing joy into my life, not stress or conflict.
2. I promise to stop burying exercise so deep on my to-do list that it never actually happens.
3. I promise to cry “uncle!” when I need to, and tell my husband, my family, and my friends when I have too much to manage myself.
4. I promise to sign up to bring food to school functions. Unless it means cooking or baking at 11:30pm when I should be sleeping. In which case, I’ll sign up to bring paper plates. Unless it means dragging two tired kids through the grocery store at the last minute. In which case, I’ll sign up next time.
5. I promise to look at Facebook less and my kids’ faces more.
6. I promise to stop being prompt (or even early) at the expense of being patient and kind with my children. The world will keep turning if we are two minutes late to soccer practice.
7. I promise to do things that make me happy without feeling guilt–like going to yoga or eating the rest of the fresh raspberries.
8. I promise to teach my fourth grader how to pack his own lunch and not worry if all the food groups aren’t represented.
9. I promise to ignore the “ping” of an incoming text message if my kids or husband are talking to me.
10. I promise to remember that I have basic needs too, including 7 hours of sleep a night, a lunch that isn’t eaten over a keyboard, uninterrupted conversations with my husband, and hugs from my boys every day.
At least I promise to try.
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