Last year, instead of making a New Year’s resolution, I chose a “theme” for the year:

2013 theme word

I think I did … ok.

It was, of course, a calculated reminder to myself. I knew the upcoming year was going to be stressful and I wanted to remember the stress was temporary. I wanted to enjoy the people we love and the memories we were creating along the way, however crazy the journey.

The truth is that the first part of 2013 felt largely sad to me. I said goodbye to so much: the state I’d lived in for 9 years, good friends, full-time employment. Everything in life is a trade-off, so in return I got a beautiful new town to explore, family nearby and a pretty great work-from-home situation.

Did I enjoy? Yes, I did. But looking back, there are a few months I wish I’d enjoyed more. Life is that way, isn’t it? If you knew things were going to turn out great, you’d be more apt to enjoy the process. When you don’t know that for sure? Enjoying is more challenging.

But hey, it’s time to move on. I am sweetly kissing 2013 goodbye and embracing 2014 with a big warm hug.

Even if I only did ok, I really like the idea of choosing a theme for the year. It took me about four seconds to decide what this year’s theme should be:

patience

“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Ah, patience. It’s never been my strong point. Let’s be honest — it probably never will be. Which is precisely why I need the yearlong remind.

I want to be more patient with my son. I want to remember that although Age 3 can be extraordinarily challenging, Ryan is still so very young. He doesn’t need my frustration; he needs my kindness. He needs me to teach him, by example, how to deal with life’s annoyances.

If he wants to read the same book four times in a row, I shouldn’t sigh at him; I should turn back to the beginning and start again. If he doesn’t want to put his shoes on until we play a game of catch with them, I should smile and play catch-the-shoe. If he wants to pretend to fall down every four seconds while I’m trying to change his clothes, I should laugh and enjoy the fact that he only will require my help with this for a little bit longer.

More than anyone else in this world, he deserves every ounce of patience I can conjure up.

Before I know it, he’ll be doing all these things on his own and my level of patience will be irrelevant. So for now, while I still have such a big impact on his life: Patience.

Of course, this is a Theme for the Year, not just a Theme for Ryan. So my patience should extend to a lot of other areas: waiting in lines, folks who drive like idiots, my husband’s Twitter habit, and our cat who – extremely impatient herself – loudly cries out for food at 5 a.m. every morning.

Patience, Meg. Patience.

We’ll see how I do.

4 Responses to The year of Patience.

  1. Angie says:

    Great theme. I should adopt it for my year, too! I have next to none!! Even my kids have imitated my impatient grumblings and often “arrrrghhhh” over the littlest of things. Or we’ll be sitting in a restaurant, literally watching the waitress walk away after having taken our order, and one will whine, “where’s my mac n cheese?” while the other chimes in, “they’re taking forever!” I mean, I can only blame myself for their intolerance for slowness, right?

  2. cindy says:

    What a beautiful and wise post. It’s so easy to forget that they are little sponges. They appear to be absorbed elsewhere, never paying attention quite the way we want, but they hear every word, learn every action and reaction and follow the examples we set without even realizing it, not only how we talk, how we treat them, but how we treat each other. I am using Patience as my theme this year, along with a couple of other personal goals. Impatience is the catalyst behind so many challenges today. Thank you for the reminder. It’s not just new parents who learn, but some of us Nanas who can always use a refresher! Happy New Year!

    • It’s amazing how much Ryan repeats and mimics of my own words and behaviors – things I don’t even realize I DO until he shines a light on it for me. So very humbling. Good luck with your theme and goals this year, Cindy!

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