I pray the emotional scars from 2013 will only serve as strength for the future and as a reminder to keep the faith and those important to me in the center of my heart. In the last six months, my family and I have been dealt so many setbacks to which there are no obvious solutions... only time and prayer can guide us through these rough waters into a, hopefully, much better 2014.
We've been faced with unanswered medical complications concerning my dad's kidneys, demanding work travel schedules that continue to keep us from those we love on a regular basis, a nightmare of a divorce that seems to never want to end and we concluded the year with someone near and dear to our hearts losing his brother to a drunk driver early yesterday evening. Please say a prayer for his family and for his dad who is still in critical condition.
So it is with a tired soul and heavy heart that I trudge into 2014. Despite the worry and fear that carries over from last year, I have a lot to look forward to and celebrate... my sister and cousin are marrying two terrific guys, my dad is semi-retiring which means he'll be home half the year, new acquaintances and I am blessed to watch Brody continue to grow and learn.
For me, this year isn't about empty resolutions and unrealistic aspirations. It's about personal growth, relationship building and independence. With that said, my goals for 2014...
- Stop multi-tasking during Brody time. Those few precious hours he's awake after work are devoted entirely to playing, dancing, singing and being crazy with him. Housework, freelancing and life in general can just wait until after that sweet face goes to sleep.
- Surround myself with influential, uplifting, positive people. People whose company I enjoy, make me laugh and have my best interest at heart. Whether than means rekindling old relationships or making new ones... I'm putting myself out there.
- “Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy” -- Robert Tew
- As a working single mom and homeowner, independence and self-reliance are crucial. I will forever be in debt to my incredible parents and family for their selflessness, support and help (especially this last year), but it's time I sever my reliance on them in some areas. I want to be able to do my own taxes, take control of financial opportunities on my own, YouTube the hell out of anything that needs fixing around the house, etc.
- Take control of my debt. Mortgages, a car loan and legal fees have caused quite a bit of anxiety this year, but with a modified Dave Ramsey plan, I'm anxious to get my finances under control.
- Free my mind. As a social media nerd with a phone glued to my hand, I'm making a big effort from here on out to remove myself from the Internet a little bit more and devote that time to pursue other creative outlets.
- Become friends with my body. Now that I've gotten back down to pre-baby weight and we're past the holidays, it's time to start eating cleaner, breaking a sweat, drinking more water and learning to love and be proud of what I see in the mirror.
- Take more pictures. The number of pictures I took over 2013 decreased significantly over the year. Largely because Brody became this busy bee and never stops moving, but regardless, I need to get out the Nikon, stop settling for iPhone quality photos and capture all of life's little moments. I may even start a 365 project like I did in 2012.
So friends and family, I wish you all the best as we enter a new year with high hopes and a thirst for change. Say an extra prayer tonight for our dear friend and remember to tell those important to you how much you love them. Every day.
2014, here goes nothin'...