As I gathered with family for Christmas, one word kept going through my mind: PEACE.
This seemed strange to me.
Today, my parents left for a foreign country (Nicaragua), far from me, to serve a two-year religious mission. I won’t see them for two years, other than on skype. My kids won’t see them either. And although my son yelled with glee “Happy New Year in 2015 too!” as we parted for the last time, I know he’s going to nearly miss them too. They won’t be just an hour away any more. Well, at least for two years.
And yet, over the holidays, I felt a sweet peace.
Further, I struggle with depression and anxiety, so I am accustomed to feeling stress, unhappiness, and frustration. I’m a pessimist, I grant that. I usually feel a bit of trepidation with the coming of a new year, I felt calm peace this time. Instead of worrying if this will be a good year or a bad year, this season, as I watched my kids interact with cousins, interact with each other, and laugh over new presents and potential, I felt loving peace.
I consider it a sweet blessing from a loving Heavenly Father, and I am greatly looking forward to the unknown this year!
This year, I will focus on peace. I will find the things that bring me peace and celebrate them. When things go wrong, I won’t complain. I won’t whine or yell. If my depression and anxiety flare up, I will still find a way to find peace. Even when things go wrong, I will remember this peace I feel right now, just as the year is beginning. It will be a great year.
Those were my thoughts for the new year. That is my goal for 2014. Yesterday, my son Raisin and I planned for some homeschool prep we would begin today. We’re going to have a scripture of the week. We are going to read it every morning. We are going to have more games during school time. We will not yell at each other or complain about school.
Hah. You veteran homeschoolers will laugh. I should laugh as well, because I know resolutions never work the way we want them too.
Today, everything went wrong. The nasty cold my husband has had for a week (I let him rest, I took care of the kids, I played games and watch holiday movies and visited family) finally decided to come visit me. This morning I woke feeling run over by a truck. My head hurts, I feel faint, I can’t talk.
So naturally, today I forgot all about that wonderful New Year’s resolution. I yelled. I didn’t care. I slept and let Raisin and Strawberry watch movies. I cuddled Strawberry through the early stages of her cold (yep, this week she and I will be sick together!) and I took a two-hour nap when she did.
And then, when my son yelled at me around dinner time “This is the worst day ever!” I remembered.
This is a year for peace. So I cuddled him and Strawberry. We talked about how Raisin will be baptized in about 20 months more (his cousin is getting baptized tomorrow). I asked him to help as I try to get better from this cold and from being a yelling mom in general. He then helped around the house a little. I think there still were tears by the end of the night, before my husband got home from work. But tears and frustration are acceptable sometimes. It was a boring day with a sick, grouchy mama.
But I’m not going to beat myself up for this one lousy day of the new year. Really, it was not too bad. I spent it with my kids. I actually got food on the table for everyone. And tomorrow, I’ll probably feel a little better.
The hot bubble bath helped me regain some positive outlook too. This year, I’m going to find those peaceful moments and embrace them. I’m going to take care of myself and make this year a great one.
And I’m not going to beat myself up for a lousy day, whether it be a homeschooling day or not.
What are your goals for the year?
If you could name just ONE WORD to focus on this year, what would it be?