I’m proud that I followed through with many of my resolutions for 2017 – well, most of them. My biggest goal was to minimize the clutter in my life, which has transformed our home. It has helped me cut down on wants vs. needs, find a style that I actually like – both in my closet and on our walls, and it has helped me in parenthood by knowing which types of toys are actually worth the splurge. Minimizing has helped me build a space that is full of things I love, period.
The one resolution I “failed” was making 2017 a year of “sitting still.” Last year I wrote about the importance of slowing down after recognizing that ever since I graduated college I have been on a spree of constant, life-altering change. I guess that’s part of the excitement of our twenties, but sometimes I fear that too much excitement and change is conditioning me to feel like I need change to thrive.
Being a military spouse further conditions this, never really letting us settle. We keep multiplying, moving, and the only consistency is the fact that we navigate this state of constant change.
So what did we do in 2017? We grew again. Pretty sure it was January 1 that we adopted another dog. Then a few months later we got pregnant with baby no.2, and as the year comes to a close, we are awaiting word on where the Navy will be sending us next.
2017 was its own beautiful chaos and 2018 will be another year of beautiful chaos.
Maybe it’s naive of me to narrowly define this idea of enjoying the present as something only achievable by way of literally sitting still. Maybe learning to live a slower life is most beneficial when we are in the midst of chaos after all.
By that definition, then I didn’t fail my goal to live a slower a life in 2017. We may have added a lot of big things to our plate, but we haven’t let the big things overshadow the small things. We’ve spent slow mornings, nights and weekends doing nothing more than loving our little growing family even though the to do’s were piling high. We’ve found more patience with this pregnancy than the first, recognizing that it really is such a short chapter even though it comes with so much anticipation and preparation. We’ve fully embedded our hearts and opened our doors to this community even though we know we are about to pack up and leave again.
The truth is, we never know what kind of year we are going to be dealt. This is what I learned by way of “failing to sit still” in 2017, but out of this failure came a better lesson: I can’t expect life to slow down for me, and frankly, I’m not so convinced anymore that less chaos is the secret to living more fully.
I think the secret to living more slowly and fully is embracing the change and its chaos. Perhaps when we slow down in the midst of our inevitably fast-paced lives is when we find that sweet spot of growth and stillness.
We shouldn’t have to stop living our lives in order to live in the moment. We should learn to live in the moment when our lives are at their fullest.