I don't make New Year's resolutions - I'm not usually even awake as a new year begins. I am annoyed at the sudden glut of cars in the YMCA parking lot, and at my sidebar, for suggesting cleanses and classes and other "remake yourself this year" tools. That said, there is something in the air as this year begins. Weather I want to look at them as resolutions or as coincidentally timed happenings that have suddenly come to my attention, things are changing.
There are the little things. The no more double space after a period. The word "retirement" becoming a constant in my parent's vocabulary. The delights and challenges of a marriage that has been around for a decade, and the discoveries and growing pains that accompany the passage of time between two people. My little brother getting married.
There are the larger things. My family is changing; I am no longer a mom to young kids. Zeni walks herself home from the bus stop and packs her lunch. Hayden takes care of the dog. They have their own ideas about how the world works and when they say "no", if I can take a breath and remember to ask them why, they often have a sensible explanation and even an alternate plan that is satisfactory to all.
This maturity (as well as the eight hours a day that they are in school) gives me more time and space. Last year I still felt like I had time only to exercise, hit the grocery store, and pick them up. The kid's growing independence has freed up mental space in my head, if not more hours in my day.
And what to do with that time?
There are the things I was already doing which I can now devote more time to - teaching writing and working on Listen To Your Mother Spokane 2015 (auditions now open in Spokane and in 38 other cities across the country!). There is still exercise to be done, and dinners to cook. But more and more I am looking forward to a time when I have something - something for myself, separate from family and from "mom". My mind flits between options. Teaching writing classes full time? Returning to the public health work I did before kids, this time with a domestic bent? A job for which I am already qualified and not necessarily passionate about so as to make extra money for travel and saving and helping Jeremy feel like all the money making burden isn't on him?
Nursing. I keep coming back to it. Can be done domestically or internationally? check. Flexible schedule? check. Working with people and feeling like I make a difference every once in awhile? check. Decent money? check. Science pre-reqs done? Not so much.
I find that when I am thinking about something big I don't spend that much time actively mulling it over. Instead I stick it in the back and it pops to the front of my brain for a few minutes each day and then, after a week or a month or a year, the questions stop coming and the answer is just sort of there. So I am counting on that being what is happening now. The idea has already been back there for a good six months, so let's hope it isn't too much longer.
There are other things we have planned this year that, I think, will change us all. My final change? While we are on the subject? This. My blog. Writing. More than once a year. Check.