Monday, January 16, 2017

2017: The Year of Simple



Hello!

Can you believe it has been almost 2 full months since I have sat down to write an update here on the blog?

With the wrapping up of the fall semester and me coming off of researching, studying, and writing my almost 55 page Research project for my Master's degree I just made the decision that I was out of words. I had used up all my words for 2016 and I just couldn't really write anymore.

So I made the decision to give myself a break and just relax and enjoy the holiday season. I took time to really interact with my kids and reconnect with my husband. And for a while I even stayed away from most social media with the intent on really making true connections with people and not just a screen.

It was during this time that I started to really think about what I wanted my "word of the year" to be for 2017. 2016 was my year of consistent. I focused on being consistent with my homemaking skills, my personal care, and my parenting. For the most part I did pretty good I think. Of course there were some areas that I fell a little short but life is a journey of learning and growth. I am taking what I learned from 2016 and my strive to become more consistent and I will continue to apply it to my daily life.

2016 was a fairly crazy year. Hubby spent the first half of the year working in the political year that had him living out of motels all throughout the metroplex 6 days a week. The kids and I would do our best to spend weekends with him if it were possible but there were times that we didn't really see or talk to him for a few weeks at a time. He would come home on Sunday mornings in time to be at church, spend the day with us at church and afternoon activities. Then we would come home and he would take time to study. Monday mornings would consist of a quick hug and hi as he rushed off to class. Once he was done with his daily classes he would then come home, grab his freshly cleaned laundry, and head back to whatever motel he would be living out of for the week. And that was that.

Hubby hard at work (yes this is his job now....well....sorta)
Quickly we began to realize that job was not the best for our family so by the end of May he had quit and was out of work again. Luckily, another friend managed to connect him with a great job in one of his areas of passion and he has been thriving in this new position ever since.

The kids have continued to excel in gymnastics and are loving the time the get each week. We managed to get through kindergarten and have now moved on to 1st grade. In the process we made the decision to switch curriculum. This process was a bit of a challenge because the program I decided to use is entirely online. However, as I began looking through I began hearing all kinds of voices in my head telling me I would be a horrible parent to allow my child to be staring at a screen to be "learning" the whole time. So I began using the lesson plans as more of a guideline and worked myself to death to find lessons and activities that were "offline' Finally, I broke and I realized that it just wasn't working.  After a conversation with a few people I realized that allowing my son to be on the computer with me next to him supervising for about an hour and a half a day is not going to ruin him or break him. So now school is moving along smoothly and we are really enjoying the learning we are doing.

As for me, like I stated above, I spent the year researching, studying, and digging into a topic that I found really interesting. I then surveyed, analysed and compared data on the research that I gathered. Finally, I wrote it all out into a 5 chapter research paper and spent an hour presenting it to a room full of friends, family, and other fellow students. Along with that, I completed other classes working toward my finished degree. I also took on more responsibility within my church and started doing some work from home for a friend to bring in a bit of extra income.

Early in December we also found out that we are expecting baby #3 in early August. So that means I
have been battling exhaustion, morning (more like midday) sickness, and all the fun things that come with the early stages of pregnancy. The kids are excited to have a baby in the house soon and talk about it non-stop. And we are in the pre-planning stages of how we will manage for us both to finish school with a new baby in the mix.

Over all, 2016 was a fun and eventful year. However, with my year of trying to become more consistent with the things I do in my life I feel like I managed to make things a bit more complicated. So that is why I made the choice that for 2017 my word or focus for the year is going to be simple. I want to simplify things more. I want to work toward getting the things that I don't need/use in my home out, the routines and schedules that don't really work adjusted to become more manageable, and the activities that don't bring me or my family joy or happiness off our plate so that we can really begin to enjoy our days together.

I hope to begin to share how I am transitioning things into a more simple way of living. I don't intend on letting much go, but more along the lines of streamlining how I already do various things within my home and daily life.


Do you have a word for the year? If so, what did you choose?