We’re all full of resolutions today. To lose weight, to eat better, to quit a bad habit.
Whenever I read the list of popular New Year’s resolutions, I’m struck by the fact that almost all of them have one hope at their heart: to nurture a more mindful, healthy, peaceful life. We each admit there are ways we’re living that aren’t good for our body, mind and spirit, and we want to change.
I love the hope of 1/1. Everything feels fresh by flipping the calendar page. Hopeful and possible. Cynics sneer that the packed gyms will be empty by February, that we’ll all be gobbling chocolate by Valentine’s Day, that the chaos of clutter will once again demand spring cleaning. But each January 1st we resolve to do better, and I like that about us humans. We’re stubbornly optimistic.
I’ve ticked off three for myself again this year: one I want to do (get more serious about my writing), one I need to do (get our finances more organized), and one I have to do (get more sleep). (With a nod to Anne Lamott’s Help, Thanks, Wow, I’ve dubbed my resolution mantra “yay! groan. zzzz…”)
As I’ve been pondering and planning my resolutions over the past week, I’ve realized that the last one, which seems the simplest, even the silliest, is actually the most important. When I don’t get enough sleep, everything in my life is affected: my mood, my energy, my relationships, my work. But when I prioritize rest, even when it means dragging myself away from a project or chore I feel I have to finish, then everything else seems, surprisingly, to run more smoothly. I’m more patient with my kids, more loving to my husband, more creative at work, more productive around the house. Getting enough sleep is an important part of my own self-care – an essential way that I nurture my mothering spirit.
This week I’m launching a new series called How I Nurture My Mothering Spirit. I’ve asked some of my favorite bloggers to share what they do to care for themselves and connect with God in the midst of parenting’s hectic days. And I can’t wait to share their words with you.
As their posts have trickled into my in-box, I’ve literally clapped my hands after reading each one, done the goofy happy dance around the kitchen with my kiddos. Because each thoughtful reflection is brimming with mothering mindfulness, just the kind of kindred-spiriting I crave in the hard work of parenthood. And each mother-writer, whether or not she explicitly names God as part of her practice, reminds me that we are all everyday theologians when we seek to care for the spirit within us and connect with the presence of the divine all around us.
Starting tomorrow, I’ll share one reflection each Wednesday. (Because we all need a lift by the middle of the week, don’t we?) I hope this series will help us to settle into a New Year full of promise and hope, that it will shine small lights in the winter darkness, that it will warm your spirit even in the bitter cold.
Here’s to nurturing our mothering spirits in 2013 – and thanks to each of you who lift me up with your words and presence here!