We rang in 2016 on the couch. In our pajamas. With cheap champagne and gummi bears. Just like any new parents would! (To be honest, I’m impressed that we made it to midnight.)
Actually, it was perfect.
Now, we’re visiting Sona’s family in New Mexico. More on that, later.
It was bittersweet to see 2015 end. In many ways, it was an unexpectedly challenging year. The stress of a baby coming hit us hard in a lot of ways. We searched furiously–and in vain–to buy a larger home. (We’re still looking.) My father was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer, and I was overseeing his treatment–which was rough–from across the country. There was some family drama (isn’t there always?). Sona had very little time away from work, as she saved all of her PTO for maternity leave. Our marriage sometimes struggled under the weight of all the stress.
But, in ways that will, in the long run, outshine the challenges, 2015 was a year for the books. It goes without saying that the best part of the year was having Finn. I’ve waxed poetic about how much light he’s brought to our lives, before. So, I’ll spare you the sentimentality, today.
We have high hopes for 2016, too. And though we aren’t usually the type to make–or keep–resolutions, it is nice to pencil in some goals for the year. Just some things to keep in the back of our minds–some things to guide us.
So, here are some hopes and wishes and pipe dreams for 2016:
- Buy a house in Andersonville. No, we will not leave our neighborhood. Yes, we realize that narrows our search radius to about 6 square blocks. Yet, we believe we can find the right place (and we hope it happens, soon)! We’re tired of grandparents sleeping on an air mattress in our living room.
- Travel more than we were able to in 2016–with Finn! We are travelers at heart, and I crave adventure more than just about anything else (except maybe donuts). Last year, we had a great babymoon in the Caribbean, a short trip to NOLA, and I got to visit Sona’s little sister while she was away for a semester in Merida, Mexico. However, we had to majorly scale back travel, both because of Sona’s pregnancy and because her maternity leave sucked up all of her time off. I hope we can start making up for that, this year. We already have a trip to Virgin Gorda planned for March, and we’re looking at summer trip, too.
- Cook more homemade Indian food. Okay, this one is mostly just for me. Because, let’s be honest, Sona hasn’t cooked a meal in the 15 years we’ve been together. (No, I’m not kidding.) But being with her family in New Mexico has made me realize how much we love homemade Indian food, and I want to expand my repertoire. First up: batata poha!
- Worry less. If we’ve had resolutions in past years, it’s always been some version of this. I guess we’re still working on it. 🙂 Sona and I are both bad about getting caught up, stressing about clothes that need cleaned (her) or to-do lists that seem to keep growing (me). We are, each in our own ways, worrywarts. Sona’s frequent worries: Is the house clean enough? Are we spending too much money? How am I going to finish all of this laundry? Is Finn’s toe broken/head flat/eye swollen? Should we be in a better place–have a bigger house, drive nicer cars–than we are in? Mine: Do I deserve my job? Am I a good enough wife/mom/professor/photographer/blogger/writer? What if I’m missing out? Am I doing what I’m supposed to be doing? Will I regret not climbing the mountain/moving to the islands/quitting my job and becoming a travel writer? Is it (everything) good enough? Are we making the right decisions for Finn? You get the idea. We are, in many ways, our own worst enemies. If we stopped listening to the voices in our heads, we’d be a lot happier.
- Put our marriage first. Every book or blog you read for new parents warns you about how hard it is to maintain a relationship in the year following the birth of a new baby, and we figured that out for ourselves pretty quickly. We didn’t prioritize our marriage this year, and we are going to try to do better in 2016. To help, we’re committing to date night ever other weekend. It’s a start!
- Be the kind of people we want our son to emulate. Nobody is perfect, Sona and I included. But there are specific things that each of us want to work on–ways that we want to try to be better people, for ourselves and for Finn. A lot of that has to do with changing our perspectives and focusing more on the positive.
- Get serious about a game-plan for baby #2. I’m just going to leave this one right here.
- Start working out, again. For a while, we were doing really good about going to the gym regularly, and we both felt better as a result. It’s not about being skinny, and I really hate the thin-obsessed dogma that you see circulating this time of year. We just want to be able to eat more donuts without feeling quite as guilty about it. It’s been tough to find the time for working out with Finn around, but we’re going to try.
- Take the 365 day DSLR challenge, starting February 1st. As a photographer, I’m always taking pictures. With Finn, though, I find myself just taking quick snaps with my iPhone. Those phone snaps are nice to have, too, but I’d really like to be better about capturing higher-quality photos of him, especially since he’s growing and changing so quickly. So, starting February 1st. I’m going to challenge myself to take one photo each day with my DSLR.
- Find balance. This is more of a life-long, never really going to reach, kind of goal, isn’t it? But I go back to work next week, and I think it’s going to be a little tricky, trying to transition out of the maternity leave bubble and transition Finn into his nanny share situation. We’ve only just gotten our routine down, and it’s about to change pretty dramatically. I hope we get to a place where we don’t feel like we’re constantly chasing our tails–a place where we can breathe, let go, and appreciate the joy.