I love Christmas, adore every single part of it (minus the clean up part); the baking, the family time, the joy on my child’s face when he wakes up on Christmas morning, the lights and the kindness everyone seems to have for one another.
But I LOVE December 26th, the day to take down the decorations, clean house, stop eating cream cheese (the main ingredient in all of my favorite holiday dishes) and set some goals for the new year.
2017 held so much joy for us; it was a year when I finally figured some things out for myself. (1) Saying no in order to protect my precious time with Cole is ok. Saying no to extra projects that do not affect my financial health (see also, my job) is also ok. It’s ok to have boundaries, and healthy boundaries are always a good idea. (2) It’s ok to dismiss toxic people from your life. Not everyone deserves your energy (which I am finding, is not limitless). You do not have to be cruel, but if you give people the chance, they will show you how they feel about you (indecision is definitely a decision…if someone repeatedly tells you they will be there for this or that, and they are, in fact, never there, they have just answered your question). (3) Your body deserves healthy food and regular exercise. My time with Cole was my excuse for a long time, but I have found he is quite encouraging when I take him along with me to the gym. (4) Having a budget and financial goals makes you a grown up. If you are a single mama 🙋🏼♀️, you are the CEO and CFO of your home. Little eyes are watching everything you do, and little ears are hearing every word you say, what do you want them to grow up thinking and feeling about money? (5) Your Mom and Dad can be your best friends. I lean on my parents to help me with Cole, and they are excellent partners!! I could call them right this minute and they would be here to help in about 16 minutes (the time it would take to warm up the Lincoln and get here from Bethesda). You only get to have so much time with your parents, so use that time wisely. Chances are they have a whole lot to teach you (even if I didn’t listen to my dad’s genius about finances until the end of 2014…sorry Dad ❤️). (6) (warning, this one is gonna sting) Get over it. If you are still carrying nasty grudges and hate in your heart, the only person you are really hurting is you. Forgiveness is more about you than them, and life is too short for nonsense. (This one is gonna sting X 2) If you are in a divorced/separated/coparenting situation, GET. OVER. IT. Your children deserve a happy life, and sometimes that happy life means two functioning, happy homes. I didn’t figure this out until 2015, and currently I have two extra dogs in my backyard because Cole’s Dad needed me to keep them. I drop off at school every day and he picks up. We took him to the beach with us this year, because he had never seen the ocean. Do we bicker? Yes. (Ahem, as a single mom small group facilitator, people tell me lots of things about their husbands, funny as that is, and we bicker less than most married folks). The person who benefits the most from all of this compromise is the most important person in my life and his dad’s life, Little Cole Keller. Why wouldn’t you also want your sweet children to have the happiest, most balanced lives ever? You can do this. Pray about it, and let it go.
(7) 2017 also brought me lots of failed attempts at dating, whew, but that’s information for another day and another blog post. I have come to the conclusion that my best date for now is Cole 👦🏼. He always laughs at my jokes and gives me a kiss at the end of the night, and doesn’t hurt my feelings on social media (but I digress).
Happy 2018!! Make it the best year filled with joy, kids and dogs 🐕 (and some cats and guinea pigs too).