Friday, January 3, 2014
I have disliked New Year's as a holiday for a long time. It's not the actual holiday itself that I hate, but the lack of excitement I think it contains. With Valentine's there are chocolates and decorating and cards. Christmas brings yummy flavors and Christ and such a warm spirit. Halloween--I love the Halloween season more and more the older I get. It's not the actual dressing up, but the season and flavors and change of temperatures and all of the fun activities I can do with the kids that we have all grown to associate with the month of October. But New Year's? It's a night to stay up much too late and after counting down from 10, absolutely nothing has changed. I don't know, it's very anti-climactic. It's how I remember my last day of high school. I expected to feel very different and instead I felt very much the same only now I had no strict schedule ruling my days.
This New Year's along with the last few have actually been a lot of fun. My husband's family all make different treats to share with each other and we would go outside and watch the fireworks that other people set off. It was low key and fun. For us, we talked with the kids a few days before hand about what their resolutions would be for the new year. I have to brag on all of them and say that each of them reached their goals for this last year. Ryanna's goal was to read at least 80 chapter books and she did--many more than that. Owen's was to read that many books, chapter or not, and he did. Eli's was to try at least 5 new foods and we would have a party to celebrate and eat each one of those foods at the party. Ever attend a party where the main dishes were: grapes, hot cereal, pineapple, blood oranges and German pancakes? It's quite an affair. My goal was to write in my journal every Sunday. I didn't do it every weekend like I had planned, but I would say I missed less than 10 times, so that feels decently successful. None of us can remember what Derek's resolution was, so I'm going to let him grapple with his own conscience about whether he changed in a positive way or not.
I usually spent several weeks thinking about what I want to change about myself for this New Year. Not that there aren't several things I could improve, but I really wanted to do something meaningful. So, this year, my resolution is not a change of myself, but a creation of memories. I have wanted to compile my maternal grandparents' life stories for many years now. This year I will do it. I have already recorded an hour of my grandpa's memories last week and I need to transcribe them now and put them together into what I want them to be. Next comes my grandma.
I love family history work. I love finding the names of people who are related to me. I don't know why it's so magical to me, but it is. This project is one that I hope my kids can treasure when they are older. These stories that my grandpa told me--they don't happen anymore. The world is so different. How many of us will grow up with more than 10 siblings? Tie up a neighbor man at his own prodding only to see him chew through the rope? Have our first pair of new overalls ripped off our three year old body and torn to shreds, but be completely grateful to be alive? Quit school in eighth grade to support a family only later to own a successful business? Life is different and each of us has a story to share. I'm determined this year to remodel myself by saving memories from the past of people who have helped shape me into who I am today.