We are happy to welcome back, Lisa Matthews, as our guest blogger. Enjoy!
For the past the past several years, on Christmas Day, my teenage son retreats upstairs to his room with all his loot, clothes, posters, trinkets, etc. that Santa, et al. left for him under the tree Christmas morning. He hibernates upstairs for hours! No, he's not taking a long nap, as I first suspect, he is "nesting." He spends about three to four hours purging, re-designing, and organizing his little 12' X 13' space. It's weird. And, it only happens once a year. The other 364 days his room looks like that of a normal 16 year old boy with half-filled water bottles strewn amuck a pile of dirty laundry that sits on the floor about a half inch from the hamper! But, on this one day everything is immaculate; the top dresser drawer has separate compartments for all his coins, the underwear drawer is divided into boxers, briefs, and T's and the closet is organized with shirts hung by color! My son sets two extra large shopping bags outside the hall filled to the brim. One is for charity - aw, that's sweet; the other is filled with gently worn items ready for the resale shop. Of course, my son insists that the money from the resale is rightfully his - never mind that my husband and I spent hundreds of dollars on these items originally - it's an argument I've yet to win (not so sweet).
Anyway, the point of this story is that no matter how any of us spend our holidays, we all will celebrate the coming of a New Year. And, with that always comes New Year's resolutions, many of which have us scurrying to get things in order - to get organized. I always nested to the point of being OCD before labor and now that those days are gone, I nest every New Year. For example, several years ago I resolved to get all my photographs in scrapbooks and last year I resolved to clean out my "inbox" chock full of over 3,500 emails, most from my BFF's: Target and Macy's! This year my jewelry is in desperate need of a new system and my sock drawer explodes like a snake out of a can every time I open it! You see, recently I've become obsessed with knee-high socks. Oh, never mind - don't ask!
But, I'm wondering...hmm... if I do accomplish these tasks will it make me a better person this year? Probably not. The coming of a new year allows all of us the opportunity to reflect back on the past year (and beyond) and learn from it. So, I'm thinking about what I accomplished last year (besides deleting Target emails) and speculating about what I can do this year to be a better person - to be an appreciative wife, a compassionate daughter, a nurturing mother, a kindhearted friend, and an empathetic wellness coach to my Y members. Somehow I don't think cleaning out my sock drawer will help me in any of these roles.
Therefore, this year I resolve to focus on the order - not of my sock drawer - but of my relationships, more specifically, my relationship with my husband. In my last guest blog I wrote a dedication to my husband for our 20th wedding anniversary. That particular milestone was quite eye opening for me. I think about all the couples (some I know personally) that reach this milestone only to find themselves "roommates" and not "soul mates". I've had my share of roommates in college and I don't intend to spend the rest of my life with my spouse in that regard. Therefore, I am making my husband (and our marriage) a priority this year - I am going to be putting him before the kids (sorry guys!), before work, before school, before GNO's, and before such silliness like "American Idol!"
In doing this I resolve to be a more appreciative and affectionate wife, giving my husband a random hug on some mornings when he arises and making sure to thank him for going shopping with me when he could have stayed home to watch more college football (do these "bowl" games ever end??) And, maybe it means taking the time to plan weekly date nights (without the kids) and an occasional weekend getaway (again, no kids!) Think of all the time we spend coming up with ways to organize for the New Year or the time we spend planning a new fitness routine or weight loss regimen - maybe even investing hundreds of dollars in personal trainers or professional organizers. If we could spend even 25% of that time (and money) contemplating and creating a marriage "fitness" program for ourselves and our spouses our relationships would be much more fulfilling - we'd be connected once again - we'd be soul mates, not roommates!
I've already begun working on these resolutions. My husband and I are attending a very powerful marriage retreat in January, we have a weekend getaway planned in Phoenix over Valentine's weekend, and my husband surprised me this Christmas with a trip to Hawaii which we will be taking this coming June - all sans children! So, I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, I'm going to go ahead and tackle that sock drawer - that is, after I text my husband to tell him thank you for spending half his Saturday with me at Bed Bath & Beyond, World Market, and TJ Maxx shopping for the perfect pasta bowls! J
Happy New Year Everyone!!