This year, for me, is going to be a year of change.
I don't usually set new year resolutions because it often turns out that I don't go all out to fulfill them. However, 2014 being my 5th year into the motherhood journey, I took a look back at the ups and downs and realised that while it had been a happening and exciting time for us, there were things that I wish I could have done more and others that I think I should have done less.
In today's post, I share with you 7 things I am going to do more in 2015 and 7 things I hope to carry out less. Lastly, I share with you my motto in life and one golden resolution for the year.
7 things I hope to do more in 2015
1. Breathe more
Sounds easy but it's really not. Remember I said I am going to step into The Space every time something bad happens? Now, to do that, I really need to learn to calm down more, think more and most importantly, breathe more. So, I am learning to take deeper and longer breaths each day and remind myself to see the good and beauty that life has to offer.
2. Sleep more
Say byebye to 3am bedtimes! Well, at least for over a month, I have somehow miraculously managed to go to bed and fall asleep together with my kids. Now, considering that they sleep at midnight, that doesn't sound much of a big deal but you have to know that for 2014 and many years before that, I had a tendency to sleep at earliest 2am! So, this year, I'm going to quit being such a night owl which will leave me less time to blog but more time to rejuvenate myself. You know, burning the midnight oil when you are 31 is totally a different thing compared to when you were 21. Back then, I really could survive with minimal sleep and not feel the after effects. Nowadays, not getting enough sleep is worse than getting a hangover. The one night that I stayed up till past 4am to finish a review and giveaway post, I was totally a zombie the next day, kept yawning even when I was making lunch and was too tired to engage in active play with my kid. "Gosh, what am I doing with my life?" was the thought on my mind as I gave out a loud yawn and regretted my actions. I got it all wrong all this time, didn't I?
3. Craft more
You may think that I craft often as seen from my Creativity 521 series, but the truth is I used to do lots more with Angel when I had only one kid. It's a sad fact that time gets less as the number of kids gets more and I feel like I owe it to Ariel that she's missing out on things that jiejie used to do with me alone. This year, I intend to do more art and craft sessions with her during our one-on-one moments and remind myself that it's okay to repeat, it's okay not to take any pictures, it's okay to make a mess as long as the both of us have fun together.
4. Contribute more
I used to be a student leader in the LEO Club and would help to organise events like old clothes collection, flag days, visits to old folks home or beach clean-ups. That was the time when other than for my family, I was doing a small part for the rest of the community too. For quite some time, the hubby and I have been thinking of doing some voluntary or charity work but we never got down to doing it. It's not just about wanting to educate our children on how important it is to help others in need or let them see more of the world; it's more of a hope to do a little something for our community once again. I'm hoping we can start on that this year.
5. Focus more
Focus, my girl, focus. This is what I say to my girl whenever she gets distracted when doing a task. Some days, I realise I am not giving my full attention to the things I do too. So, one of my goals this year is to learn to focus more and focus wholeheartedly. For instance, I want to look at my kids in their eyes and listen to their stories, I want to concentrate on whipping up a meal instead of thinking of my next blog post title, I want to enjoy playing hide and seek with the kids at the playground without checking Instagram likes or Facebook statuses, I want to talk more to the hubby after his day at work and not be distracted by the TV. Focus, mummy, focus.
6. Explore more
You probably know that I love to take my kids outdoors and even if the hubby is out sailing, that doesn't stop us from visiting the park or going for a swim. However, I really hope that I can be more adventurous and that means taking the kids to explore more spots of Singapore that we've never set foot in. That is probably aplenty and all I need to do is decide on a place, get the address, pack the bags and find our way there! Shouldn't be that daunting, right? Just thinking about it gets my adrenaline pumping already!
7. Exercise more
Writing this makes me want to sniggle at myself because I can't remember when was the last time I had a proper workout. Ok, aside from running with my kid in a parent-child race. The hubby always tells me that I need to sweat and I would tell him that I need to sleep more. Which goes back to Point 1. All those days of being a sports player are gone! Anyway, if it counts, I just bought a series of Just Dance games on Wii and the kids and I have started playing them to keep fit, to bond and to laugh at the same time. I think I am going to dig out my Zumba DVDs too and hopefully get myself motivated to start sweating again! (P.S. In any case, I always console myself that pushing a pram with two kids, library books and bags of groceries makes one of the best ways to exercise too!)
7 things I hope to do less in 2015
1. Procrastinate less
There are many things that I've been wanting to do but kept making up excuses to delay them. For instance, I want to declutter the house, catch up on making the kids' videos, make photobooks for them, organise gatherings with long lost friends and so on. I have told myself to quit procrastinating and so, in the start of the year, I have started reaching out to friends whom I have not seen for a long time and are in the midst of planning a few gatherings. With CNY around the corner, I've also started to clean up the house and hopefully I'll be able to jazz up the kids room soon! And, by hook or by crook, I'm also going to make progress and keep up with doing up their growing up videos. Soon!
You probably can tell that I'm starting to blog less but before you give up on reading my blog, rest assured that I'll still be here. It's just that blogging takes up a lot of my family and personal time, so I'm thinking I need to strike a better balance. While I'll definitely continue to blog, I'll focus on writing the things that really matter to me and things that I think will truly benefit my readers. Yes, that probably means less PR events and sponsored reviews but it's not necessarily a bad thing for us. Blogging is a passion for me, but passion is never as important as family. I'm sure you'll still stick around, right?
3. Blame less
Whenever something happens and I am about to lash out, I remind myself to empathise more and to blame less. This will include the times when the hubby and I don't see eye to eye about child-rearing, the times when the kids go overboard to test my patience or the times when the exhausted me just needs to holler at somebody. Remember I wrote about how my big girl might be a big sister but is just a child nonetheless? I need to remind myself even though she is at the phase where she might disobey instructions and assert her own opinions, she is not totally to blame when things happen (especially 'accidents' involving the toddler which make me scream at the big sister without asking why at times). More often than not, it's really nobody's fault.
4. Surf less
This goes back to wanting to focus more which essentially means less social media distractions! I sometimes wonder if smart technology is a good or evil and I tell myself that if we could survive for four years in Sweden without a smartphone, maybe we don't really need it after all. I thought not having a iPad in the house would suffice but these days, the toddler would snatch away my phone to play games and would bawl badly when it is taken away. For Angel who didn't have this luxury or opportunity back in her days, she grew up to prefer books and drawing over electronic devices and scrolling, which I really prefer it that way. As for me, when the phone is within reach, there is also a natural tendency to check my emails, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, play Candy Crush or read blogs. So for now, I try to keep the phone out of sight and only use it when the kids are sleeping or busy playing on their own. Whenever one needs my attention, I try my best to put down whatever it is I am doing (which is usually not anything urgent or important). As for my computer, it is also only turned on when the kids are asleep or having a nap. The less distractions I have, the better I can focus. As simple as that.
5. Spend less
No, I'm really not a shopaholic. I don't shop online, I don't buy jewellery, shoes or bags, I don't use cosmetics much and I don't go for facials or mani-pedis. The same goes for the hubby. It's not that we are great parents and deprived ourselves after having kids; it's just how we were brought up and how we lived even before becoming mum and dad. However, while we don't pamper ourselves in that sense, we do spend a fair bit of money and the bulk of our savings go to holidays, weekend outings, movies and dining out as a family. Which can add up to a bomb. So, this year, I will strive to be more prudent and thriftier than before and will start from simple things like comparing prices at the supermarkets, visiting the wet market more often, eating at the hawker centre instead of a restaurant, visiting more Fun for Free places in Singapore and so on. After all, being a role model is one of the 12 ways to teach my children to save, right?
6. Yell less
This goes back to hoping to blame less in Point 3. When I first heard about the Orange Rhino Challenge - a 365 day journey to yell less and love more, I was tempted to take it up but didn't dare to because I knew for sure I would fail it miserably. If you think I'm very soft spoken, mild and benign, well, you just haven't seen the way I scream at my kids when nobody is home. At times, I yell so much and I get lost in why I was shouting but would try ways and means to justify my demeanour and prove that I am still a good mum. Then, I tell myself that I won't yell so easily the next day. Well, it might work the next day but the next next day, it seems like I would start screaming again. The space, the space. I so need to remind myself about that because many a time, I realise that there was really, absolutely, positively no need to even raise my voice, It's just that I couldn't help it at that moment in time. So, this year, I really wish to try harder at being a good-natured mum who can get things done without needing to yell.
7. Waste less
This year, I taught Angel about the Tang poem 悯农 and whenever she eats her meal, I remind her that 粒粒皆辛苦 and she should finish every single grain of rice. My mum taught me that by saying I will have pimples if I waste food, for now, my girl is doing fine and I don't need to resort to that yet. Fingers crossed. Anyway, by wasting less, I'm not just taking about money, resources or food, most importantly, I refer to time. Not wasting time doesn't mean that I have to be doing something all the time, but it does mean that I am making the most of that moment and enjoying it even if I am doing nothing at all. Contradicting? Well, maybe it just means I would like to lie on the grass to look at the skies and talk about the clouds with my kids more often. We may not be doing much but I know those moments will be the ones which will make me smile when I look back on my life in my twilight years. Carpe diem.
Lastly, more than ever this year, I wanna remind myself something which I've always believed in but may have forgotten along the way. That HAPPINESS is created, not found. It is not something that is ready made but comes from our own actions. It's not about having the best of everything; it's about making the most of what you've got. It's not about waiting for life to get better by chance, it gets better by change. It all starts from within ourselves, doesn't it?
So, in 2015, I'm not going to find happiness, I'm going to make it. What about you?
This is part of a blog train hosted by Rachel of Catch 40 Winks.Find out what 33 other mum bloggers will be doing differently in 2015 and have a think about what you want to do differently this year too!
Next up on the blog train is Estella! Mama to 3 year-old Joy, Estella works full time and is an occasional singer/host. She is passionate about living intently, breastfeeding, fashion/beauty and organisation. On So Oddly Dreamlike, Estella writes about Joy, her passions and the family’s journey towards getting their new home.