I’d been sick the past couple of days. Nothing major, nothing more than an ordinary cold, but annoying just the same. I’d have liked nothing more than to breathe easily through my own nose.
It was evening, and by that time I’m wiped anyway. We had a parent-child class in the morning and my aunt came over to do some Christmas baking in the afternoon. I actually felt great for most of the day, but the moment my aunt left I felt drained. I hadn’t noticed. Apparently I’d been running on adrenaline. I looked at the clock and briefly considered ordering take-out for dinner but balked at the idea. I’d made it this far, hadn’t I? Surely I could do dinner, too.
While Tyson loaded the kids in the car to drive around and look at Christmas lights (their seasonal while-mommy-makes-dinner activity) I got to work. Sliced potatoes and ran ingredients through the food processor, cleaned Brussels sprouts.
Too soon, the door banged to signal their arrival home.
“Is dinner ready?” Tyson asked, “You never texted.”
Exactly! I thought, So why are you here?!?
I glanced at the clock, and was shocked when I looked at the time. 5:42. No wonder they were home. It was twelve minutes past the time dinner was usually on the table, the time it had (mostly) been on the table the past 3.5 years. And I still had a half hour to go.
He asked what I was making. I mumbled something along the lines of, “I don’t know something new,” as I tried to hurry dinner up, though veggies roasting in the oven aren’t exactly the kind of thing that can be rushed.
“Wait. So you don’t feel well, and your aunt was over all afternoon while you guys baked cookies, and you decided to make a new recipe?” he asked.
Well when you put it like that, I thought, that does sound pretty dumb.
I’m famous for these types of decisions. Part of it is a mom thing, a woman thing, I think. We push and push and push and even when we are at the brink we push some more. I handled the rest of it, so I can handle this next thing, too, right?
This was a night, of all nights, to order take-out. Why didn’t I? There was no reason for me to cook, not really. The ingredients would have been fine for another day. We already had plenty of clean-up to tackle after an afternoon of baking. They could have taken their Christmas light joyride on the way to pick up food from our favorite Thai place, while I cleaned up the kitchen cookie mess in peace.
It sounds so simple in hindsight.
I’m not much of a goal setter. I would never call myself a goal setter in any way, shape, or form. I’m a planner, but not in that way.
Until this year. Because some friends started talking about Powersheets. At first I rolled my eyes a little bit, because, y’know, goal setting and I don’t do that, but then they kept talking about it. I got interested in spite of myself. And before I knew it I had gone to the website and added them to my shopping cart and hit the purchase button and some Powersheets were on their way to my house. I didn't really even know what it was but it helped that it was super pretty. I’m a sucker for something pretty every time.
I began mapping things out, setting goals. Things that were already in my head but are now out on paper, realizing along the way that I guess I am a goal setter, after all. Everything from monthly date nights out to drinking more water to making time for writing at least two times a week. I thought about what worked last year and what didn’t.
That night in December definitely didn’t.
I thought more about what I wanted for this year and realized this is the last year — the last full calendar year — to be home with all three kids. Caden and Brooklyn will start kindergarten in the fall of 2019. It seems like an eternity until I realize they’re almost four and Nolan is almost two and it’s so totally not.
I picked my word for the year. Enjoy. I want to enjoy this year. Last year felt like so much survival but this year, as much as possible, I want to enjoy it.
Not joy. That felt too commanding, too easy to fail. Be joyful! I don’t want to have joy this year I want to enjoy this year. Especially when I looked up the definition to find that "enjoy" means not only to take delight or pleasure in but also to possess and benefit from. Yes. I want that. I want to take delight and benefit from it all.
I want to enjoy my kids. I want to take more adventures, save more time for exploring, give them more attention one-on-one. I want to enjoy Tyson, which includes weekly date nights in, monthly date nights out, giving him the best of me. I want to enjoy my purchases and be intentional with my spending. I want to enjoy my writing as I map out time to clear my head and explore what I want to do in the future. I want to enjoy my friends whether it's spending time on Voxer or scheduling a girl's night out. I want to enjoy my body which sounds kind of dirty but in keeping with this theme I want to drink more water, complete a round of Whole 30, and get back into a regular yoga routine.
That should-have-just-ordered-take-out night in December was not one I enjoyed. I was hungry, the kids were hangry, it was too close to bedtime, there were things to clean. I want to enjoy my time, not feel pressured by it. I’m going to order take-out when I’ve had a busy day and don’t feel well and tell the voice in my head that says otherwise to go to hell.
I’m not going to be perfect. I’m not going for the ludicrous impossibility of enjoying every moment here. (Hey dishes: I’m still not going to enjoy doing you.) But I do want to enjoy each day, each week, each month, overall. As a whole. I think I can do that.
And I see a lot more take-out in our future.