Most of the New Year’s resolutions I’ve made in the past have had something to do with eating healthier and exercising more (or at all). With a new year comes a new opportunity to become an even better version of myself and I decided to focus on something a bit different this year – polishing my mommy tools. Tools like patience, compassion, and having a more positive perspective (to name just a few).
It started out great, too! That is, until roughly 10:30am on January 1st when some rough-housing ended with my cup of coffee spilling all over myself (don’t worry, it was the typical “mommy didn’t get to drink her coffee before it got cold” coffee) and all over our couch. I wasn’t happy about it, to say the least, and then I somehow managed to come down with New Year’s Resolution amnesia. You know, that phenomenon that happens when you somehow totally forget that huge goal you decided to dedicate an entire year to working on. And so I yelled and did a lot of huffing and puffing (in true big, bad wolf fashion) and then stormed into the kitchen to get something to clean up the mess. In my coffee-soaked rage I must have bumped a plate that was sitting on the counter and as I was walking back into the living room, the sound of shattering glass pushed me even further over the edge. It wasn’t pretty.
As I was cleaning up the teeny tiny pieces of broken plate that seemed to be scattered EVERYWHERE I began feeling like a total a$$ hat for the way I reacted about the spilled coffee (forget crying over spilled milk because they should really say no yelling over spilled coffee). And then I started to think about how reacting the way I did was EASY. It is so much easier to lose your cool, act first and then think later. The real challenge is to think first (maybe take a few deep breaths too), and then act out of love instead of out of anger. Was that accidental coffee spill the end of the world? Hardly. It was just inconvenient and a little frustrating — and I certainly could have expressed that without yelling.
Life is made up of all sorts of situations that test our abilities and character. We shouldn’t necessarily expect ourselves to “pass” every time. Maybe not even most times. What’s important to me is that once I realize that I should have done things differently, I learn from it and how to better equip myself for the next time. This New Year’s morning had been one of those tests and, although it wasn’t one of my best moments, it was indeed an opportunity to sharpen those mommy tools — because how can you ever really learn how to be good at something without practice, right? I would imagine you might start to forget how to be patient if you are only ever surrounded by harmony and serenity and your patience isn’t actually tested. Although that does sound quite lovely, I certainly wouldn’t want my skills to get all rusty.
My resolution for 2016 (and beyond) is not to be a perfect mom because, let’s face it, that’s just impossible and who really knows what perfect even means anyway? What I DO want is to take advantage of every challenge that comes my way and use it as an opportunity to learn, grow, and to sharpen those mommy tools that I need so I can do better next time — so that I can continue to become an even better version of myself.
So bring it on, 2016! I’m ready for the practice…