You know you're old when you find yourself ringing in the new year in your sweatpants, curled up on the couch watching Friends re-runs on Nick at Nite. But you really know you're old when you don't even make it to the Friends re-runs because you fell asleep at 9:30.
And I'm not even a little bit sorry because it really was the perfect way to end 2013.
I had chosen "Grace" as my word of the year for 2013. Obviously a nod to our sweet baby girl, but also as a reminder for me to dig into God's grace and to pour that grace out onto others. And I definitely did those things. I felt myself pulling away from the criticism and negativity that had started to creep into my life during the utter chaos that was 2012.
But what ended up being the most beautiful surprise was that, as the months went by, I began to give myself some grace. As I became a mother and was attempting to learn how to juggle so many different roles in a way that didn't leave me frustrated and disappointed in myself, I began to realize -- and to appreciate -- that I will never be anyone except myself.
I am only Ryan. A wife. A mother. A lawyer. A clumsy, forgetful, awkward, hot mess of a girl who talks too loudly and drives poorly. I'm always going to be a terrible gift-giver, a hopeless romantic, and a lover of music. I have strengths, and I have weaknesses, and those strengths and weaknesses are different from those of my mother, my best friends, my co-workers, and the people whose lives look so shiny and beautiful to me on Facebook.
I was aware of these things, and even appreciated them, in the past. But I think I truly embraced my individuality this past year in a way I hadn't done before. I gave myself the grace to be who I am. Nothing more, and nothing less.
So as 2013 came to a close, I began to ponder my word for 2014. For me, the word I chose is the perfect extension of 2013 because it will help me focus on being who I am... on purpose.
I've actually seen "Intention" pop up on a few other blogs, and I love that so many others are thinking what I'm thinking. Which is that life is more fun when you mean it.
I sort of started on this path when I made my 30 Before 30 list in August. Because I'm such a go-with-the-flow kind of girl, life tends to pass me by if I'm not paying attention. Weeks turn into months, and months turn into years, and then I wake up six years later wondering how in the world I went from being a college student with a cute boyfriend to a mom with a law degree and a mortgage. I mean, holy cow.
So I'm declaring 2014 (and hopefully the years that follow) as the year that I lived my life with intention. I'm going to intentionally follow my God, serve my husband, play with my daughter, enjoy my family, and laugh with my friends. I'm going to intentionally jump into this beautiful life that I live and stir up some dust. Because I know I'll regret it if I don't.
Bring it on, 2014. This girl is ready for you.