I used to come up with long lists of plans with specific, measurable goals. What can I say? I spent a significant chunk of my early twenties attending Total Quality Management seminars. That is not where I am today. I have vague plans to exercise more and even sprung for The Thirty Day Shred. Have I started it? No, but buying it is a start.
Many bloggers have chosen a word for the year, a word that captures their vision of hope and change that a new year can bring. I am borrowing Elizabeth Foss' word for 2010. The word is Now.
I have always struggled to live in the Now. In high school I wanted to be in college. In college I wanted to be in the working world. Once in the working world, I longed for vacation. On vacation, well, I have always been pretty keen on Now where vacation is concerned. While single I wanted to be married. Married? Yep, I couldn't wait to have that baby and then the next and then the next.
Nothing wrong with looking forward, of course, but today I want to appreciate the Present, the Now.
I am blessed with a wide array of friends in terms of personality, state in life, and age. Most of my friends close to my age are long done having children. One of my dearest pals became a grandmother on Monday! One of the advantages of coming late to marriage and children is that I have learned so much from both my sisters and my friends (including my two best friends who happen to be my sisters).
I have learned through their lives that this season of young children passes so fast. It's a rather obvious point, really just another cliche about motherhood. The funny thing about cliches, though, is that they become cliches because they are proven true over and over again until everyone gets sick to death of them.
One day my laundry pile will not be filled with Bob the Builder underwear and Star Wars t-shirts. One day Curious George and Clifford the Big Red Dog will disappear from my shelves. My walls will probably be a little less distressed. I will no longer hunt on hands and knees for the last good pacie in the house or shake my head in amazement at the state of the bathroom I just cleaned.
Certainly there are moments I will not miss. The baby food stage? Definitely not my favorite. Potty training? Ewww. I doubt I will ever become wistful thinking about Hannah Montana jokes or potty humor. These trials aside, however, there are so many, many sweet Nows that I don't want to waste in some mad dash for the next I don't know what.
Now is the time John wants my arm tucked securely around him as we read every Clifford book ever published.
Now is the time my boys love Uno. We just bought the tippo version, and it's so fun.
Now is the time Ainsley loves to cuddle and rock in the chair my dear, sweet father bought at a yard sale before I had Tim.
Now is the time the older boys charge through the door every afternoon anxious to share every joke, story, and problem.
Now is the time Tim loves history, Kolbe loves spy gear, John loves monster twucks, and Ainsley loves her Dolly.
Now is the time my kids have all four of their grandparents to love and enjoy.
Now is the time we cheered for two snow days in a row.
Now is the time my heat vents are covered with tiny red mittens and boy-sized gloves sodden from hours out in the snow.
Now is the time Ainsley signs and says "pwease" in the sweetest voice ever.
The other day we spent well over an hour meandering along the rural roads of Georgia lost! lost! lost! Our GPS proved singularly useless as I attempted to correct one wrong turn. I hung a right on a road that went in the correct direction and looked promising. It soon turned into a dirt road and twisted every which way but the right one. I was a tad worried about the isolated location, the cold weather, spotty cell phone coverage, the possibility of engine problems...
Soon Tim grabbed the GPS and began calculating how long it would take us to drive to the Grand Canyon (a mere 28 hours), Legoland, California (32 hours, 11 minutes), and the Statue of Liberty (I forget).
We never reached our destination, but then maybe the detour was the destination. We talked and laughed and dreamed about trips gone by and trips we hope to take. In short, rather than cursing the inconvenience and the wasted gas, we reveled in the Now.
May this new year bring many such detours.