by Abby Scharbach
As a homeschooling mama, my new year really begins in September when I brush the packing peanuts off my new curricula and carefully list my resolutions for the school year ahead. September is always full of hope and promise — but by the time January rolls around, I’m clutching to what’s left of my school-year resolutions as the hot rod of time accelerates. Somewhere in the midst of soccer, carpooling, baby naps, visiting relatives, holidays, and many, many meals, I lose my compass. January’s new year gives me a chance to pull over for a pit stop and ask myself: What did I want to accomplish this year?
Because I’m perpetually looking for new methods to make life with nine work well, I picked up a present for myself while Christmas shopping: a little book by Mary Carlomagno called Secrets of Simplicity.
Carlomagno challenges her readers to let go of some things in order to accomplish the new. For every activity I want to add to my life, I should have a corresponding thing to remove in order to make room for it.
Is this why New Year’s resolutions don’t work? Most of us want physical fitness, deeper relationships, creative work, and on and on, but we don’t take anything off our already full plates to make room for the new goals.
Above is a recent picture from a walk I took with three of my kids. I set aside my to-do list and fulfilled a promise to them: to take them bike riding that day. In the city, they can’t set out on bikes by themselves (like I did as a country-living kid), so I planned to load them into the car and go to a county park with a bike loop — but my eldest daughter’s midterms got in the way, and we didn’t make it. It was tempting to put the bike ride off; after all, the day didn’t go as planned, and there was dinner to make. But their bikes were by the front door, and their anticipation was palpable, so I squeezed a local bike ride in before dinner and work — and it was probably the best thing I did all week. The air was balmy, and the city was quiet as night fell. It was just the break from busyness that my soul needed — and as a bonus, I got to spend time with my littles. This is exactly the kind of thing I resolve to do more of this year.
How about you? What can you take off your plate to make room for the goals that are important to you?
Image: Abby Scharbach. Abby is a homeschooling mama of seven based in Baltimore, MD.