its the time of year when i start reflecting on everything that happened over the past months and years; how i’ve changed, where my journey has carried me to and who is with me; how my dreams and goals have evolved (or devolved, for that matter), what makes me tick now and what have i let go of. i have been thinking a lot about family – what it means to be part of a family, what it means to change our definition of family, how we restructure our families and how does that change our place in our world.
i also start thinking about the upcoming months and years. i don’t believe in new year’s resolutions – i’ve come to peace long ago with the fact that i am not a resolution-oriented woman. i don’t like deadlines or finite goals. i will procrastinate. i will rebel. and i am okay with that. but i often find my way into the new year with ideas of what i hope will happen or what i would like to see accomplished – by me or my family. let’s face it – i’m a mama and thinking solely of myself isn’t my internal structure anymore (for the most part). so the thoughts of what will become and where our journeys will take us are often collective instead of singular.
: i hope that this next year will find panda and i in new professional positions. or at least in a better mental and emotional space with our chosen careers. it has been a rough year and both of us tend to be devoutly dedicated to what we’ve chosen to do with our lives (professionally speaking). that makes it difficult to leave things at the office and disconnect when we come home. one of the major drawbacks has been that, when we carry the stress and frustration of our jobs home with us, we are quickly exhausted and hollowed-out; we whittle away the “us” and the “me” time trying to recover and reject the insanity that is our jobs. we fail to fully enjoy the family time, the world that sits right outside our front door (we really have some beautiful beaches nearby, but rarely the energy or motivation to get down to one and enjoy the sunsets – for free, people!). we often spend a lot of time in internal or professional crisis management mode – often being reactionary to what is happening around us and – unfortunately – feeling less and less as if we’re making a significant contribution to our campus communities and feeling more and more that we’re simply spinning our wheel in our offices, becoming obstacles or obligations.
: i hope that the next year will be filled with the continued emergence of shortstack’s own personality. as a mama, one of most definitive goals is to create a space – physical, mental, emotional, creative and academic – in which our boy feels safe and welcome to become the person HE is supposed to be. a space where he is free from judgement so that the person whom he becomes is boundless and unrestrained.
: i hope that this next year will find us welcoming friends – new and old – into our home. and that our friends will find comfort and relaxation when they enter. we’ve been in our home for a 2 years, come 1/1/2013. it have morphed, expanded, nestled and cozied down to become the place that our little family retreats to. i think that we grow into our homes and our homes grow around us … and i believe that growth is becoming more marked with our family personality as time goes on.
: i hope that this next year i will become brave and confident enough to step out on my writer legs and start producing work and words that have been milling, stirring, swirling and hiding inside me. i hope that i will be able to draw upon my strength and my need to be a share a part of my story so that i will trust myself to create … to write.
: i hope that this next year i will be wise and motivated enough to improve my fitness and my health. i come from a family (the haole side) that isn’t really known for longevity, so i need to take care of what i have so that i may be around for a long time to nag my wife and adore our son.
: i hope that this next year will present new opportunities for advocacy and involvement. i’ve been inspired b the organizations that i have become involved with and supported this past year. the work that i do for LGBTQ youth and in higher education have been fueling my soul and presenting me outlets of purpose. i would be honored to have other opportunities and doors open in these areas.
: i hope that 2013 will not feel rushed and we won’t feel ragged by the end of it. 2012 was a BIG year for us (just in case you’re new to our life, we got MARRIED!!) … but it was a challenging year and – at this point – i think it’s fair to say that the mamas are a bit worn down.
: i hope we continue to cherish all our daily moments. i’m lucky to have a family that enjoys daily life together. we don’t usually have big events that we measure ourselves by … we take life day-by-day, often reminding each other that we are loved and cherished, sharing our adventures and our challenges, curling up together on the couch to find comfort and peace. we’re a pretty darn lucky family … and i will continue to thank our angels for all this life is