Next year, last year

“Mmmooooommmm!” a little voice yelled from his bedroom at the crack of dawn.

“Whaaaaattt?” I yelled back still snuggled in my own bed determined to sleep in any chance I can get this summer.

No answer, just another, “Mmmooooommmm!”

So I replied with another, “What?”

“Come sing me the sun song.”

Ohhh right. When I tucked him in bed last night, my four year old had asked me to wake him up by singing to him. It always boggles my mind what he remembers and what he doesn’t.

How could I ignore such a sweet request? I pulled myself out of bed and sang to him. He then crawled into my bed for more snuggle time.

“Hey Mom, remember last year when we saw that Baby Beluga book at Target?”

‘Last year’ was really just a couple weeks ago. Everything is either ‘last year’ or ‘next year’ with him right now. Some of his memories are truly from a year ago, but most are a few weeks at most.

He also makes plans for the future as every four year old does.

For a few months, he was talking about ‘next year’ quite a bit. What he wanted to be for Halloween next year, where he wanted to go next year, what he wanted to acquire next year. “Next year for my birthday I’m getting an iPod.” Naturally, he wants whatever his older brothers have.

It got me thinking about how much I do the same thing. Next year will be the year I finish writing the book I’ve been working on. Next year I will be 3 sizes smaller. Next year I will finally clean out that closet that is overflowing. Next year we will take that vacation.

When life gets crazy busy, I push things off for later. This is nothing surprising, most people do this. But this year my family had the heart breaking realization that next year is not always guaranteed. It put some things into perspective.

So this year we are taking that vacation to Europe we’ve been talking about since we got married almost 11 years ago. This year I am finishing the book I’ve been working on, it’ll be a sh*tty rough draft as Anne Lamott says, but it’s getting done. This year I have lost 25 pounds so far and my husband has lost 50. And while I have quite a bit of weight to go yet, we’re continuing to work on our health each day (some better than others).

I have decided to put the cleaning/organizing at the end of my stuff to accomplish this year list. It doesn’t bring me joy, and with 3 crazy boys in the house things instantly get messy again, so I figure, why fret about that? Cleaning and organizing will be saved for next year indefinitely.

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