Whether or not you’re part of the trend, chances are over the past month you’ve seen people post about their Word of the Year. And while I haven’t had a chance to share mine yet, I did choose one. My word this year is calm.
This word came to me a day or two after Christmas, when I was in the middle of influenza, which I caught from two of my children. We had relatives visiting, I had finished a busy weekend of work at Dunkin’ a few days before, I had barely finished the Christmas shopping/wrapping, I didn’t have any of my projects accomplished, and our break from homeschool was already over halfway done.
And I realized that I’d been running on empty for awhile. Sure, Jesse and the kids picked up a bunch of my slack, with cooking and cleaning and taking care of things while I was at work. But I still felt like I was constantly scrambling to do all the things and be all the places, and I could never quite catch up.
So from this place of barely making it, and having not enough margin in my days, came this idea of calm. I talked it over with Jesse, and I quit my job.
I finished out my last two weeks, and made plans that looked like having some breathing space in my life again. Like actually enjoying family time on Saturday mornings instead of wondering to myself when I was going to get the things on my to do list done. Like having time to take a moment to do nothing instead of frantically scrolling Instagram for the few minutes that I had of free time and then getting frustrated that I didn’t have any personal time.
I’ve read more books this month than in the past 3 months combined. I’ve started writing here again (hi, friends!), and I have a dedicated time each week to work specifically on Finding Home stuff (and my next cookbook!). And I’ve started to enjoy being in the kitchen most days again, which I hadn’t felt for awhile.
Because when you have space for things, they’re more enjoyable. Even seemingly mundane things like doing the dishes, or helping the kids pick up all their books and toys for the millionth time, are more relaxed than they were.
I needed more space. I needed more breathing room. I needed more calm.
I have a few specific calm-related goals for this year. I want to calm my physical space by continuing to declutter. This is an ever-changing process, and it goes in cycles, but we’re at one of those points where we can definitely feel our stuff infringing on our space again. I participated in Allie Casazza‘s Declutter Like a Mother challenge in January, and it felt good to clear some things out. I know there will be more. Cleared off surfaces just make me happy, and I want there to be more of them in my life.
I want to calm my schedule by clearing out a lot of the extra things. Right now is a season for homeschool and family and not much else, and that’s okay. But clearing my schedule also means we have time to say yes to playdates with friends, and field trips to places around town, and a book signing with one of my favorite authors coming up next month.
And I want to calm my brain. I’ve been operating from a place of survival for awhile now and I want to change that mindset. But that takes time, and giving myself grace, and realizing that even though I feel like I might be high maintenance in the amount of white space that I need right now, it’s what I need right now, and that’s okay.
So this year, I’m focusing on calm.
Did you choose a word for this year? How are you still incorporating it into your life past January? I’d love to hear about it!