Now, Exhale

Christmas Season 2012 is over. The flurry of family, food, shopping, wrapping paper, and gifts has subsided, leaving behind almost strange feelings of stillness and peace. The supposed end of the world has not come to pass, and life returns to normal.

Today was spent putting our house back in order. Dishes have been washed and put away. Piles of wasteful packaging and other trash have been thrown away. Brendon's new toys have been sorted into two groups: "Keep" and "Donate". Anything worth keeping has been stored in its proper place, while everything else will be taken elsewhere.

The grandparents (meaning, my parents and in-laws) had their fun unloading a mountain of toys on our son, thinking to get their "revenge" on us for having lots of noisemakers when we were children, but what they don't yet know is that we made a certain decision a long time ago: we're going to limit the number of things Brendon owns and get rid of anything unnecessary as he grows up.

Not that we want to be mean about it of course, but in a day where children are constantly bombarded by advertisements and peer pressure, I feel it important to make sure we avoid instilling any sense of entitlement. I see too many kids and teenagers taking to Twitter every year, complaining about not getting the exact gift(s) they wanted. Or even getting the right gift but not the right color (such as a white iPad vs a black one). It's sickening.

For now, we will choose for him which things will be kept or given away, but as he gets older he will be asked to pick out which older toys to donate. These won't be blind donations though. He will be taken to see donation centers and homeless shelters in order to see and understand why it's important to donate to those in need. Even our lower middle class lifestyle is one of comparative opulence.

But I digress.

As 2012 winds to a close, I find myself excitedly thinking ahead to 2013 and what it holds. In years past, I've often done what many others do, making a list of New Year's resolutions and not keeping them, but something about this year feels different (yes, I know people always say that).

While I obviously can't predict the future, I have this oddly optimistic feeling that some sort of positive shift is about to take place in my life. Maybe it means I'll finally be able to write for this site full-time as I've so dearly hoped. Or perhaps some other big opportunity will present itself.

Whatever the outcome, I sense that 2013 is going to be huge for me. Can't wait.