Always one to welcome a fresh start, a clean slate, a fresh page in a notebook, it is no surprise that New Years is my favorite holiday. Others may not realize this as it goes on with little outward fanfare but I love the internal shift that happens as the year rolls over, the one that has passed is reflected on and dreams for the next one are set in place.
This past year has probably been the best one yet as I grew into myself and into my role as a mother. We settled in to having all of my family back in town, new not-ever-going-to-let-them-go friendships became firmly established, our second daughter began her life on the inside just before our first celebrated two years of life on the outside, my goal of 52 projects was surpassed, we began simplifying our home in a big way and I felt more like myself than I ever have before. Maybe it is because I spent so much of my twenties doing the hard work of mucking through my past and trying to arm myself with better tools for facing the future, maybe it is just time, but while many I know feel like they lost themselves since becoming a mother, I do not feel like that at all as in many ways I am just now finding myself, or the person I have always wanted to be and I owe much of that to allowing myself to dive in to creative projects this year.
My creativity is at a high and I have made more this year than I have in so many previous ones combined and throughout that process I have begun to find the person I know is hiding underneath the one riddled with fears of not being good enough and maybe that is because looking into my daughters eyes I can now realize that I am everything to her and perfect in her eyes. She does not see the doubts over my shoulder, the crooked stitches or the uneven lines, she sees me, projects in hand, heart full and mind challenged. She doesn't care about the supposed imperfections and in her not caring I have learned to let them go myself. I use those few rare hours we are apart to fill my hands with creativity and many of those together creating alongside her, exploring with her, enjoying each other in our perfect imperfection.
She often turns to me - some random object in hand - and asks, "mama make this?" even when I had no hand in it at all and it makes my face fill with a smile each and every time. I always hoped for my one-day children to grow up in a home full of creativity even when I was not tapping into my own and I can see it happening every day as she believes we can make and do anything and with each requests for a mama-made, each question of who made what, each smile as she picks out a bit of yarn or fabric fuel is thrown on my fire and I dive in again to keep the flames alive.
So yes, this last year was one full of creativity, something I hope and believe I will now keep alive as long as I am, but in this new year my focus will shift a bit as we welcome our next daughter into our arms. One project has already been completed with a second close behind, but there will likely be many fewer than the year we just put to rest as my intention for the coming year is simply to "embrace joy". This means allowing myself to love and embrace our now calmer home, saying "yes" to our moon walks even when I am not dressed for them, holding my husband and my daughters close and coming to know them even more fully, letting the worries and doubts slip away and reflecting with gratitude every day.
This last year was a wonderful one, but at many times it was more full of more stress than I could handle in our home and still feel truly happy and like I was being the person I wanted to be. Things have changed now, my stress level and general mood are so drastically different now that I would barely believe it if I weren't living it and though the heartache is still here and this past month will haunt me for an amount of time I cannot know, I am free now. I am free to squeeze joy from everything that comes my way and truly embrace joy as we journey into 2015.