Sunday, January 1, 2012

MIrror, mirror

The start of a new year is a common time for self-reflection. We look back on what went well or oh, so very very wrong in the last year. We make resolutions and promises about what we're going to change and how we're going to do it. Often, these are the same ones we optimistically made (and failed at) last year. That doesn't stop us from reflecting every year when the ball drops.

Self-reflection is part of who we are. We think about whether we can take another year like last or what we're willing to do to get what we want. Sometimes, your year was amazing. Other times, it was heartbreaking. This time of year we reflect much more than the other 11 months.

But--in reality, we do it all year long to some extent. When something bad happens, we reflect on the "whys" and "hows". We plan how we can make ourselves better so it can't happen again. When something good happens, we reflect on what we did to make it happen and how it has changed out lives.

I've had my share of "why me" moments of reflection. This year was different though. This year--we got what we had been hoping for for so long--little monkey. Reflecting this year was much, much different. It wasn't about negative things. Last night, as I lay next to LM's crib, letting him play with my fingers through the slats as he tried to fall asleep (yes, bad habit I know...but you do what you need to do), I listened to him start giggling to himself. I wasn't tickling him and he wasn't playing with his lovey. Then, I realized---he was remembering. He was thinking about when we were watching the dog play and run around the living room and he was laughing hysterically (LM, not the dog). He laughed and laughed until he got the hiccups. Shortly after this, he went to bed. As he lay there, he was reflecting on his day and laughing at his memories.

And that's what this year is to me---memories. Good ones. Not a list of bad things that happened to me that made me want to make changes---changes I usually fail at actually following through with. I realized that this is the difference this year. The resolutions I made were not about changing what was happening to me but they were about making me a better mom, wife, teacher and friend. When I didn't focus on all of the bad things, I felt the impetus to make changes that I think I can follow through with. When I was focused on what I didn't want to happen again, nothing I did to change things worked.

Hopefully, this year, I will be able to follow through on the things in my life that I want to improve upon...not change.


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