I'm looking back on 2010 and thinking about the good, the bad, the crazy.
Son #2 started preschool in September and has been doing very well and loves his teacher. I feel very fortunate that he's transitioned as well as he has into school life and that both my boys are at a Waldorf school which I have worked very hard to keep them in. A lot of my efforts have been centered on getting them into a good school situation, maintaining a good relationship with the teachers, and keeping the tuition payed. I spend a lot of time volunteering and learning about Waldorf education and I think it helps me be a better mom. I've learned a lot about child development and really feel like I've found a piece of my community. I get to be the handwork assistant on Tuesdays and Thursdays which has been a really amazing experience for me to work with the children. It's given me a perspective on how people learn, not just children, and has really helped me develop my own handwork skills and abilities and how to teach others.
I started working for my friend Wendy at Knitters Brewing Co as the official Production Babe hand-dyeing yarn. It is as cool as it sounds, but even cooler when you consider the way it has fit perfectly into my life. I drop the boys off at school, head over to the dye studio, dye the yarn, package the orders, and pet Buddy the cute kitty supervisor until its time to go pick up the boys from school. My schedule molds perfectly around when the boys are in school, when they are on break and special occasions when one of them has to have emergency dental work. At the beginning of 2010 I asked for this in its entirety. I told the Universe that I wanted to go to work while the boys were in school, but that it had to be something I enjoyed doing, working for good people, with a flexible schedule that would allow me to still be the best mama I could be. I am thankful and grateful that this opportunity has entered my life and I'm looking forward to the exciting things that are planned for 2011.
I took a Mindful Based Stress Reduction Class at Scripps that started in October and lasted for 8 weeks. It was life-changing. The course was taught by a Neurologist and his Yoga/Massage Therapist wife who were amazing teachers. The class helped me establish a meditation practice as well as cultivate my attention of moment-to-moment awareness. I feel like a little turtle who has just hatched out of an egg and is running for the unknown, but knowing I'm supposed to go there. I've tried hard to continue my daily meditation practice, but part of this new awareness has brought to light the busy schedule I've imposed on myself and my family. I've done many things this year to correct this like: de-cluttering everything, finishing up projects and obligations, meal planning, and discontinuing certain activities that are adding to the proverbial crazy.
I learned how to make my own Kombucha and Sauerkraut. Both are fermented foods with many health benefits. I took the plunge with the Kombucha, not knowing if I was going to make myself sick or not (I knew I wouldn't kill myself) and it came out good. I'm very excited about all of the tea I've been making and I drink it everyday. I truly believe it is part of the reason I've managed to make it through cold and flu season with only a touch of a cold that went away within a week. The sauerkraut was more of a leap of faith because without knowing exactly how to make it, I purchased a 10 liter crock in the hopes that I was going to know soon. Within a week of the crock arriving I found a friend at the school who has been making her own sauerkraut for years and invited me over to show me how to start it up. The first batch was a beautiful success with purple cabbage and the next batch will be ready in the middle of January. I gave away most of it for Christmas, and am definitely bummed I won't have anymore for a couple of weeks. I was eating it everyday with some crackers spread with tahini and it was delicious. Another reason I think I kept my health so well. These were both huge goals for me and I feel very accomplished now that I've produced some good batches of both.
I would have to say the only real crazy was our schedule. There was just too much on it after school and on the weekends so that was one of the things I've been working on simplifying. My boys both were in gymnastics the second half of 2010 and Son #1 got moved up into an advanced skills class. This would have been welcome except for the fact that now their classes were not at the same time, and now Son #1 was in two classes on Mon & Fri at 5:30 - 7. Definitely not conducive to the relaxed family dinners I was organizing and planning so hard for after a long hectic day. We decided to take a break at the end of this year, to be continued at a later date. Usually if the boys don't have this outlet of energy they start doing flips off of any high surface that they can find, which is usually not as well padded as the gymnastics center. Which leads to chiropractic bills, craniosacral therapy and other timely, costly measures. So I will definitely have to add something back into the schedule for them, but I'm enjoying the time off now.
I saved the Bad for last because that's where it deserves to be. I don't feel like I have anything to complain about, but also feel like certain things were big enough to be acknowledged. 2010 was the year of Medical and Dental expenses for us. Both my boys have had lots of dental work done, costing us over $4,000 in total. It seems that the food we eat and genetics have greater power than I. My boys don't eat a lot of candy and our diet is relatively healthy, and I have brushed their teeth daily. But their teeth are disintegrating before my eyes. I've changed our diet and the teeth brushing ritual to help, but I can only do what I can do. I'm scared to go get my teeth cleaned because of the dental bills I'm currently paying but I know I've only got a few months longer before I have to schedule the appointment without risking major work. If it's not already too late.
The Medical bills belong solely to my motocross racing husband. Not solely, but I'm not going to count my acupuncture and chiropractic checkups in the Bad category. That was just maintenance. On Veterans Day in November he knocked himself out on the racetrack, and took an expensive ride to an expensive trauma unit in an expensive Emergency Room. I feel very lucky that the only drawback to this incident is that we have to make payments to the hospital and that I'm not married to a vegetable (arguably). He's had a little trouble remembering things since which has frustrated him a little but that's pretty much it. Very lucky if you ask me. I don't know how I would have handled the whole ordeal if I hadn't been learning about being aware of my stress response and noticing the physical signs associated with it. I was able to better control my response to the situation instead of just reacting and freaking out.
I feel like I've got it pretty good and I'm definitely "living the dream" (hee hee, I love that saying). I'm happy that I acquired so many new skills in 2010 and look forward to using them in 2011. I'm excited about spending time with my family and friends and continuing to be aware of the moments of life, good, bad or crazy.