Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Years Resolutions

I took a break from this blog after we got home from Ethiopia. It has been crazy, as you might suspect, integrating a new child into the family. I didn't have enough energy to give to this blog. But, I'm starting to feel like I can come up for air and write again.

Yesterday I began my yearly ritual of considering New Years resolutions. It's that razor's edge between deciding what might be accomplished and what I truly desire, but recognize I can't fulfill.

So, this year is a blend of somewhat realistic goals. Well, at least the first four are somewhat realistic. The last one is stinking hard, and I have no idea how to measure success. Guess that will be part of the process.

First, I want to build upon the small progress I've made using the Getting Things Done system. I'd like to see it fully integrated into my life by next Christmas.

Second, I want to make it a priority to exercise, hard, at least twice a week.

Third, I'd like to schedule more time to meditate and pursue spiritual listening.

Fourth, I want to arrange our schedules so that we can complete therapy at the beginning of each day.

and lastly, the hardest one.

I want to learn to parent from a place devoid of anger.

Now that we have four kids, I find myself getting angry much more often than I did in the past. It actually began when we got Alden, honestly. The thing that most often sets me off is selfish, self centered behavior. Like today, when I asked Nebiyu to help me unload the van and he smashed three of his siblings' Christmas boxes in his rush to take HIS presents out of the van first. Then, he wanted to be FIRST to play the game. He thinks he should be able to tell all the other kids to "wait, be quiet" so he can be the only one talking - first, etc, etc.

Obviously, this is typical kid stuff, amplified by a boy who spent most of his first seven years as an only child allowed to run free 90% of the time. I'm the adult, I can see this for what it is, so why does it set me off? I have a feeling my four fingers point back at me as I point my accusing index finger at him.

I have to change my behavior before I can help guide him, since my actions are LOUD. I'd love to hear ideas and suggestions. Please comment.


space between said...

Hey, sorry, I'm creeping your blog as I sit here with Jen and Tracy! Anyway, I just got the Getting Things Done book...also a resolution...along with exercise....and attentiveness to the inner life. Be well in your resolve!

paige said...

Hi, popping in just now--I didn't realize you were back from your bloggy break. Working thru similar parenting goals here. So I've come up with a formula for working with adopted children. Basically, I cut their age in half, when they come home, and then for every month they are home, I assume they progress 2 months worth, so the 7 year old was a little more than 3 when he came home last summer. Over 5 months, he's gained another 10 months of maturity, so he's functioning at close to a 4 year old level. When you look at it from that perspective, you might have a very different set of standards for what N might or might not be able to accomplish successfully (like taking things out of the van carefully). Modifying my expectations is often the most successful parenting strategy I have.

So glad to see you back here in bloggy land!