I’ve Got Two Words For You, 2014: Oh Well

by Christine@TheAums on December 29, 2013 · 14 comments

“Wow, that is so not like you” is a phrase I’ve heard more than a few times this past week. It usually follows me saying, “I didn’t get around to sending holiday cards this year.”

Since becoming a mom, I have literally lost sleep over the planning and executing of the annual holiday card, as if there weren’t plenty of other things already contributing to my sleep deprivation during the busiest time of year. Every December it’s a race to the finish (and post office) to squeeze in shopping, shipping, personalizing, attending and hosting extra parties and events, and making it an all-around special time for my kids. It’s another full time job!

But not sending out a card was never an option. Until this year.

As 2013 came careening and crashing to an end (at least inside my head), I felt more and more unlike myself. Like a passing witness to a disaster on the side of the road, I began to slow down and crane my neck, assessing the damage. Why is she so hard on herself? Why is she worrying so much about that? Why is she letting that get to her? Why doesn’t she just move on already?

Some time during this month I reflected on what my inspiring word or motto should be for the year 2014 and all I could come up with was, “Oh well,” accompanied by a shoulder shrug. And I started testing it out.

So I didn’t get around to sending holiday cards this year. Oh well. I also didn’t get around to a Christmas Countdown for the kids, making gingerbread houses or getting them each a special ornament that reflects their year. Oh well. Truth be told, I am still working on thank you cards with my daughter- her birthday was in August! None of this was “like me.” And while I sometimes ventured into guilty territory, I mostly embraced, accepted, or let’s face it…gave up and went to bed!

I’ll tell you what I did do in lieu of a family photo. One morning, after breakfast, I asked each of my four children to draw a picture of our family:


Sometimes being unlike myself is a really good thing…I’ll cherish their drawings forever. I see the details only a mother can see. They weren’t captured by the lens of a really nice camera, but by my children’s beautiful eyes. It wasn’t tricks up my sleeve that captured perfect smiles, but the wonderful childhood we’ve strived to give them. We are not color-coordinated, perfectly coiffed with a beach sunset in the background…it’s just the 6 of us in stick figure form- the family I’ve always dreamed of.

Now when I hear the words “that is so not like you” again, I’ll know what they mean. To be more unlike myself means I will forgive myself and move on quicker. I will give myself a ton more credit. I will be happy about what I did accomplish and never mind the rest of the list. I won’t dwell on things out of my control and I will accept when it’s not worth losing sleep over. I will embrace that done is better than perfect. And I will say no thanks and set limits more often, unapologetically. If all else fails, I will shrug my shoulders and think, “Oh well.”

So here’s to being more unlike myself in 2014. Not reinventing myself, just being a little more not like me.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth December 29, 2013 at 11:43 am

Love the drawings! We got a total of TWO Christmas cards this year (perhaps because we moved and probably nobody has our new address because I failed to send out an email notifying people of it) and also probably because people are BUSY. I also didn’t send out cards this year. Or the year before.

Your new attitude is great. Learning to let small stuff go (and be more forgiving of yourself) is key!
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Christine@TheAums December 29, 2013 at 11:48 am

Yeah…same thing happened to us, maybe a total of 5 Christmas cards? I chalked it up to our move as well. Thanks…I’ve got the shoulder shrug down :)


Leslie December 29, 2013 at 6:08 pm

Aww! I’ve heard that a lot lately too. It seems like this year has passed by so quickly. I wish you the best of luck in 2014!
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Christine@TheAums December 29, 2013 at 6:15 pm

Thank you and same to you, Leslie!


Jennifer Hall December 29, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Very good attitude to have! I’ve had to say Oh well a lot over the years. It’s good to let go of the little things.
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Christine@TheAums December 29, 2013 at 8:05 pm

I agree…and sometimes the big things gotta go too!


candi van der meer December 30, 2013 at 1:09 pm

I love it. Same type of thing over here. No cards. I will do a yearly wrap up on our blog, but other than that it has been total slacking. And I love it. Advent? Hell no. Train rides? Nope. Handmade gifts for each other? No time, would rather take a nap. Christmas decorations for the house? Too lazy this year. And guess what? The kids did not say a thing about it. All they want is time with us and a good book. That is a lot easier than decorating and undecorating the house!


Cookie's Mom December 30, 2013 at 2:00 pm

I did not get Christmas cards out either, nor did I buy a special ornament. I tried to feel guilty about it, but I was just so tired. :) Here’s to “oh well”! I love it. Takes the pressure right off. Happy 2014 to you, Christine! Here’s to an equally productive year with plenty of room for ‘oh well’.
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christine December 30, 2013 at 8:55 pm

I’m so glad to see you back on the blog!
It took me a while to figure out that I was allowed to say no, and that saying no would actually be liberating. No, I can’t do that right now. No, I’m not going to go to that this week. Choosing the things which are important to us and letting the rest go is a wonderful exercise! Good for you, Miss Shoulder Shrug!
I absolutely adore family drawings made by little people. The different details they pick out, and the reasons for drawing different things makes me smile every time.
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sarah reinhart January 1, 2014 at 5:12 am

I just love that you’re getting back to being you. no re-invention necessary. :)


Sharelle D. Lowery January 5, 2014 at 11:01 am

I Loved this post. Many times we get trapped in the “Usual Me” role and it can be overwhelming. I love that you just said f-it…not this year and gave yourself more peace! Excellent!
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Rachee January 8, 2014 at 3:45 pm

I love it! I was thinking about something that I had to do/didn’t do/should be doing when I came across this and this is right on time.
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Angel Tsunami January 26, 2014 at 6:45 pm

I missed this post!

I love you. You are the best person ever. Like, ever.

And if we ever need to be hard on ourselves, let’s just remember we always have the tech support we’ve received at certain retail places that we can be harder on. Hahahahahahahahaha!!!

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Jin Ai March 10, 2014 at 9:50 am

I feel I know this. Being too hard on myself at times too.

I love all the smiles in these drawings. So much joy.
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