Saturday, January 1, 2011

And my 2011 word is…

I spent most of New Year’s Eve in a quiet place in my head and heart.  With my in-laws back in Ohio, my little ones asleep in their beds (my two little littles, and my big little, too – love ya, honey!), and no “come, frolic and celebrate and be merry with us!” invites in sight, my inner night owl had the freedom to soar.

I stayed up until about 12:30 finishing a pseudo-satisfying novel, and then crawled into bed, where my brain (over stimulated, I think, by the book’s could-never-really-ever-happen plotline) raced with snapshots from 2010, and then, as often seems to be the case, continued its reflective journey back through 2009, and then the fall of 2008 – September 2008, precisely, which has come to be the jumping-off point for the season of life I find myself in.

And I wonder, not for the first time: If I’d have known what was on the other side of my Olive Garden birthday dinner – if I’d have known how my life was about to completely change – would I have gone?

But lets dig back even further…….

If I had to describe, in one word each, my “grown up” years, it might go something like this:

2005 – upheaval   One might think a more “positive” word would (should?) label the inaugural year of one’s marriage, but, well, if I’m being honest here, 2005 kicked my butt.  Maybe someday, I’ll elaborate in a separate post.

2006 – settled  Our first home, promotions at work, the decision to begin our family – it’s as if we found our stride as married individuals and as a couple.  It was a wonderful, drama-less year, the likes of which we have yet to see since.

2007 – maybe relinquish?  With my first miscarriage, and subsequent high-risk, touch-and-go pregnancy with Seth (which included taking a 6 month leave of absence from a job I loved), I had to learn to let go of a lot of things – things that, as it turns out, weren’t ever in my control to begin with.  This year of preparing to become a mom laid an unshakable foundation for how I have, and will continue to parent.

2008 – explore  Explore being a mother, explore my partner-now-also-parent husband, explore a promotion, explore the continued signs of my “broken” fertility with the loss of our twins, explore “cleaving” in action.

2009 – resilient  Were you reading The Writer Chic in 2009?  Roller. Coaster.  The move, the surprise + on the pregnancy test a mere 6 days after the move, the break-in, Duncan,  the diagnosis, the first half of Erin’s pregnancy….  Yea, I’d say “able to recoil or spring back into shape after bending, stretching, or being compressed; able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions” pretty much sums up how I came out of 2009.

2010 – hollow   That’s hard to admit, especially after proudly toting around the “resilient” medal circa 2009.  And again, maybe I’ll elaborate in future posts.  But, honestly, 2010 for me was really an exercise in survival.  A whole lot of going through the motions, biting my tongue, stamping down overwhelming emotions (often sadness and feelings of inadequacy), playing peacemaker to everyone but myself.

Which brings me to 2011….

There are so many words I hope come out as contenders when it’s all said and done in 12 months, but the one floating to the top of my wish list is restored.

The chinks that stressful parenting and too many long hours at the office have allowed to appear in my marriage – Father, please restore.  The energy and drive that dissolved in the emotional eating wake of 5 pregnancies, becoming a SAHM, and the dissolution of my parent’s 28-year-marriage – Lord, please give me the grace,and willpower to allow You to restore.  The joy I spoke of so firmly only 2 short years ago – oh, how I long for it to be restored.

And you, reader?  What wish do you have for 2011?  I’d love for you to share…


Emily said...

Peace. My wish for 2011 is peace.

Jessica said...

my wish for 2011 is peace, too. peace with my very cold surroundings, peace with our circumstances, peace with this stage of my life. lots and lots of peace. :)

gottaluvboyz said...

My wish for 2011 is finding myself to be more in the present. Often, I find myself looking ahead. Planning. Seeking. While sometimes necessary w/ four young kiddos, I need to learn and appreciate the here. The now. The present more often. Happy New Year!

nursegirl said...


phasejumper said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your parent's separation. My husband's parents have gone through the same thing (30 years) and I haven't been able to discuss my feelings/reactions on my blog in order to protect their privacy. Thank you for your transparency.

Kendra said...


Or Grace.

Either will do. That's what I want my 2011 word to be. A year lived in enjoying the moment and finding gratitude in everything. And a year in which I experience (or rather, recognize) both the grace given to me and am able to give it to others.

I love you friend.

Heidi said...


2010 brought me happiness, I found that I could love someone the moment I saw them..... And then in an instant, it's taken away.... All I want is to have the joy and happiness back in my life.

Sara said...

I pray that for you, Monica. I want you to have that so badly. *hugs*

I have to think about what I want for 2011. A few words keep coming into my head, but I can't settle on just one. It's been a rough few weeks here & I need to unwind from that before I can really focus on forward.

I love you, lady!