Friday, January 01, 2010

Perspective

A few days ago, Erin challenged us to choose a word (last year her word was "quiet" for example) to aim for this year rather than a list of resolutions, so that's what I'm going to do.

Um, well, except I AM resolving to meal plan and grocery shop better. I want to be a better cook, and a healthier cook, and I want to set up a better pantry-stocking system so that putting together simple and tasty and reasonably nutritious meals doesn't feel so daunting some nights. And mornings and afternoons.

But back to the main thing: my word this year is perspective. I feel like I cause myself a lot of unnecessary emotional turmoil by blowing things out of proportion in my own head and stewing, only to wake up in the morning and think, "Oh hey. Everything's fine and the world is still turning and maybe we were all just in a bit of a funk last night. Maybe we actually are not terrible parents with out of control kids, and maybe Jim and I don't really have fundamentally incompatible personalities but maybe we just all had four separate, incompatible cases of Bad Mood. Huh."

I feel like I have this little mental chat with myself at least a few times a month (maybe more often at certain times of the month, yes, har har, hormones are JUST SO FUNNY) and it's so silly and repetitive and AM I LEARNING NOTHING HERE? This can apply to areas other than marriage and parenting, too- friendships, family relationships, one's job, household stuff. For example another area I really struggle with in terms of perspective is our house, and the cleanness/orderliness thereof. I am constantly fretting about dust on windowsills and dog hair in corners, and then having to beat myself over the head with a stick of, "You are home all day with two kids. A perfectly clean house would be abnormal and possibly even abusive, because it would mean your kids are tied up and ignored in order to MAINTAIN that level of cleanness."

Something I've also been pondering lately is that while having a clean and tidy house feels great to me- for those two blissful seconds before it all gets destroyed again- it's a little dismaying to add up how many hours a day/week/YEAR I would have to spend cleaning and picking up in order to actually achieve an always perfect home. I don't want to look back and realize I spent the majority of my twenties vacuuming dog hair off the sofa and putting the same Legos back in their box ten times a day, you know? So I have been trying, the last two weeks, to spend decidedly less time fretting about how these rooms look and more enjoying how we all FEEL relaxing and playing and enjoying each other and wearing polar fleece clothing all day long.

What are some areas in which you would like to gain perspective this year?

13 comments:

d e v a n said...

great word. :) I could stand to gain some perspective on how fast time is flying by and spend a little more time enjoying my kids instead of being annoyed by them.

Hillary said...

I think this is something many of us struggle with. It's so easy to get caught up in our own problems and neuroses and not remember how lucky we really are. Not to be preachy ... I just talk to a lot of people in my job who are truly awful situations.

When I get all caught up in worry, I try to ask myself, What's the worst that could happen? It usually isn't that bad.

Michelle said...

Oh what a great word. I struggle with this too. Usually I build something up so much, have a meltdown and 15 minutes later I think "Was it really worth all of that?" I'm going to try to get to the last part first from now on.
Good luck!

Swistle said...

Ooo, that's a good one! I generally need perspective on how important my own screw-ups are: if I say something wrong or make a mistake, I can think about it and fret about it for LITERALLY DECADES.

Katy said...

TEH SCHEDULE as I call it. You'd swear I was nasty, horrible person the way I adhere to that thing. I'd liek to be a little more roll with the punches.

Sarah said...

I think of this all the time! I usually get crazy about the house once/week and I have picture myself as a gray, old lady with an empty home. I'll have all the time in the world then to clean, but my word this year is "present." I want to be more "in the moment," rather than multi-task, fretting, being "connected" all the time.

Scottish Twins said...

This is a good one. I too need to work on this when it comes to my personal relationships and the drama I always seem to create in my life.

And I giggled out loud at the random polar fleece comment :)

Jess said...

That grocery shopping/meal planning thing is on my list this year as well. I am going to post about it, along with my other goals, on Monday, I think.

In terms of perspective, I need to avoid associating our financial state with our overall state. It's OK if things get tight for awhile, if that will help us attain a bigger goal in the long run. It doesn't mean we're miserable or anything else.

CAQuincy said...

Perspective--a good way to put that.

There are just so many things in my life that need perspective right now.

I want to try to stick up for what *I* want more often, instead of always backing down to others' wants. The tough part is figuring out what it is I really want/need.

Marie Green said...

Ditto, ditto, DITTO about the wishing for clean house, fretting over it ETC.

Here's what helps me: having a certain, fixed time (our is Fri night or Sat. morning) that we will clean. That way, as the week wears on, I don't think OMG WE LIVE IN TOTAL SQUALOR but instead Oh well, we're clean in X days.

Also, I don't fret about picking up toys during the day... I do it before bed. Again, having a "fixed" time to do it leaves the rest of the time to not think about it.

I love your word- it will be interesting to see you reflect on it over the year... I've yet to come up with a word for myself....

Tess said...

I need perspective on my moods too. Like I will feel MISERABLE around all 3 kids after 2 days cooped up in the house, and then stew on what a SELFISH, HORRIBLE person I am. Except, uh, that is sort of NORMAL and we all feel that way. Well, according to the internet, anyway.

Shelly said...

Ditto on the moods, too. We seem to fight once a month, too. Huh, funny how that works out.

Erin said...

Ooo. Perspective is a GREAT word to choose. Hmmm. Perhaps I should keep that in mind for future years.

This year, my word is Cultivate.