New Year, New (and Old) Rituals

Like many of you, as the countdown to a new year approaches, I start scratching my head wondering what will end up on my list of goals for this year. The start of something fresh and new triggers my organizing gene big time and all I want to do is sit down and plan for a successful, happy, peaceful, and fun-filled new year. Sounds easy enough, right?! This year I've decided to base my list of goals for 2013 on rituals. I simply adore a good ritual. They help to set the pace of the day, they give you something to look forward to, they help you to anticipate what comes next (which is particularly important for the younger set, especially my younger set who is just as obsessed as his mama about knowing "then what?).

We have many rituals in place that I intend to hold onto. For instance, the ritual of weekly pizza night (which is often paired with a movie); the ritual of devoting 3 nights each week to reading instead of watching movies or TV; the ritual of declaring one day each week as a "mama and Jack" day- a day to stay home from work and school and be together; the ritual of eating family dinners every night; the nightly ritual of a bath-2 books-a story-then lights off; the ritual of green smoothies in the morning almost always paired with a peanut butter sandwich; the ritual of making a yearly book of photos starring our little; the ritual of taking a family photo every Christmas and displaying them in Christmas frames every December; the ritual of running at Greenlake at least one morning each weekend as long as the weather allows; the ritual of giving our little a gift-a-day for every day in December; the ritual of giving David a good bottle of liquor for our anniversary every New Year's Eve (just started this one!); the ritual of a weekly family date to Starbucks; the ritual of celebrating our dating, engagement, AND wedding anniversaries; the ritual of sharing an apps and brew dinner with my parents and sister every December.

And, then there's the list of rituals I want to begin, with the start of this new year:

the ritual of a family walk after dinner on non-rainy (and not too cold) nights

the ritual of going to a farmers' market at least one Saturday morning per month

the ritual of a weekly date night...not a date that requires the services of a babysitter, but a dedicated night each week when we hang out with each other- no distractions to tempt us away. Some ideas I have are to share a pint of ice cream and watch multiple episodes of one of the TV shows we follow (Breaking Bad, Top Chef, Mad Men), to make desert once Jack is tucked away, to get take-out for just the two of us and watch a movie, to make a special cocktail and listen to music, to cook a fancy dinner for just the 2 of us. I'm really looking forward to this one...it seems like it will be such a luxury bestowed upon us every week!

the ritual of starting a memory jar where we write down on a small note card our sweet, memorable, or funny moments as they happen during the year and then read them aloud next New Year's Eve or Day.

Wishing you a wonderful and peace filled 2013! Thank you for sharing this space with me...I'm looking forward to all that this New Year holds!