I love this month. I love how everything seems so clean and minimal inside with the holiday decor all packed away. The house feels like a quiet refuge from the cold outside and craziness of Christmas. When I look out the windows at the wintery landscape, the trees have a refreshing bareness to them and the lake across the street from us shimmers an icy glare under the winter sun.
January feels fresh and new.
It is the one month of the year when I feel like I can catch up on things I didn't have time for through the holiday season's hustle and bustle. I long for hearty soups and winter salads. Spending the afternoon planning and preparing a meal that is still hours away. Baking treats for my family because I have plenty of time to do so.
January is a brand new start.
There is a part of me that would like to sweep 2011 under the carpet and forget it even existed, but it wasn't all bad. In fact, I learned some invaluable lessons this past year. I learned about myself. I realized that the only people I want to manage are my children. I no longer want to be responsible for people I have no control over, or even care about outside of a work environment. I no longer want to deal with the stresses that brings because it is not worth any amount of money.
I came to the realization that my time is better invested in friendships of common interest rather than those of circumstance.
I discovered that I really love to be alone and crave silence. I found that I do my best thinking when undisturbed.
I learned that no amount of shopping or "new stuff" will ever make me truly happy. It dawned on me that I have bought so many things to "create" a lifestyle I longed to live but wasn't because I was too busy working and shopping.
I found out that my family can survive on much less than we used to and we are all happier doing so. This was one of the most exciting, heartwarming Christmases ever, and my husband and I didn't even exchange gifts. We derived our pleasure from the children's joy and excitement and the time shared with loved ones. Those are gifts that out price anything from a store.
I realized that I am truly blessed. Everything I could ever desire is right here. Healthy and happy children that treat people with kindness and respect, a husband that is so loving and unselfish, a comfortable home filled with beautiful things that I am finally learning how to enjoy, and a family that may not be together on a daily basis, but shares an undying love and loyalty to each other.
This past weekend was spent with my two brothers and their families and there was nothing but pure enjoyment. There is no drama or false pretenses...it is easy to have a good time when we are all together. In fact, there was an air of sadness yesterday when we said good~bye...a heavier sadness then ever before, only because we didn't want our fun to ever end.
What does 2012 hold?
I have some self appointed goals and plans, but who knows what will come to pass and what won't? I am not really into compiling a trite list of resolutions...I can only think of one thing that I want to be the theme of my life. Not just for 2012, but for the rest of my time here on earth.
I want to live simply and beautifully.
Happiness to the newer me, is contentment that comes from within yourself and the ability to recognize and appreciate blessings no matter how big or small. If that is missing than no amount of money or material possessions will ever truly satisfy.
In my case, less has truly been more and for that life lesson I will be forever grateful.
Happy New Year to each of you...I wish you all the best that this upcoming year can bring.
p.s. My grandfather is doing very well and will be moving to a nursing home in the upcoming week as the level of care he now requires will be too much for my mother to take on at home. We are grateful for your thoughts and prayers and he is hell bent on having at least one more year here on Earth!
p.p.s. This post is the 500th post here at Shopping The Closet. I want to thank all of you who take the time to read my nonsense...you all mean more than you could know!