Balancing the New Year – Going Into 2014

Many times I think we look at the New Year and assume we have to make a list of goals and accomplishments. Many times, it doesn’t go further than that. For the past several years, I’ve told myself, “This is the year. This is the year I’ll get published.”

Between losing weight and getting my first book published, those were my goals. I realize now, I was peering too far across the ocean to see the empty boat floating nearby.

Some great philosophical person would say that you have to have goals. They drive you and motivate you. True as that may be, I’m not writing any goals this year. I’d rather not face the disappointment come December 31st when I look back and see I haven’t crossed any of those things off my list.

Instead, I’m walking back and forth on a see-saw. Yeah, like the kind in the park with a child sitting on either side going up and down.

Photo compliments of Flickr: Dana Merrick

In the past few months, since leaving my job and entering the world of cyber schooling mom, I’ve learned that life is all about balance.

Although this year, I did meet that “lose weight” goal, I lost more than an inch or two in my waist line. I dumped the stress of a job. I wiped away the tension that started to grow between my spouse and I because of that job. I dusted off my relationship with my daughter and cleaned out the cobwebs between us. I drained the regrets of my absences for school activities and helping with school projects.

A friend recently told me they hadn’t seen me smile and a very long time. I smile now. One day, my youngest daughter and I were playing and she made me lunch in her play kitchen. I laughed about something she said and it stunned her. She said, “Mom, you can laugh.”

It is an amazing feeling when you lose that kind of weight and learn to balance what is important in life. We balance our checkbooks. We balance our time. We weight wants verses needs. It, too, is a balancing act.

I have become the pillar that balances our family. I know that. At home, I hold the weight that keeps the see-saw of life from tilting. Not because I provide money or materialistic things, but because I am the support, the love, and the encouragement in my home.

I would not go back and change anything about this year if I could, because even if I wanted to fix the bad things, the good things may not still happen. Another balancing act, I suppose.

For example: This year, I left my job. Now I stay at home with my daughter and she goes to cyber school. This is good for my daughter in order to help her learn. This is good for me, because now I can help her, have more time to do what I enjoy – writing, crafting, helping others. But some would say it is bad, financially we scrap by. Don’t we all?

Yet, if I looked at it that way, as I once did, I would miss the blessings around me.

This year, I was blessed with an agent for my writing. I was blessed with good friends who taught me how to can food and bake biscotti. I was blessed being born on a farm and having a family that still sends a cow and sometimes a pig for butchering to provide meat for us. I was blessed with a great group of friends in both my writer’s associations and in our church.

Blessings are often the little weight that helps keeps us balanced when things are about to tilt.

This year, not only was I blessed with an agent to represent my writing. I was honored and blessed to direct a one day writers’ conference. I stepped up on to that see-saw and I’m glad I did.

Although not everything about this year was blessed, there were hard times, too. Ended friendships, broken relationships and drama have weaved their dark vines through the calendar when I look back at this year. I know like in any good book, that chapter is over and it’s time to move on.

So when you sit down today to write your list of those goals for the New Year and write “lose weight” be sure to specify the kind of weight you want to shed.

In the meantime, I’ve got one foot on either side of the see-saw keeping it balanced until the next attempt by one of those dark vines to try and tilt my world.

May 2014 bring you blessings and joy.


Daughter of a dairy farmer, this crafty mom has a heart for all things handmade. When she's not writing or crafting, you can find her creating memories with her family.

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