Looking back reminds me to live in the present

The year is ending.  I’ve been thinking about it over these last few days.  And I’ve been thinking about what to write about it.  I’ve composed a few things in my head, and this is my second actual attempt, in fact.  In the first one, I started by saying how I consider 2011 to have been a good year in spite of its difficulties.  Then I started listing the difficulties.  Once I started thinking of all them, my attitude started shifting, so I scrapped that direction.

So, now here I am pondering 2011 and what I will take away from it.  You see, there are some years in my life that stick out to me.  I will never forget 2004.  It was the most difficult health year I’ve ever had.  I was young, but I was homebound most of the year.  My idea of getting out of the house became sitting on the back patio.  It was very rough thanks to my bladder.  Adding in a broken shoulder for my husband, minor surgery for myself and a burn on my leg from a motorcycle muffler, and I wouldn’t want to do 2004 over again.

2007 is another year that I won’t forget any time soon.  My husband lost his job halfway through that year and would take a whole year before he found a new one.  We were united.  We were together, but it was so incredibly hard.  I wouldn’t want to do that year over again.

I had elements of both years in 2011.  I had some health issues that had to be dealt with, but I wasn’t homebound for the whole year.  In the end, everything turned out OK.  And in 2011, my husband did again lose his job when his company was bought out and downsized.  However, he then went straight into another job and we had various blessings through the entire situation.  So, 2011 has definitely been better.

I will also not forget 2009.  It was a year that brought some struggles with our house and selling it that caused lots of stress.  I remember that somewhat, but I remember most becoming a mother.  Holy cow it was harder than I thought, but it was better than I thought, too!  I look back now at the mom I was back in 2009 and I sort of smirk.  I have come so far.  It was hard for me to even get used to thinking of myself as a mom.  Now, my kiddo is 2 and being her mom is so ingrained in me that I define myself first and foremost as a mother.  2011 brought a new confidence in me in my mothering skills.  I know my child so much more now.  And I enjoy being a mom so much more.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it in the early days, but I enjoy it more now than ever before.

My silly girl kept me entertained throughout 2011 -- in good times and in bad. I don't want to miss a minute!

I think what I will remember most about 2011 is getting to know my child more.  Her verbal skills went through the roof.  I think about where she was a year ago.  She was just figuring out walking on her feet (she spent a while walking on her knees).  And she was babbling full force with a few coherent words.  Now she is walking, running and climbing very confidently.  We have entire conversations and running commentary for all we do.  She speaks in sentences.  She makes up songs.  She pretends to cook for me.  She tells me how to take care of her baby doll that we are playing with.  And so much more!  She makes me laugh constantly.  Just yesterday we woke up to a light snow covering on the ground.  I showed it to her, as usual.  After breakfast she worked hard to pull her new Minnie Mouse shopping cart and Mickey and Minnie Mouse figurines up onto the couch to look out the picture window with them.  She wanted them to see the snow, too, and talked to them about it the whole time.  Seriously cute stuff happens all the time around here.  That is what I’ll remember most from 2011.

I try so hard to absorb it all and take it all in.  I try to enjoy these times with her at this age.  Because I know the difference a year can make.  My daughter has grown and changed so much this year.  I know I’ll be saying the same thing next year.  I don’t want to forget these moments.  I don’t want to miss them.  I don’t want to be so busy with what I need to do that I don’t pay enough attention.

That is my continued goal throughout 2012.  I am a person who loves to plan.  In the past, I have sometimes gotten so caught up in looking ahead that I missed the present.  I don’t want to do that.  I don’t want to miss any of the present.  Sometimes I don’t even want to let my daughter go to sleep to miss part of her childhood.  It’s a desperation, I think, to hold onto her as she is.  But. I know she’s growing and changing.  That’s how life works and that’s how it should be.  It goes way too fast and there are no do-overs.  So, in 2012, I want to live in the present as much as I can.  Join me!

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