This is the third year that I have chosen a word for the year thanks to the inspiration from Susannah Conway. For the past year I have lived with the word love at the centre of everything. It has been so helpful to take a moment each day to reflect on that word. Having four young children is incredibly exhausting, especially when one of them is still a little baby. Some days take every ounce of patience and energy that you have. Some days I'm so tired that I just lie down and cry. But I live in a house so full of love that everything I do for this family is worth it and more.
Love has also been at the centre of all the work I have done this year and it has helped me to let some things go, start new things and grow other things. It has helped me to focus on the things that I need to do to feel happy. A love for myself and what I need is just important in being a good mother, wife and friend, as the love for my family is.
I want to focus on being content with what I have right now. To enjoy it, to treasure it and to live in the moment every day. I have four beautiful, happy and healthy children. I want to be content with how they are right now and how they change and develop at their own paces throughout the year. Yes, there will be challenging times and phases that I will want to wish away but I want to be able to learn to be content with going through those tough times and remember all the lovely stuff that is happening at the same time rather than wishing the days away.
I want to be content with our home. We don't own it, so there is always a feeling of 'when we finally own our own home' and all the interiors projects I have lined up waiting for that time, as well as the sense of comfort and security about finally owning a place. But, although we don't own it we live in a really beautiful house in the most beautiful place. We have made it really homely and cosy. I want to be content to be here for as long as we are here.
I want to be content with both my work and the amount of time I have to do my work. I often think about where I want to be with my work in a few years time or even where I wish I could be right now but can't be. This doesn't mean I won't be working towards bigger things or thinking about where I want to be in the future. It doesn't mean I won't be working hard but it does mean that I will be trying to enjoy and be content with where I am right now. To be happy and content with the now and appreciating the process and journey of getting where I'd like to be next.
I also want to be content with the amount of time I have for my work and my personal projects. It can be so easy to get frustrated and jealous about all the time my husband has to work or all the time friends without children have. But I love, love, love having my four little children. If I wanted to I could get lots of childcare and work more but I don't want to. So, instead of comparing myself to all the people I know and follow on social media who have all the time they want and need to work, I will be content with making the best of the time that I do have.
And yes, as wonderful as social media can be, we all know how inadequate it can sometimes make us feel. I have addressed this in the past and I think I know when to turn off or tune out when I start to feel rubbish about what I have, what I'm doing etc. but I will certainly be keeping a check on this during 2014.
I want to be content with my body, while also working at getting my fitness, strength and a happier figure back after almost 8 years of continually being pregnant or breast-feeding. I want to be able to enjoy the process and be proud of what my body has done during my 30s so far. I'm never going to have the figure I had in my 20s because I have had four children and also don't have the time for weekly 10km runs, daily yoga and pilates, swims and gym sessions. I can do some of it but not all of it and I need to be okay with that.
And finally, I want to be content with where we are in our startup journey. We spend a lot of time and energy thinking about the future, about a time when life will be easier and a lot less risky. I often feel like we are always looking forward and not living in the now. Part of that is because you need vision, you need aims, you need dreams, to make startup life work but at the same time over the past year we have definitely both been thinking a lot more about the process and the living and working right now. We always need to be thinking about the future but I want to be happy and content with the now too.
I have a feeling that 2014 is going to be a pretty special year for us, so I want to be able to enjoy it all, to live in all the moments and to be content as possible throughout the year.