Thursday, April 01, 2010

Spring Cleaning

Easter is upon us. One of my favorite times of the year. When I think of Easter, I think of beginnings...starting all over. The opportunities are endless. I know many people make New Year's resolution each year. I understand that a new year marks a new beginning. However, the dead of winter never struck me as the opportune time to make new plans. Spring, however, is a perfect time for resolutions. The newly green grass and fresh spring air fills me with a sense of possibilities. I feel I can do anything. So, in honor of spring, here are a few of my resolutions for this summer and beyond:

1. I will spend more time playing with my children this year. I need to put down the laptop in the afternoons and engage my children. I cringe every time Lucas asks me to play Bionicles with him. But come won't kill me. Right? My kids will remember that mommy didn't want to play with them. I need to change that. If it takes a rousing game of Bionicles to make Lucas feel like mom is interested in him, so be it.

2. I will help out more with the housework. I admit it...I am guilty of letting Ruanita do the bulk of the housework. She is more anal than me. And honestly...when I do it, she will inevitably go back and re-do it. Regardless, it is not fair that I am burdening her with that. So I resolve to do more of my share of the housework.

3. I will spend more time outdoors this season. Allergies be damned! I am going to get outside every single day while Minnesota is enjoying this beautiful weather. It never lasts long enough, so I am going to soak up all of the vitamin D I can. And if I have to physically force Lucas the Homebody out the door, I will!

4. I will eat healthier. OK...really, honestly, I want to lose weight. But by typing that, I am just asking for a broken resolution. So I will try to ignore the scale and focus instead on eating food that I know will make me healthier. REAL food...FRESH that grows from the Earth. Food that comes from right here in Minnesota and not from a factory halfway across the country. And I will feed that food to my children.

5. I will read more. I have all but stopped of the great joys of my previous life. I need to make the time to read. Perhaps combine reading and getting outside. A hammock might be a good investment? You think?

6. I will put sunscreen on my face every day. I have noticed lately that, in addition to the fun gray hair I have now, I am getting little wrinkles around my eyes and mouth. Gray hair I can color...wrinkles are pretty much permanent. Years and years of playing outside in Kentucky with no sunscreen is taking its toll. I have little brown spots on my face that a dermatologist once told me is sun damage from my childhood that is just surfacing now. It's time to start wearing sunscreen every day.

7. I will tell my daughter every day that she is beautiful and smart. Girls don't hear that often enough. I've read statistics about how girls' self-esteem takes a huge hit in middle school...and most never fully recover. The thought of that happening to Sophie just kills me. I want her to know that she is a smart, talented, amazing girl who can be absolutely ANYTHING she wants. I resolve to never stop telling her that.

8. I will drink more water and less sodas. This kind of goes along with the whole "getting healthier" thing. I need to back away from the Diet Pepsis. Put down the can and walk away, Shannon. Easier said than done for a caffeine addict like me, but I resolve to at least TRY to drink more water.

9. I will spend less mental energy on negativity. Negative people...negative situations...they are just draining. They take time away from the people that matter the most to me. They make me feel old and run-down and fatigued. This year, I am creating a negative-free zone around myself. If you want to share your antagonistic naysaying, please take your Debbie Downer ass elsewhere. I am no longer interested.

10. I will put more of a focus on my relationship with Ruanita. With three young children, it is so easy to get into the rut of being "mommy" all the time. We are so focused on the kids, that we tend to lose sight of one another. I need to make of an effort to be a partner to Ruanita. We need to cultivate "us." I resolve to have more date nights. I resolve to write love notes. I resolve to let her know every day how much I appreciate having her in my life...not as a co-parent, but as a partner.


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