As I mentioned last year, I'm big on New Year's Resolutions (with a capital R). This year it was a bit tougher than last year to come up with concrete resolutions. I suppose this is because I am not as intensely unhappy as I was last year. So, before we get to this year's resolutions, let's take a look back at 2011 (last year's resolution post is here).
1. Try to see changes as beginnings rather than endings. This was kind of vague, I now realize in retrospect, which means it's a "bad" resolution. Did I accomplish it? I dunno. I have, however, become more comfortable with change, and more comfortable in my own skin, as I move through changes. So success? I guess so.
2. Start a new career (or a new job). Um, can you half-succeed at a resolution? I did, in fact, manage to leave the law firm last year. That was hard, and liberating, and identity-changing. But here I sit, in my kitchen in a sweatshirt, drinking coffee at 9:30 am. So it seems that I haven't gotten the new job off the ground yet. That said, I made significant progress on figuring out who I am if not a Biglaw associate, and learning what I want out of my career/job.
Tuesday I met with a head-hunter in the city, who assured me that finding a job would not be the difficult thing; finding a job that I want will be the difficult thing. But there has been huge progress on this front, as far as I am concerned.
If all else fails, I can go with C's approach. He said to me the other day, "Why are you trying to find a job? You already HAVE a job." He meant that he, himself, was my job. Point taken.
3. Let go of perfection. I suppose I have, in fact, managed that in the work-sense. It's been hard to let go of perfection, both at work, before I left, and now at home, since this is my job now. But really, I have had no choice this year. 2011 was a tough year for our family, from basement floods and vacations from hell to divorce drama, we have had 99 problems. When life is like that, you occasionally have to let go of a burned dinner and order pizza, or pull a dirty shirt out of the hamper, or have people over when you haven't swept the floor. You have to realize that things won't -- can't -- be perfect, even when you "just" stay home.
On that note, I did want to mention that, a year ago, I thought staying home meant doing nothing. I scorned stay-at-home moms who also have childcare help. But I am here to tell you that I do not. do. nothing. I work my tail off, both to save money that we would otherwise have to spend to get people to do things for us (like waterproof the deck, mow the lawn, fix the dripping sink, etc.) and to afford us a small measure of down-time, which was unheard of in our dual-income days (i.e., grocery shopping on Monday mornings instead of Sunday afternoons). I also realized, to C's point, that I do a lot more childcare than I thought I would. A part-time babysitter after school basically means that I don't have to drive the kids around all afternoon -- I can instead write, or try to find a job, or do work around the house. That is really, really nice. But if a kid is sick, or forgets her lunch, or needs help with math, or gets in a fight with her friends at school, or has to make a functioning harp for a school project, I'm up -- because I'm here, and I'm the parent. Which I like a lot more than I thought I would.
4. Save money. We did a pretty good job of saving money, until I quit my job. Then that kind of stopped. But meh. I don't care so much about it now. I have managed to ride the pendulum back and forth this year, between feeling like we have no money and wondering what we are going to do, to realizing that we have what we have, which is really enough.