The In-Between Time

Carla: I love this time of year. I love the tension between past and future, this one week when the year that is closing seems complete and the year ahead seems wide open. It’s like this little island of contentment and possibility in the sea of constant expectation and anxiety.

I find that the fact that the year is ending means I no longer think about what did or didn’t happen during year. Any hopes I had of living up to whatever expectations I had last year at this time are gone–and that’s good! I didn’t loose 20 pounds. I wasn’t more patient. I didn’t work on any of my book ideas. I didn’t walk every day (see “didn’t loose 20 pounds”). I didn’t write letters or learn to knit or get organized. And you know what? It didn’t matter. Those things might have been nice, but not doing them didn’t ruin my year. Since I can no longer say “2009 is the year I….” I find that those things don’t concern me all that much. The stress of trying to improve myself has vanished.

In its place is this wondrous feeling of hope and possibility. The clean slate of 2010 is there, just waiting for me to make my mark. And I love that feeling. I love being on the front end of a new thing and knowing that there are changes ahead that I can’t even begin to imagine.

I realize that I felt this way about 2009, that I had high hopes of knitting and walking and writing and shrinking and that none of those hopes turned to reality. But 2010 gives me another chance to do–or not do–something about it. The pressure is off and there’s nothing but promise ahead.

Parenting gives us ample opportunity to beat ourselves up. But for the rest of this week, give yourself a break. You made it through this year. There are undoubtedly mistakes you wish you could undo. moments you wish you could take back. But instead of dwelling on those, give yourself a pat on the back for doing your best. Then move on. There’s a new year ahead.

Caryn: This is also why lately I love Mondays. Full of hope and promise and the chance to start fresh. Anything that offers that, is good with me.

I am more than ready to say goodbye to 2009. In many ways, it’s been a great year: my first book came out in March; I got an offer for a second book this fall; among other good things.

But these past few months have been more crazy than I can handle due to my husband’s campaign for State Rep. We’ve moved from a pretty egalitarian, co-parenting, co-working family to sort of the retro, Mommy smiles supportively while Daddy follows his dream. (Or, honestly, Mommy smiles supportively until bitterness and exhaustion get the best of me then I start yelling. And then I get it out and go back to smiley support.)

This sounds meaner than I want it to—because his race is exciting and I love it in many ways. Not to mention, that I’m incredibly proud. But I use it as an example to support many of the things I haven’t been able to do either. You’ll note (or at least Carla has) that I haven’t been the one to start a post in about 3 months. My brain space and computer time is so diminished and consumed that lots on my end have just had to give.

So to me 2010 offers a chance to move out of our sort of limbo, yet insanely busy campaigning state and see what our new reality will be. If it’s as a political family, great. Just gotta get used to that. If it’s not, great too. Either we’ll go back to the usual, or look forward to a new thing again. Either way, I’ve got a new book to write (and a deadline with money attached to it—so that’s a good incentive!) and a few other ideas up my sleeve that will drive me nuts if they stay bottled up in my brain.

Wow did I go off-topic. Sorry. Can you tell what’s on my mind? All to say, yes. Let’s give ourselves breaks for the next day or two of the year. Each of us did what we could (most likely) and here’s to 2010 giving us another chance to do what we’d love to do.

And if you live in Illinois, in the 41st District, for God’s sake get out on Feb. 2 (or do early voting) and vote for Rafael Rivadeneira. Who wouldn’t want a State Rep with a wife who blogs about life as it really is? : )

Carla: Okay Revs, for today and most of tomorrow, let go of any disappointment, guilt, and/or regret of 2009 and give yourself credit for all the ways you survived this year. Whether you accomplished something or nothing, whether you lost weight or money or sanity, let it go and breath in the goodness of a fresh start.

Happy New Year friends! Thanks for sharing your lives with us this year. We can’t wait to see where this Revolution takes us in 2010.

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