Authenticity is a popular theme that resonates in every encouraging, self empowering, and mommy motivating key word of 2017. Be authentic, live authentic, give authentically. I am officially stepping into my truth of juggling multi-generational hats and recognizing that authenticity is subjective, depending on the current chaos of my mommy moment in time.
I strive to maintain a level of approachability, reliability, and understanding no matter the current season of my life. The holiday season at times pushed this concept to the test; with so much to do in what felt like so little time its no wonder there is a unprecedented amount of pressure. This past year, the pressure felt different. A bit more intense than previous years.
It is my favorite time of year, but celebrating the holidays sandwiched in between two different generations in my mid thirties had challenges that I rarely hear anyone talking about. So in my pursuit of remaining authentic stepping into 2018 I have to share that “this is hard y’all.” This year I felt a shift in my heart to not focus on material gifts and instead embracing really being able to plant a different type of holiday seed in my 5 year old son while also acknowledging my parents and extended family members aging should not to be taken for granted. It is a nostalgic post-holiday season knowing the true gift that I want more of is time.
Adulting is hard and as I grow into my authentic self I realize I care more about playing games as a family and hearing laughter than a new found resolution I post on New Years Day. I’ve created an appreciation for a minimalist lifestyle, I donated more items this year than I have most of my adult life, and feel proud of myself stepping into a new year saying I am over being cliche. I am officially done with the urgency of creating New Year resolutions and the same cycle with a different routine that we put ourselves through year after year.
I reached a point where a light switched and I unapologetically gave myself permission to get off the “insanity” wheel of doing the same thing year to year in the name sake of tradition. The reality of having a small child and parents in their 60’s and 70’s made it clear to me that I have put so much pressure on aesthetics.
I, like most parents, love to offer my son a surprise to see that smile on his face. He often is more excited to rip the wrapping paper off than he is for the actual gift inside. As adults, how often do we give ourselves permission to rip anything? I know adults to this day who fear ripping wrapping paper when presented with a gift because it’s decorated beautifully.
For me it’s time to rip open, no matter how pretty the outside is packaged, what I really want and to get behind the wrapper to my true gifts inside. I have to ask myself at times, “have I lost the art of letting go and just enjoying simple moments without itineraries, agendas, or pre-planned menus?” I want my son to understand that the traditions we share, at their core, are based on just being present, not unwrapping a present. I want to over emphasize the importance in the presence of family, and trying out activities we rarely if ever have done collectively for the simple sake of memories.
I count my blessings overtime when a friend shares their devastation of learning brand new diagnosis of a sickness their parents are facing. I am so blessed that I have not had the cancer scare, or worse the major moment where one or both of my parents health turns for the worse and my responsibility shifts from taking care of my just a toddler to taking care of a child and parent. I recognize that day may come and although I will never 100% be fully prepared I have to say there are moments where I am scared. Not an outright fear of life cycles, but more so a perspective that I have an opportunity to be as proactive as humanly possible and choose to disregard the tug on my heart to make changes today.
More than I fear those shifts of life, I fear not truly embracing the gift that I, in continuing to encourage and create holistic healthy lifestyle choices, can give my family. So for 2018 I’m taking a cooking day off and I say instead of traditional soul food we are having Chinese food. No stress just new memories.
I am embracing that I can rip open my gift or gently unwrap it, whatever I choose. I choose to not start a new health kick this month with a resolution to create new habits. I started training my taste buds and cleaning my diet back in November 2017 because I want real authentic changes that are not based on anyone else’s timeline but my own. This line of being leaves me encouraged. I know in laying the blocks the right way I will repair a cracked foundation in my health and happiness.
Setting intentions of creating a healthy balance defined by me, myself, and I gives me the moments of balance I need in small ways. The life lesson that my son has already taught me is to take time to fall back in love with the little things and to not delay wanting to create new untraditional memories. The present of their presence that my parents have given me reminds me to not take these opportunities and moments in time for granted. I am assured that I do not need permission or any pressure to go after the type of life I want or to create the type of memories I truly desire.
I just need to embrace this middle road I’m walking in this moment as a mom in her mid 30’s toeing the line between child like cares and seasoned solutions to authentically create my own truth and moments of happiness.