1. Whole30. My husband and I finally took the plunge and did a Whole30 in January. I never arrived at the blissful state of boundless energy, clear skin, and bathrooms that clean themselves (Whole30 fixes everything, right?). Rather, I finished feeling cranky, tired, and perpetually hungry. My take away? Listen to your body.
My body wanted carbs. Whole30 reinforced the idea that if you are attentive and responsive to your body and what it needs, it will take pretty good care of you. That even includes carbs and totally nutritionless junk, on occasion. I felt better once I reintroduced some carbs in my diet. It seems that is what my body wanted.
(I’m not anti-Whole30, however. Cutting out sugar in all forms was eye-opening, to say the least. I didn’t realize that sugar is everywhere. And getting to a sugarless blank slate and sort of restarting my taste buds and cravings was nice.)
2. Getting out of the house. A couple of years ago I read a book that asked the questions “When is your family at its best? At its worst?”. Great questions as we consider where to direct our time, energy, and money, right? Our family does really well when we get out of the house and, even better, when we take a trip somewhere.
This year we spent a long weekend at Shrinemont, I took two of the kids to the beach with friends over Labor Day, and my husband just got back from a week with the three big kids at his parents’ farm outside of Asheville. There were a bunch of other day or weekend trips this year, too. These trips are worth the packing and laundry and missed naps because we just enjoy being away together. No multitasking, less screens and media, and a slower pace- all good things.
(My husband will also tell you that these trips are sanity-savers for him. If he is home with our kids for an entire day he starts climbing the walls. An entire week off between Christmas and New Years necessitated a trip, lest he harm someone. Know thyself, friends.)
3. Date nights. We started prioritizing this in 2013 but carried it over into 2014. It costs a lot to do on a regular basis but we think this is a good area to throw money at.
We pay our sitter to do the evening stuff that we are weary of by Saturday night- dinner, clean-up, AND bedtime. (Our sitters love us. Swearsies.) We usually get back shortly after the kids are down for the night. We used to go out later, like after the kids were down for the night, but realized we were too tired to get excited about going out at that point. What can I say? We’re old. And, as my friend Erin says, “Going to bed early is the new sleeping in.” I agree.
I have a few more thoughts about what worked in 2014, but three is a nice odd number to quit on.
What worked for anyone else in 2014?