I love resolutions - I love planning and dreaming and making progress, and I love having self-projects to work on. But I'm not generally a New Year's resolution kind of gal, because it always seems so arbitrary. The ones column on the year changes, but otherwise life looks just the same as it did the day before. When the kids go back to school in September just as I celebrate my birthday, THAT feels like a good shifting moment for a resolution or two. Or when spring arrives and the world wakes up and everywhere you look seems like a fresh, new start. But January 1st?
Yes. This year, yes. It's resolution time. I don't know why this year feels different, but I am rolling with it. Rather than keep track of a list of small, specific resolutions, I prefer to think about my plans and promises to myself for 2013 in terms of two bigger themes: Home and Time. So today, part 1: Home.Our homes - the 2-family house we share now with my brother-in-law and his family, and the two different apartments we lived in previously, as a newly married couple with one baby girl - have been enormous sources of stress for me over the years. Blame it on the fact that Chris and I subjected ourselves to a roller-coaster of life changes by moving in together, getting married and having a baby all in the same half a year. Or blame it on the fact that my feminist mother never allowed me, growing up, to consider the prospect that it might someday be my responsibility to create a pleasant home, tidy up after others, or consider housework to be my job, and so for a long time I resisted doing any of that even though I wanted to be the stay-at-home parent. Or blame it on our sweet dog who, before she passed away a couple of years ago, had a bladder problem that caused her to systematically destroy all our rugs, many of our floors, and a couch. Or blame it on the electrical upgrade we had done, DIYing as much of it as we could, which took over a year to complete and left holes in the walls of every single room of the house. There are a lot of reasons why my homes have not been places to which I wanted to have people over, or even wanted to be at myself. It has gotten much better in the past couple of years, as some of the chaos has lessened, I've grown up a little, and we've been able to renovate and improve some of the things that were most driving me nuts. But we have a TON more house projects to tackle in 2013, and my plan is to start entertaining more by summertime, both because we resolve to get a good portion of the work completed by then, and because I resolve to get over the idea that things have to be perfect and just have people over anyway.
Which brings me to the fun part. Inspired by Elsie Larson of the blog, A Beautiful Mess, who is doing a photo-a-day project this year of pictures of her new house, I've decided to do the same and take one picture a day of our home... all year long. I'll be posting the photos daily on Instagram (@alisontruenorth, with Elsie's hashtag 365daysathome), and once a week I'll post a round-up of the pictures here on the blog. (That's Day #1's photo, above.) This practice will force me to look at our house with gentler, more celebratory eyes; and hopefully shine a light into the dark corners - literally and figuratively! - where I tend to get ashamed. So things will not be perfect in these pictures. And sometimes it may be hard for me to press post. But I know from my painting process that perfectionism does nothing but stall me out, and I don't want to feel stuck anymore when it comes to our home. So instead of waiting for perfect, I'm choosing acceptance and appreciation. And we'll see what happens...
Anyone else doing a 365 day project this year? Or a daily January project? Or have New Year's resolutions for your home? Or your own feminist upbringing story?... :) Leave a comment - I'd love to know all about it!