Monday, January 9, 2012

interruption to regularly-scheduled programming.

We interrupt the regularly-scheduled programming (namely, the riveting ending to the l&d story, which will be posted soon) to bring you new year's resolutions. Yes. Resolutions. And maybe I've already lost your attention because you're probably thinking "I don't have time to read about yet another person's aspirations in 2012 of a tighter [insert body part]." And you're probably right... in that I don't have anything novel on my list of resolutions. But I think it's something worth saying if only to memorialize what motherhood is doing to me (changing my perspective, and making me super efficient - I wrote almost this entire entry from my iPhone while breastfeeding).

I actually just have one resolution. And I think it's funny (read: telling) because it's the first time ever that this is a resolution for me. In the past it was always about DOING something for self-betterment. A fitter, happier (I couldn't resist), wiser, better-read, richer, more philanthropic, more patient me. And all those things are good. But it's different this year because, well, a baby flips your life upside down and inside out. Thus, my perspective has changed, and it made me realize that this is all I really need in terms of resolutions. 

The resolution is this: enjoy and be content with NOW. Don't wish for the future. 

I've been doing this (as in, the opposite) my entire life. And now, I think this needs to be parsed out a little. I think this is actually made up of two parts: first, it's pessimism. I really think I'm a born pessimist. I'm always wishing for something better. In 3rd grade I distinctly remember walking through the halls of my elementary school unhappy with my middle-of-the-school-hierarchy situation and wishing I were a big cool 5th grader. Second, it's an overly results-oriented point of view...the journey/destination distinction. I hate being in-process. I want to be THERE. My wonderful hubs (an "I'm-enjoying-the-ride" optimist - it sometimes seems like a miracle that we wound up together) reminds me often that I do this, but shouldn't. But always gently. He reminds me how blessed I am, now. How I can't keep wishing for the next phase of life to happen. And of course I know all this but it was always a struggle to believe it. BUT. Having a baby has finally driven the point home for me. I enjoy every day I spend with her. I don't wish for the future. In fact for the first time in my life I feel like I'm wishing for the opposite, for life to stand still where it presently is. It is amazing to see Lana grow leaps and bounds daily. One day she's curiously examining her feet. The next day she's grabbing them. Tomorrow they'll be in her mouth. We all know that having a baby changes your life. Before actually becoming a mom, I thought I knew what those changes would be, that they were obvious - your time, energy and money all go to the baby, you have new feelings and emotions as a parent, you appreciate your parents more, raising a baby makes you feel completely clueless all of a sudden, etc. But now I'm realizing that it's so much more. Every nook and cranny of my life is changed. And, in a surprising turn of events (for me - not for all the parents out there who are reading this going, mmmmhm), parenthood has helped me confront and address one of my worst sins. At the root, pessimism and a destination-oriented mentality are lack of contentment. And lack of contentment is ungratefulness. Ungratefulness is believing that you deserve more. And I don't. I certainly don't deserve Lana. or my husband. or anything else. And thinking I do sets me down that path of entitlement which is so dangerous.

1 Timothy 6-7: "Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world." 

I guess these two verses will be my motto this year. If I follow it, I think I'm in for a great 2012.

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