I was so NOT going to write about resolutions.  I had come to peace with it.  No waxing poetically on new beginnings, no hip and trendy blog post on my “one” word for the New Year.  I felt the imaginary peer pressure though.  The voice in my head that insisted that “everyone is doing it…..do it!” But if there is something – if not anything else -that I continue in with my writing it is a small degree of authenticity.  I can’t write it unless I feel it, and I can’t fake it.  It either is or it isn’t, and sometimes I’ll go weeks where it isn’t.

I usually come off those weeks of the “isn’ts” with a small eruption of ideas and words.  Words swimming crazily around in my brain semi politely waiting for their turn to come out and be made into something.  When  I sat down to do something related to writing for the first time in over a week, it wasn’t one word that I came across, but several.  And oddly, they all started with “R.”  In very short time, I felt lifted by these words and encouraged and RALLIED – which is one I hadn’t thought of in a long while but means to “arouse for action.”

I’m rallied to REGRET, RESPONSE, RESPECT, RE-HYDRATE, REST and RANDOM ACTS OF AFFECTION.

No, I don’t aim to regret more.  Quite the opposite.  A few weeks ago, I started thinking about what I would like to regret the least, and then let that guide my thinking towards change.  Hours, days, years from now, I don’t want to think:

a) I wish I hugged and kissed my kids more.  This has led me to take joy in random acts of affection.  I’m a hugger.  And a kisser, and a squeezer, and a skipper into elementary school when I am not really dressed for it and I probably look a little foolish.  I’m a singer of “Santa Claus is coming to Town” in the middle of Target while squeezing my daughter’s hand or while pushing them both in the cart.  Random.  Affectionate.  The other day our daughter asked why I kept taking her picture while she worked on a craft.  Creepy Mommy.  That’s okay.  I told her she grows up fast, she’ll look different tomorrow.  I want the picture now.   I’ve taken to saying “I love you” throughout the day, after doling out snack, cleaning up, or brushing teeth.  Because I can and its wonderful.  And I don’t want to ever look back on the days past and wish I had said it or showed it more.  People like hearing it.  This is something I have learned from my mother in law.  She tells us she loves us a lot.  Anytime we talk, email, and a few times each time we leave her house.  And not just the little kids, us big kids too.  We know she loves us.  But she still tells us, often, frequently.  My side of the family is full of love, we are big, and wild and wholly and independent.  We say this to each other, but not so frequently.  I don’t really know why.  I don’t doubt their love, for sure, but given my druthers, I like hearing and saying it.  A lot.  There is always room for one more “I love you.”

I don’t want to regret:

b) I wish I respected my hubby more.  Building up in real time, right now, is so much easier and more fruitful.  It takes 10x the energy to go back and rebuild on what was advertently or inadvertently torn down.  A spouse is a gift meant to be enjoyed and sometimes confound.  I won’t always get it.  But I have the choice to respect it.

I don’t want to regret:

c) I wish I went to church more.  I really  like to go.  I just have to remember that in the moments where I would rather be sleeping or feeling overwhelmed by a to do list.  I think I make it more complicated than it really needs.  Nobody at church cares if I am wearing make up or not.  My hair style (or not) is not really a factor in their relationship with God.  I should get up, brush my teeth and go.  Also, nobody is looking to hand out the “best dressed kid” award at church.  Mine love God on Sunday mornings in sweat pants.  If all I have in me is to get my little peeps and I up, brush teeth and worship in sweat pants, then that is awesome.  Because God is awesome.   That works.

I don’t want to regret:

d) I wish I drank more water.  It turns out, I get a little loopy when I’m dehydrated.  The medical people know what they are talking about with that eight glasses of water thing.  Good stuff.

I don’t want to regret:

e) I wish I got more sleep.  In the past 5 years where I have been either gestating or raising infants, the concept of aiming for sleep has seemed impossible.  Why shoot for what cannot be obtained?  Kids do grow and age.  Sleep is obtainable again.  Nothing lasts forever.  There are exceedingly few things that need my attention past 10pm.  I am two completely different people with and without sleep.  I like myself with ample sleep far better, so does the rest of the world.

I don’t want to regret:

f) I wish I had responded differently.  For whatever reason, I realized that at work I have an ability to keep my cool pretty consistently, pretty well.   At home, not so well.  Ironically, at work my response is important, but not a game changer.  Life there goes on with or without me.  At home, my response can greatly alter the entire atmosphere of the household for the better or the worse.  Each small decision to respond righteously – maybe with a little more random affection and less hysteria – builds on itself to create a home overflowing with love.

REGRET, RESPOND, REST, REHYDRATE, RESPECT, RANDOM ACTS OF AFFECTION.

No doubt, this list will REQUIRE my REVIEWING 🙂

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