Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I Dare You (With No Pictures)

Deep breath.  Wow.  What a luxury.  Writing on my blog.  As chance would not normally have it, my house is perfectly quiet right now.  Jane and Camp are, of course, at school.  Danin is at a friend's house, and Skip is napping.  So I get to write.  I've told you before how much I enjoy writing on my blog.  The fact is, though, with four young kids, the opportunity to write on my blog does not come often.  Sometimes I feel frustrated and jealous that there are other bloggers who are able to maintain their blogs so regularly, but the fact is--it just isn't possible for me.  Not right now, anyway.  Not with four young kids.  Because the thing is--while I really do enjoy writing on my blog, it does require some considerable emotional energy for me.  And at the end of the day (literally), I've got none.  That's why I spend my evenings staring at fabrics and design blogs and Overstock with my mouth hanging open and then snuggle up in my chair for some Downton Abbey.  (Why did his Lordship have to be unfaithful?  Why is there always infidelity? That really does always ruin it for me.  Why didn't anyone warn me of that?) So anyway, I'm excited to have this chance.

I told you I would tell you about my New Year's resolutions.  If you can believe it, I really do believe in New Year's Resolutions.  You know why?   Because I have made and actually accomplished one before.  I'll not tell you what it was--it is probably the only thing in the world I have never told at least someone, but I did it.  And I have made significant progress on others.   Do you remember what my resolutions were last year?  Who am I kidding.  ( I never know whether to put a question mark at the end of a question that I want read as a statement.  Do you know what I mean?  What do you think? )  I made the resolutions to be more organized, get out of debt, and be on-time.  And while I certainly did not become perfect in any of those three categories, I did make progress in each of them.  So I'll continue to work on them this year and feel hopeful of continued progress.

This year, though, the resolution I have added is to be more dedicated to my family.   Is it even possible to become more dedicated to your family when you are already a stay-at-home mom?  Yes.  It turns out it is.  I know because I have felt in myself a slacking dedication to my family.   I have realized that far too much of the time, I am counting down the minutes until I am away from my family and have not appreciated enough, been grateful enough for, or taken advantage of the time I am with them.  You know what I mean? It's like I have spent so much time being irritated, impatient and resentful of the life that is mine as a stay-at-home mom--mainly because it gets in the way of my social life and my having a clean house.  I have felt guilty for having that little about me blurb on the side of my blog that says how much I love being a mom because much of the time now, I do not.  I take that back.  It isn't that I don't love being a mom.  I certainly do.  It's just that it is hard now.  Really, really hard a lot of the time.  Life with two little darling kids was a piece of cake, for the most part.  Life, now, is not.  It's funny, because there have been a couple times when I have complained to Brian about how hard my mom-life is and he has just looked at me without pity and basically said, "Get over it.  You chose this life."  And the fact is--he's right.  And I would choose it again.

I pray pretty regularly that Heavenly Father will help me change my perspective and help me remember the things that are most important.  And I think he really does help me.  I really do love Brian and my kids more than anything else, and if that's the case, then my attitude and actions need to reflect it.

So I've been praying to recognize and be able to accommodate the love language of each of my kids and my husband.    I've been trying to listen more and see things from their perspectives.   I've made the resolution to spend less time on the computer during the day (when my kids are here and awake :) )  While I do not ever watch television during the day or spend much time on Facebook, I do still struggle to stay away from the computer.  I spend a lot of time on it anyway, managing the business side of our business.  But it's just far too easy for me to get distracted by the world of decorating and shopping that is available on the computer.  (It's not that I buy much, but I do browse much. )  I've decided to do my best to limit my non-work related computer activities to only those times when my kids are in quiet time or in bed.  And I'm trying not to yell.  Man, there is a lot of fighting that goes on in our house, and I hate it.  I cannot be a contributor.  And I'm trying harder to seek the answers to my prayers.  It's not gonna do me a bit of good to keep asking Heavenly Father to help me figure out how to help Camp with his temper if I don't ever allow a time for Him to answer me.  I've finally established a new exercise routine of going to the gym  a few times a week early in the morning while the family is still asleep.  This often allows me the opportunity to think a little bit and come home to a still quiet house in which I can read and pray, and think for a few minutes about what I am needing help with.  And I think that will be good.

Finally, I've resolved to be more dedicated to Brian.  If I want to have a more close, trusting, enjoyable  relationship with him, I need to do my part.  I don't know how you can want something so badly, and still have such a hard time doing your part, but I do.  So I'm going to do better.  I'm going to show Brian my love in the way he receives it.  I'm going to continually ask Heavenly Father to help me to see Brian the way He does.  I'm going to try harder to forget the little things and have more faith.   So help me, friends.  I am going to do it.  I have to.  And as a part of this effort, I have decided to dedicate February--the month of love (Valentine's Day and my anniversary)--to The Love Dare.  Have you heard of it?  It is from the movie Fireproof.    There is an actual book that takes you through forty days of basically being unselfish and serving your spouse.  Hard, I know.  But would any of you like to join me?  Each day, starting February 1st (this Friday), I will post what the dare is.  Then you can join with me in an effort to strengthen your own marriages and maybe share some feedback.  Or maybe not.  Maybe that's one of those things we should keep private.  But maybe we can just post comments of little smiley faces or something to give each other support, and indicate successes.  I don't know.  But I'm doing it.  I've started to do it before, but it got too hard.  But this time I'm in it to win it, and I hope you'll do it with me.  I dare you.


9 comments:

Her Royal Highness said...

Dare Accepted.
Wonderful post Ann. (My favorite part - aside from the dare - was wishing for a clean house.)
can't wait to read the dare on Friday!!!

Topsy said...

I'm in too.

And I loved reading that. Those are some great resolutions.

Heather said...

I loved this and I feel you!! I limit myself to 30 minutes during nap for computer time. Unless I am paying bills or something, I don't HAVE to be on the computer. Honestly, I enjoy doing other things much more than computer stuff, but I love reading blogs. Your blog today is one of the reasons! So nice to be understood and heard through a blog! I have started the love dare 5 times. I think because I don't have it printed out, I totally forget about it. So, I am printing it out today. So, then I don't have an excuse to be on the computer and get sucked into bloglandia.=) Every time I am annoyed with my life, I do think I picked it this way! I picked my 4 kids in 7 years. I picked staying home. I pick happy!!

Sarah Collett said...

Nah...

kathy said...

I accept the dare for dad! J/k ok give me the dare. Great post anner!

Tiffany Moore said...

I needed to hear this. Thank you for sharing your heart, Ann. I would like to join you on your dare to love quest :0).

april said...

Love this post Ann. I was reading it on my phone yesterday at the park while my daughter asked me repeatedly to come play with her. Made me stop and realize - what the heck am I doing?? Why am I sitting here ignoring her when she is begging me to come play?? So I put the phone down (I finished reading this this morning) and went and played. And the look on my daughters face was pure joy.
So thank you my sweet friend for the reminder. I will do my best on the challenge too. :)

Audge said...

Too bad I am not even remotely close to having a significant other. Looks like I'll just have to continue being selfish...


Ok FINE. I guess I'll apply the dare to...non-significant others? That sounds harsh...how about people I care about but not romantically. There.

Stephanie Evans-Wondra said...

Anne, I sit here with tears in my eyes. What raw, open, honest and lovingly written words! I can see why it leaves you drained. I too get sucked into the computer and I love your friend Heather's word... Bloglandia! I have decided to take up the challenge.