I don’t always pick a word for the year. Last year my word was hustle – and I did hustle: completing my certification as a doula, and supported three women in birth. This year – I’m going to focus on my attitude, my heart. My word is going to be joyful. Yes, I will continue to work hard to achieve my goals for this year, but I also want to focus on being joyful.
First, I want to work on being joyful about my role at home. I’ve heard myself saying a lot lately, “I hate cleaning,” and “I’m tired of meal planning and cooking.” It’s okay to feel that way from time to time, but I don’t want myself to be stuck in a rut of complaining. Not only is it not fair to my husband and kids, but I’m not treating myself very well either.
I had this revelation today while I was doing the dishes: Cleaning and tidying actually ENERGIZES me. What?!
I’ve been going through a course: 15 Days to a Healthier You, and on the first day Crystal suggested we made a list of what energizes us and what depletes us. I was able to quickly make the list:
What depletes me:
- Phone calls
- Large crowds
- Lots of noise
- Nonstop talking/ questions
- Listening to long stories
- Kids being clingy
What energizes me:
- Time to reflect
- Writing lists
- Reading, particularly nonfiction “self-help” books
- One-on-one conversations with close friends
- Online courses or challenges
- Rearranging the house
But when I was looking at Crystal’s list, she had put cleaning on the “what energizes her” side. I thought she was just crazy at the time, because like I’ve been saying to myself and out loud – “I hate cleaning.” BUT today, when the boys were napping, the first thing I wanted to do was put the house in order and do the dishes (a task I normally do not enjoy). I started listening to a book on audible and got to the dishes. That’s when I had the revelation – wait, I DO enjoy cleaning. Not all the time, but I do get pleasure from getting the kitchen back in order, so it’s ready for the next meal.
I want to remember this moment and remember this revelation. Because, as I do, I can spend more time in the joyful camp, actually enjoying the day to day tasks, and less time complaining about the work to be done. Then, when my attitude is shifted, the work seems lighter and I get it done quicker.
Secondly, I want my kids to see me as someone who is joyful to be their mom, not someone who is nagging them on all the time. Sometimes it is fairly easy to have patience and love on my boys. Other days, when the 3-year-old is being particularly stubborn or the almost 2-year-old is teething, it is SO HARD to communicate joy instead of frustration all the time.
My steps to have a more joyful attitude:
Because, you know, I have to come up with a list of things “to-do”. That’s my personality. I do want to have a more joyful attitude this year. Here are the steps that I’m going to take to help. I know I’ll work on expanding this list this year, but here is what I have for now:
- Get enough sleep (go to bed by 10pm) – this is already one of the habits I’m fostering.
- Start my day in Scripture and in prayer – again, already one of my habits
- Put on an audiobook or music as I’m going about my day, cleaning or tidying
- Count my blessings
- Seek to encourage another mom
Do you all have any suggestions as to how I can cultivate a more joyful attitude?