Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Roller Coasters

When I was growing up in California, we had a summer tradition of going to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. We would usually go for "1907 nights"-- on Monday or Tuesday after 5 pm you could get on any ride for one ticket. My favorite ride was "The Giant Dipper"- a red and white, old-fashioned wooden roller coaster. Incidentally, I gave mom the scare of her life when I went on that ride the first time. I barely squeaked past the height requirement. When we went down the first hill I slid down into the car so my head was on the seat where my bum should have been. For a moment my mom thought I had been thrown out of the roller-coaster car. I spent the rest of the ride trying to get my bum back up on the seat where it belonged while my mom laughed at me.

I'd like to think of the Giant Dipper as a metaphor for my emotions right now: there are lots of great highs and stomach-dropping dips, all packed in quick succession (thank you, post-baby hormones). Actually that first ride on the Giant Dipper is an even more apt metaphor: I feel like I get started on this great ride and then I find myself down on the floor making futile efforts to get back up where I'm supposed to be. Christmas break was one of the highs. We enjoyed happy times with family and friends, Dave had time off of work and the kids had a magical Christmas. On Sunday I was basking in the post-holiday glow, thinking about how blessed I am in so many ways and how much I have for which I am grateful. I truly love being the mother to four beautiful children and my life is filled with things that bring me joy and happiness. But, in typical human fashion, by Sunday night I was dejectedly bemoaning my poochy post-holiday figure and trying to find motivation to approach my plethora of possible resolutions for the year. A friend at church (who reads this blog) asked how last year's resolution- making my bed every day- went. I'm not proud to record that it lasted only about 2 1/2 months. And that was for a lame, easy resolution like making my bed! That doesn't bode well for trying to resolve on something weightier....

Last night as I pondered all of the things I am wanting to change or improve about myself, I wondered if maybe it would be more efficient to just trade me in for a different person/different model. (There must be some kind of warranty...) What are the chances of me actually losing weight, getting my house organized, keeping my house clean, reading my scriptures, doing my hair and make-up before noon each day, praying/meditating daily, waking up early, exercising, cooking healthy food, folding my laundry, baking homemade bread, eating less meat, keeping things picked up, reading all of my book club books, planting a garden, being more frugal, finding more ways to serve others, spending more time with the kids and making my bed every day? (Please don't laugh if you already do all of those things- just let me know your secret! ;) So maybe it's time to take a different tack. While I do have a bazillion things that I need to improve or fix, I would like to take a moment to ponder what I did do this past year.
  • Successfully negotiated pregnancy for the fourth time
  • Had a baby
  • Cared for four children
  • Supported my husband in his stressful job with a minimal amount of complaining or whining
  • Was co-conductor for two choir concerts
  • Helped plan and produce said choir concerts
  • Cooked a few hundred meals
  • Did dishes several hundred times
  • Did a couple hundred loads of laundry
  • Changed roughly 2500 diapers
  • Re-planted our entire front yard including transplanting 3 full-grown bushes and digging holes/planting an additional 50+ plants (not including small annuals) while pregnant
  • Directed a volunteer church choir in monthly performances, an Easter program and a Christmas program
  • Wrote 145 blog posts ;)
  • Taught some piano lessons and a voice class
  • Taught Jared and Camryn piano lessons
  • Read several books, including David Copperfield, Hunger Games, John Adams, The Book Thief, Leadership and Self-Deception, etc.
  • Nursed a baby for who knows how many hours...
Okay, enough of patting myself on the back. My point is that it is easy to focus on our weaknesses and forget all of the good things that we do. Maybe that will be my resolution for this year: to focus on finding the positive... and losing weight and cleaning my house and......


    rlmquest said...

    I love how you looked at all the things that you did do this past year in 2009! Pretty amazing! I think you are so talented. I had my teenage daughter put down making her bed everyday as one of her new year resolutions.

    Erin said...

    Remember one step at a time! I for one think you look far better than me and you JUST had your baby, I am almost 6 months out! You can't be perfect in everything these things take time and practice. I can keep up on my laundry, make my bed, do dishes everyday but I am struggling with the weight issue and what is most frustrating of all is I HAVE been trying and exercising, I keep telling myself I will be perfect in the eternities and maybe skinny too!! Keep up the good work.

    Emily Laing said...

    You are AWESOME!!!