I want to use Gretchen Rubin's strategy of the clean slate to maintain my healthy habits this year. As a result, I am treating each month as a clean slate, a fresh start, a do-over-- and I am going to wrap up the month by making a list of things I did that I didn't like doing.
So, here are some behaviors that won't be joining me in February:
1. Being a hermit: I am not a person who needs a lot of social interaction. When I was getting my MA and living by myself, there were many weeks that went by where I didn't go anywhere but class, a greasy restaurant to get takeout, and my apartment. AND I WAS HAPPY. But also, probably, kind of weird and I forgot how to communicate with people. Thank God there was no Facebook. I have sort of fallen int that trap agin. I go to work. I teach class. I have meetings. I see parents at school and dance and gymnastics and hockey and cub scouts. But really I am not hanging out with them. It's more like when toddlers engage in parallel play. So! I am filling up my dance card with dates in February.
2. Unloading my shitty mood on Ben the minute he walks in the door: It's not Ben's fault that the kids were fighting or I was a procrastinator and didn't get all of my work done. In fact, his arrival signals the fact that my life is about to get a whole lot easier, so I need to act like I appreciate him. Because I do! And I hope that I can sort of lead by example on this front and come home to a SAHD who is in a better mood on the days I work at the office.
3. Rushing through mornings and bedtimes with the kids: You guys! They are growing up so fast. (It's a cliche because it's TRUE and we need to SAY IT). To them, every day is fresh and ripe, exploding with possibilities, and they aren't treating their routines like items on a checklist they can complete and then declare finished so they can curl up on the couch with a book and a blanket or a stack of papers or a screen full of frantic emails. And neither should I. I am consumed by the telos of the day without recognizing its potential to become something transformative. That's the magic of little kids: EVERY DAY can be a transformative experience.
I think I could make this a longer list, but I also think I need to pick the most important behaviors to jettison and work slowly through them, so I am going to leave it here. With a picture to remind me that this is a fun life and I enjoy it.