We all love to start fresh doing something right? Whether it’s a New Year, a new month, the kickoff to a new school year or baseball’s opening day, the idea of a fresh start gives us hope and the opportunity to strive for greatness, or at least buy a new outfit. There is joy in the smell of a fresh baby right out of the bath, and a fresh bouquet in the house reawakens the home in an instant.
But thankfully, those external triggers are not necessarily a requirement to start new. Every day that we wake up, every hour, every new breath in is a brand spanking new opportunity for a clean slate.
Mother’s don’t have the ability to quit. We can’t just throw our hands up in the air when we are frustrated or impatient and say, “Welp, I’m done being a Mom now.” But what we can do is give ourselves fresh starts- multiple times an hour if needed. We can take a walk around the block, grab a hot (I’ll even take lukewarm) cup of coffee, put on a face mask- accept God’s grace, put whatever craziness happened in the past and move forward with a fresh viewpoint.
Our happiness is really dependent on our outlook and expectations that we head into our day with, too. If we go into any given situation with a positive and confident frame of mind, with a willingness to laugh, have fun and enjoy the moment no matter what gets thrown at — or on us, we are more likely to have a better day.
Back in December, the boys and I flew to Ohio to visit my family for the holidays. Let me repeat that, the boys (ages 3 and 18 months) and myself (alone) took two, four hour long direct flights, to get to Ohio and back.
Of course I prepared. I had the iPads, I had the headphones, I had the toys, I had the blankets, pacifiers, sippy cups and bottles and of course ALL. THE. SNACKS. But it was still awfully challenging. Not because my boys were being completely crazy- they were mostly well behaved and quiet. But the flights we took were late night and early morning– when the majority of people were sleeping AND the plane didn’t offer inflight entertainment. So ANY noise the boys made seemed ear-splitting to me, as I stood ready to defend my crew against any eye rolling or annoyed glares.
The way I got through those flights without losing my marbles completely was to literally give myself a fresh start every 30 seconds. That’s all I could do. Whatever happened, happened, and I had to put it in the past and move forward with a positive outlook. 3 yr old needs to go to the bathroom while baby is asleep in my arms? Check, we got this. And once it was done, I put it behind me and prepared myself for the next mission at hand.
Deep breaths, staying present and giving myself and my babies plenty of grace is what got us through. And we did it, and it could have been much, much, much much worse.
I share that small story to help inspire anyone who is waiting for the “right moment” to start something new. I’m trying my best to not sound like an annoying self help book but you never have to be stuck- things can change for the better at any moment. The “perfect time” is never going to happen- something is always going to come up. But dreams can come true, and you can live a life by design as I believe we are striving for everyday.
We don’t have to wait for an external trigger to give ourselves the opportunity to let go of the past, whether that past is 30 seconds ago or 10 years ago. There is nothing holding us back from releasing ourselves from what happened or even who we used to be, except ourselves. We do not have to be the same person we were 5 minutes ago, 5 days ago, 5 years ago.
It’s ok if people don’t recognize us, if they notice that we have changed, if it confuses them or even disappoints them.
Because in reality, they are just confused & disappointed because we no longer fit into the little box they have designated for us, and now they have to do the frustrating work of relabeling.
You have every opportunity and the complete power right now, to start fresh and move forward in whatever direction you want your path to go. Maybe you want to start living more mindfully and be completely present. Maybe you struggle with having a patient spirit with your kids, and you want to adjust your responses. Maybe you want to quit your job and move across the country (been there!). Or maybe you just want to diligently try to not let things go bad in the refrigerator– for real this time.
I’m starting fresh too. I originally had big plans for this blog and wanted to post regularly, But then of course there’s this thing called life and more important things got in the way, as they do. Kingston fractured his tibia at a trampoline park and has been in a cast for the past three very cold and rainy weeks (which means we can’t really even leave the house). And on top of that we are doing multiple exciting yet all consuming projects at home in preparation to refinance next month.
I’m giving myself the grace though to start again, and this time I have a few new tools to help me try to reach my goals. During my late night attempts at “me time” I created a few planning worksheets that help me collect all my random thoughts and ideas into one place.
When I chart my course and set time aside to plan things out, I do get more things done (not everything usually, but at least more), but more importantly I also have a clear mind and the ability to focus on other things.
Writing my thoughts down allows my brain to breathe a little bit. I have so much running through my mind, when I put it down onto paper it is sort of a release. Then I can actually become aware of the present moment and focus on way more important things like my family– instead of mentally running through my to-do list a million times.
Just don’t grip onto your plans too tight. Because no matter how many to-do lists and plans we make—-life happens, and things change. And you might need another fresh start.
Besides, we aren’t in charge of it all anyways: