In the past, I’ve used the category “The Curated Review” to analyze some of my favorite books and movies, give my opinions on them. Now, it’s 2015’s turn.
On December 31st 2014, exactly a year ago today, I wrote down all that I hoped for 2015. I had three main desires: to be a better wife, mother, and writer. I think maybe I’ve accomplished one of those. Maybe one and a half, if I’m being generous.
I’ve been a wife for almost four and a half years now and I honestly feel like I’m getting worse at it. I don’t cook, I rarely clean, and I can be pretty selfish. And what does being a wife consist of exactly? Cooking, cleaning, and selflessness of course. Just my luck. Obviously, it takes more than that but like everyone else, my failures and shortcomings are my constant focus. How can I be nicer to Matthew? But maybe cooking and cleaning aren’t the answer. They were the only answer in another time but this is 2015, for heaven’s sake! (for a little longer, anyways) So maybe “how can I cook more?” can become “how can I be nicer?” “How can I clean more?” can become “how can I be supportive?” “How can I be less selfish?” can stay. 2015 was not the year of the Better Wife but the desire to be one hasn’t gone away. I don’t get credit for that but I do get hope, which is maybe just as good.
I’ve been a mother for fourteen months and what I didn’t understand when I wrote this resolution is that you have to be a mom to the kid you have, not just be a mom. What I mean is, the type of mother I am and will be forever and ever depends on Ella (and any younger siblings she might get in the future). When I wrote I wanted to be a better mother, I really meant that I wanted to be a better person for Ella. This is where that half accomplishment comes from. I would do anything for Ella; it’s been that way since the beginning. Since I found out I was pregnant, since I saw her little face in the ultrasound, since I first heard her cry on the other side of the curtain as I lay half-paralyzed on an operating table. Nothing has changed in that regard and I do give myself credit for that. It’s easy to sacrifice for her; it’s natural. That’s why I only get half-credit- it’s not a fight to love her and be better for her. I am also a little bit controlled by my OCD so that doesn’t seem fair. Basically, I still have a long way to go to be the best mother I’m capable of being but I don’t doubt myself there as much as I do in other areas. 2015 was the first full year as a mother, maybe even a Better Mother.
And finally, a better writer. I’ve been a writer since the fourth grade. That’s when we learned about poetry and I immediately fell in love with the idea of putting perfect words together. It started out as poems about colors, then animals, then my feelings and insecurities and anxieties. Then it was short stories, creative writing assignments. Then it was poems again until finally I wrote a 600 page goliath novel that only a few people have read and mercifully not laughed at.
And now it’s this. The Curated Life. This blog gave writing back to me; I’d lost it which is why I needed the resolution in the first place. And now I have a million projects I’m working on, some that maybe I’ll share here eventually. But this could be the first time in my long history with New Year’s Resolutions that a clear goal has been reached. I’m writing which, as I’m sure you know, makes a Better Writer.
So 2015 wasn’t a waste. I didn’t do or become everything I wanted but I’ve made enough changes to have even more hope for 2016. And maybe we shouldn’t think of our resolutions as 365 day goals. Maybe we’re just building on hope. But in 2016 and beyond, there are things that happily won’t change: I’ll always be Matthew’s wife. I’ll always be Ella’s mother. I’ll always be a writer. For better, and I guess for worse also.
But I don’t know, something tells me it’s just going to get better.
Have such a Happy New Year, WordPress.