Thursday, November 29, 2018

What Will My 2019 One-Word Resolution Be?


"For last year's words belong to last year's language 
And next year's words await another voice." ~T.S. Eliot



Every year around this time, I start creating my own personal year-in-review mental slideshow. I know it’s a little early. It’s still November. I haven’t even put up my Christmas tree yet. But I feel like I need to start early and really take the time to figure out how I did in life the past 11 months so that once New Year’s Day hits, I have a clear plan in place as to how I want to approach the upcoming year.


I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions. But I do believe in the power of a single word. And because I feel like my last two years were positively defined by two words, part of my early year-end reflection involves choosing my next one-word resolution.


My 2017 word was Balance. As a working mom who has a million things I want to pursue in my free time, I felt like I was living an unbalanced life. I spent the year finding balance in my body, mind and space. Every time I felt the stress of imbalance creeping in, that word flashed in my brain. In fact, I loved Balance as my one-word resolution so much I was tempted to use it again for 2018 (as I’m tempted to use it again for 2019!). 


But I knew I needed a new word, a fresh word for a fresh year. So my 2018 word was Wellness. As the year kicked off with a hysterectomy, I needed a word that would remind me why I chose to have the surgery, as well as a word to motivate me to stay healthy, both physically and mentally, throughout the year. That word was there as I dealt with the difficult recovery after surgery, as I struggled to get back into the shape I was accustomed to as an athlete, and as I listened to my body when I had pain I shouldn’t be having 9-months post-surgery and spoke up to my doctor. With Wellness on my mind, I can say that word helped me get to the here and now with a focal point I needed.


Now I need a 2019 word. And I want that word settled on and ready to work its magic when I open my eyes on January 1. Words randomly pop in my head all the time, but the following 20 have serious potential. Some are straightforward. Some have dual meanings. All of them can be applied to things I want to see in my life as we switch calendars.


So which of these will be my 2019 word?


1. Grounded


2. Breathe

3. Mindfulness


4. Priorities


5. Energy


6. Words


7. Calm


8. Flow


9. Meditation


10. Mountain


11. Momentum


12. Motivation


13. Listen


14. Create


15. Present


16. Steps


17. Float


18. Importance


19. Connect


20. Explore

Monday, November 19, 2018

Fakesgiving: Co-Parenting During the Holidays




I don’t have my children for Thanksgiving this year.

The good news is that this means I get the kids for Christmas.

But on Thanksgiving, the kiddos will be eating turkey and stuffing with their father.

I’ve been co-parenting for nearly five years now. For five years, the parent who gets Thanksgiving, doesn’t get Christmas, and the parent who doesn’t get Thanksgiving gets Christmas.

I’d like to say that five years of missing every other Thanksgiving and every other Christmas with my children has eased the emptiness I feel on my childless holidays.

But I can’t.

It doesn’t get easier, but I guess I’ve learned to cope with their blatant absence better.

As a former military spouse who had to figure out how to celebrate all the holidays and special occasions that were either postponed or outright ignored because of deployments, I learned to get creative. And flexible with dates on the calendar.

That means that this year, Thanksgiving has already come and gone for me.

Well, to be more accurate, “Fakesgiving” has come and gone.

Just as I’ve made up a new last name to call our household that combines mine, my kids’ and my boyfriend’s, I’ve made up new names for the holidays we celebrate early.

Because I refuse to ignore holidays.

And who cares when you celebrate together as long as you celebrate, right?

So this year, when my parents came to visit the first weekend in November, my family with the three last names smushed into one sat down for our Fakesgiving spread on the most random of days and shared what we were thankful for.

It didn’t matter that the calendar didn’t say Thanksgiving.

While I’m thankful to be able to share Fakesgiving with my kids, and I’m thankful I don’t have to plan an early “Fakesmas” until next December because this year I get to share the real Christmas with them, I can’t help but feel a bit deflated this week.

Everyone around me is planning for Thanksgiving, buying their turkeys and planning their menus.

Yesterday, as my boyfriend and I braved Trader’s Joe’s on the Sunday before turkey day, the busy yet cheerful cashier asked if we were excited for Thanksgiving.

“Well, we’ve already done our Thanksgiving,” I blurted out.

(I really need to stop saying that. People don’t know how to react. I need to just say yes and move on with my day.)

I try not to complain. After all, my kids are thrilled they get two of every holiday each year.

My divorce hasn’t totally scarred them for life.

They’re growing up learning that life is filled with the need for adjustments and it’s important to make the best of odd circumstances.

But I already know on Thanksgiving day, even though my boyfriend and I will enjoy our day hiking at our local state park like we usually do when the kids aren’t around for holidays, my heart will still hurt a little.

After five years, handing my babies over to spend a holiday with someone else still hurts a little.

And I think that’s ok to admit so I can acknowledge that hurt, say hello like it’s a familiar acquaintance, and then move on.

To planning Christmas with my kids!


Happy Fakesgiving or Thanksgiving or whatever you may be celebrating this week!





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