Happy 2018, friends!
I’ll be honest, even with all the goodness of 2017, it’s one I’m not sad to see go. Turning over a fresh calendar page, I’m curious. What will this year bring?
We’ve had several recent years that brought huge unexpected changes to our family. Some years drift by, one day much like the next, and others are dramatic, with births, deaths, job changes, and moving. While we’ve weathered storms and grown stronger, I’m starting the new year feeling more drained than excited.
I’ve written before that I take January slow. Instead of filling New Year’s Day with resolutions, goals and words, the only thing that works for my brain is to take a deep breath and to soak in the inherent slowness of winter. This year it’s especially true that I can feel my spirit needs rest.
The cold naturally forces more time indoors and the darkness of winter compels the body to be still and burrow in. Instead of fighting it and trying to force year-round summer, I’m going to let myself absorb the peace of winter. I’d like to do the quiet work of putting down roots that will serve me when the warm weather returns.
So, what does that look like practically?
First, I find the stillness of the winter months is an ideal time for starting habits. I am craving a daily routine for reading my Bible. I haven’t had a consistent rhythm for the past year or so, and try to fit it in here and there. I get interrupted by my kids constantly and end up losing steam and giving up. That dreamy hour of quiet time and prayer just isn’t possible in our house, in this season of life. So, I’m trying to create my own space by sitting in the same chair, every morning, at the same time. For us, right after the kids finish breakfast and Zach goes to work, the kids are eager to play. I head to the Lego room, and read this Bible plan for roughly 20 minutes with my coffee, while they are occupied. It’s not quiet, and I do get interrupted, but four days in, and it’s still happening.
Second, our family spends the first four months of the year wrapped up in “busy season” because my husband is a CPA, working on that April 15th deadline for taxes. Each year we get a little bit better at managing this season, and one thing we’ve learned is to create a weekly routine. My husband schedules which days he will work late vs. come home for dinner and ensures that he gets in all his hours each week. This year, since our oldest is in school now, I created my own weekly calendar to schedule the day I grocery shop, when I work out, when we go to the library or have gymnastics lessons. Spelling it out ensured I schedule time for myself, fun activities for the kids, and included time for household cleaning, laundry, and groceries. Doing this mental work on the front end, means we simply need to follow the plan until April.
Finally, I wanted to eliminate some of the draining things from my day. This means, I’m trying to limit phone use to the bare minimum. I want to read more books and be still in quiet moments. We’re also starting a spending freeze until the end of busy season. If you’ve never tried this, I highly recommend it. The truth is, we have enough. Outside of food and household items like soap, diapers, cleaning supplies, I won’t be buying anything new. It frees up more of that time spent scrolling and searching. To be honest, as a blogger and even before that, I can kill so much time shopping, let alone spending money buying. If my goals are to simplify our life and own less stuff, a spending freeze is just the ticket.
So, here’s the invitation for you:
… Join me in limiting your phone use? Let’s do it together!
… Join me in a spending freeze? You have enough, I promise.
Let me know in the comments if you’re in. I’d also love to hear if you’re all-in with New Years, and have a resolution or goal or word for yourself. What are you hoping for in 2018?
PS: How to hibernate.