I began this New Year with (what I thought was) one of the best resolutions ever. Then yesterday our family went back to our normal routine, and my lovely little resolution got a big, cold glass of ice water thrown in its face.
At the time I made my resolution, I was thoroughly enjoying my holiday week off from work. We had a magical Christmas with many special moments — like watching N come down the stairs on Christmas morning and say, “Santa brought me just what I was dreaming about!” We even enjoyed the Giant Blizzard of 2010, despite (or maybe because of!) being snowed inside our house. Like those fun, quirky families in the movies that I secretly envy, we had snowball fights, drank hot chocolate and built a snowman. N bestowed a black hat upon our round snowy guy — after which she said disappointedly, “He didn’t come to life,” then promptly launched into singing (her version of) “Frosty the Snowman.”
Snug inside our cozy house, with “no deeds to do and no promises to keep,” I contented myself with little domestic tasks — cooking, baking, tidying up all the presents we got. It was a perfect time to make a resolution for the upcoming New Year, and mine came to me naturally, almost like an inspiration: in 2011, I would make my very best effort to “live in the moment” with my family as much as possible. When I was with my family, I would really focus on them. No longer would I check work email on my iPhone while I’m supposed to be cuddled with N on the couch, watching one of her shows on TV; never again would I plan next week’s meals and grocery list in my head when I could be focused on playing pretend with N; and I would forge a deeper connection with this little being who’s growing in my belly. I would transform into one of those Buddha-like characters who can live completely in the enjoyment of the present, untroubled by cares from the past or worries about tomorrow.
Now I’m not really sure what planet I was living on.
I went back to work yesterday. What do you get when you mix not enough sleep with a typical NYC morning commute, a challenging work-day, a dentist appointment (to fill my first cavities ever!), a 3-year-old who is still having bedtime issues (more on that later!), and generally feeling large, hungry and uncomfortable because a tiny human is growing inside you?
Answer: Me. Or any other mom on any other day of the year, except *maybe* during a magical holiday week of being snowed in at home.
In theory, I still love my New Year’s resolution of “living in the moment.” I don’t want to toss it completely — I think it has a lot of merit. But I also think I’ll have to cut myself some slack, because quite frankly, there are times when I want to live anywhere but the moment I’m in. Case in point: today N was maddeningly uncooperative when doing routine everyday tasks, like brushing her teeth or putting on her shoes. In those moments — I am being honest here — checking my email on my iPhone or making my grocery list is a welcome, organized, grownup relief from the chaos of living with a 3-year-old.
So maybe I’ll just make two resolutions: (1) to live in the moment when the moment is good; and (2) not to be too hard on myself when the moment sucks and I want to imagine myself on a tropical island beach somewhere!!