A Time of Patience

I was reminded of my New Year’s Resolution over the weekend, when patience was the topic of Sunday’s homily at church. Back in January, I wrote about my mantra of “Less Hurry. Less Worry” and this passage (from a presentation I attended last year) is especially relevant for this time of year:

Life is a series of sprints and there’s a lot of rushing around. Downtime is a necessary time to re-charge to be able to bring energy to each “sprint” or challenge you may face.

We are all rushing and hurrying like crazy in preparation for the holidays. There is a lot of sprinting and stress that takes much of the joy away from this season. Similarly, I feel like there has been a lot of sprinting going on this week, re-grouping after being out of town for Thanksgiving and even just hitting the save button on this post SEVERAL times before having a bigger chunk of time to come back to it. It’s a whole lot of hurry, hurry, hurry. And all that hurrying can make me feel impatient!

Am I More Patient this Year?

Overall throughout the last year, I feel less hurried and at times more patient. However, I probably should ask my family if they would agree with that statement. I still can feel a tendency to over-multi-task instead of focusing on what’s most important at this one point in time. Being conscious of un-productive multi-tasking is the first step, right?

Some patience has been learned through schedule changes as of late. My husband has changed jobs and increased his commute, leaving me to fly solo with the kids in the morning. Instead of thinking he’s around to help (or not), I know it’s all me, so I have become more patient with my kids in the morning. Truthfully, we’ve also had several months of the school year under our belt, so they are also more adjusted to the weekly school routine too. Together we can help each other in the mornings.

The Waiting REALLY is the Hardest Part

As was mentioned in church on Sunday, patience is desperately needed this time of year. Our deacon showed pictures of holiday travel with LONG lines. Shopping on Black Friday or any holiday shopping can bring a LONG line. There’s a lot of waiting, and we all hate that, right?!

Today while waiting in line at a craft store, I was amused by a mom with two kids in front of me for a few reasons. First, I remember those days of shopping with a toddler and an infant all too well (see The BEST Line(s) to get out of a toy store). Now I am just the “older” mom whose kids are now in school (well, some of the time, anyway)! I sometimes share, “I know what you’re going through” lines of encouragement because I too remember those kind people who did the same to me a few years back. This conversation was just last year! Second, the older toddler was saying “bye, bye.”  When I observed her more closely, she was pointing at things and saying, “buy, buy!”  I laughed out loud and commented on this to her mom. Too funny, right? In this moment of waiting and being patient, I was able to engage with the party in front of me instead of being grumpy and sitting on my smartphone.

Ways to be more Patient to Make Waiting Easier

One phrase that comes up in this season of Advent is “waiting in joyful anticipation,” and I am reminded of the symbols and traditions that we use to help us wait – things like Advent calendars, Christmas Countdowns, or lighting candles on the Advent Wreath. This year we are lighting candles on a salt dough wreath that my daughter made in her religious education class. She feels so proud of it, and there is something very special about lighting a candle and enjoying a family dinner together. It makes us slow down a bit, and we look forward to lighting the next candle. Each day in December, we’ll change the Christmas countdown. Each week we’ll light another candle, helping us track the passage of time, which makes the waiting for Christmas a bit easier.

Is the season trying your patience? How do you handle waiting this time of year? Best wishes for some time to slow down, relax, and reflect this December!

Advertisements

Do Good, Read More Summer Reading Challenge

Quote

I recently read about the Do Good, Read More Summer Reading Challenge at The Do-Gooder Mama’s blog, and I was inspired…but not immediately moved to action. The truth is I have been a bit lazy and TIRED lately from all of the summer fun, and blogging seems to be harder to do when the weather is beautiful.

Do Good Read More Summer Reading Challenge

Anyway, tonight I am motivated and raring to join the Summer Reading Challenge!

Today I found The Happy Guide with a post of delicious looking summer adult beverages (whoo hoo the kids are in bed – party time), and another post of favorite inspirational quotes.

One that seemed particularly meaningful to my current state of mind and lack of blogging –

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”
Jack London

Well said Jack!  I will try to take your advice in the search for inspiration / motivation.

I also love this quote from Theodore Roosevelt (that I came across while reading an Oprah interview with Brene Brown):

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…[And] if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”

Cheers to all of us “bloggers” in the arena, sharing our stories, and putting ourselves out there.  Keep going & ignore the naysayers, who may simply be onlookers.  Special thanks to the Do Gooder Mama for inspiring me to discover new blogs among many other good things!

2012 Off and Gone

The past tense of “on the go” – a phrase I like to use at Go Mama O – is “off and gone,” or so I’ve decided.

It is so appropriate, as the end of 2012 was off and gone like a curious toddler in the toy aisle among our busy holiday festivities.  I have been mentally writing this post for a few days and feel blessed with some down time to pour it all out for your reading pleasure (by the way, THANK YOU dear readers)!

2012 Badger fans watching the Rose Bowl

2012 Badger fans watching the Rose Bowl – Too bad the 2013 Badger Rose Bowl ALSO ended in a loss. Hmm..I did wear the same sweatshirt both years.  Maybe that’s the problem!

As I reflect on 2012, I am proud to admit that I am happier, less stressed, and a more patient stay at home mama, who occasionally does freelance work.  I think it’s taken me a while to adjust to my routine at home and just enjoy the present. Being at home with my children HAS been such a blessing, and I know I will fondly look back on this time – even when it wasn’t all rosy dealing with diaper duty, potty training, sleep deprivation or tantrums galore. My kids have taught me some pretty amazing things this past year.  See my top 5 things I learned from my kids entry.

I compare the picture above to the ones below, taken about 1 year apart, and it reminds me how far my kiddos have come this past year too.  MAJOR milestones for little brother  – going from 4 months to almost 16 months, he’s now much more a toddler than my baby boy.  He’s been walking much more than his long preferred butt-scooting, and saying a lot of words in his sweet little voice. I love it when he says blanket, sleepy, and TREEEAT.

Christmas 2012 Little Brother on the go

Christmas 2012 Little Brother on the go

My daughter has come a long way too from 2 to 3 years old!  For a while I thought she was in an “anti-mama” mode, but after being at home with her, I feel that we are much closer, and it’s typically me she calls for in the middle of the night.  We’re conquering potty-training and enjoying a lot of pretend-play with our train and animal loving little girl. She tends to carry on a dialogue with herself throughout the day, as if she’s narrating her own life.  Sometimes I’ll hear her say, “Put this over here (or insert any sentence)…the girl said.”  I think she is a blogger or thespian in the making!

Christmas 2012 Mama O and big sister
Celebrating Christmas 2012 – Mama O and big sister (she’s watching TV)

I’m looking forward to a great 2013 with my family.  I’m excited to see what will come along – new opportunities, challenges, and much more to discuss in the coming days.  I’m doing my best not to be anxious about not having a “plan” worked out, which is difficult for a planning girl to do.  I’m trusting in God’s plan for me, trying to listen for signs that I’m on the right track. For the moment, I think my happy, healthy family is indicating that I am where I’m supposed to be right now.