Waiting for the New Year

The past three years, instead of writing New Year’s resolutions–that I famously had made and not kept–I have chosen a “theme word” for my year. This word gives me focus for the goals I want to accomplish. Two years ago, my word was OWN: as in owning my time so I’m spending my spare time on things that make me happy such as knitting and running, owning my emotions and keeping them in check, owning the fact that my household of five needs to eat three times a day and working with my husband to make sure that happens!

Last year’s word was LEARN. (You can read about my goals from last year here). I wanted to learn how to be a great parent, learn how to balance everyone’s needs, learn what “I” can do to make our family successful. Looking back, using the word LEARN led to a good year. Our family had its seasons of sadness, including the death of our beloved dog, and seasons of joy, with different  jobs for my husband and myself. I feel that we ended the year in a better place than we began.

Facing 2013, a word for this year has been much tougher to find. In September, my twin boys started kindergarten, and all three kids were in school full-day. I jumped into a part-time job and a few volunteer opportunities and quickly burnt out. A wise mom-of-twins friend counseled me to stop, wait, and think. I learned this lesson the hard way. After eight years of stay-at-home parenting and five years of twins, I needed to sit in my empty house and listen to the refrigerator hum. Wait in silence for what to do next. Wait for inspiration.

So this year I am applying the word WAIT to my life:

WAIT and see if my three kids will stop yelling at each other and solve their problems themselves
WAIT and let my nine-year-old advocate for herself with teachers and coaches, instead of jumping in to solve the problem
WAIT and sit on the sidelines, and encourage, and cheer as my kindergarten twins enter the world of elementary school sports
WAIT before I sign the kids up for every enrichment class, field trip, summer camp or other opportunity offered–they all need their space to breathe.

I hope that waiting will give us a slower and but still full year. I’m excited to get started.

If you would like to learn more about choosing a word of the year, please visit
the website of the wonderful Ali Edwards for inspiration.

Leslie H. is thrilled to be writing at HDYI, sharing the parenting experiences of trying to navigate life with a spunky 9-year-old girl and two loving and adventurous five-year-old boys (who happen to be twins).

4 thoughts on “Waiting for the New Year

  1. I love this idea of a theme word. I’ve been turning more and more often to a mantra of “Breathe.” Is that the same as “Wait?”

  2. @Sadia
    I think Breathe is a great word of the year. Anything that helps you stop, think and regroup before taking action works well. Good luck!

  3. Leslie, that’s a great idea .. I loved how practical and detailed you got in it. I recently (this year) dropped one of my activities because I realized I just need more ‘down time’. I thought I’d feel guilty about it but it’s been such a relief … yesterday I stared at the wall for a whole hour and did nothing. I felt awesome!

  4. Leslie, I like the idea of selecting a theme for the year. I’ve used your idea and I’ve been waiting to see if the kids can work things out themselves before I get involved.

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