New Year's Revelation

It’s that time of year! Time to reflect on the New Year’s resolutions you made last month. Or time to pretend to make and keep New Year’s resolutions. I rarely make them as I have very little faith in myself to keep them. And when I actually do make them, I forget what they are by mid-January.

I’d like to start setting goals for myself and I believe they can be made at any time of year. I always want to better myself, but I can be a harsh self-critic. I give up easily when I get frustrated, and have a hard time committing to something even when I love it. Maybe it’s lack of motivation or just the fact that I have yet to find my true passion. Maybe it’s because I’m a mom of two very young boys and all of my energy currently goes into feeding them, playing with them, and keeping them alive. Whatever the case, I’m ready to channel that energy into something else. More importantly, I’m ready to use my brain in ways beyond trying to remember how many days it’s been since my three year old’s last poop.

My grandma used to say to me, “Jack of all trades, master of none.” Grandma was spot on. I tend to dabble in many things. I grew up dancing, so I still try to keep up with ballet and other forms of dance. I hate actual exercise, so I’ll never make a resolution to head to the gym, ever. On the rare occasion, my husband finds me painting in the kitchen, long after the kids have gone to sleep. I come from a line of talented artists, but I only received a fraction of that gene. I do enjoy the tranquility of painting, so every now and again I’ll whip out the watercolors. However, I believe the only place worthy of my creations I choose to display, is the bathroom. Thanks to muscle memory, I can crank out a few Chopin tunes on the piano, but my repertoire is small and my motivation is lacking. Let’s not forget some other lost hobbies, like skiing and yoga. I would blame having kids, but we all know excuses are like, well, you know how the saying goes. Everyone has them, and they all stink.

I wish I could focus on something and really master it, make it my passion, do something with it. Sometimes I feel like all of this dabbling accomplishes nothing.

I’m currently a stay at home mom, but was a teacher in my previous life. For various reasons, and that’s a conversation for another time, I don’t think I’ll return to teaching. I constantly wonder what’s next for me. Sometimes I look at other women my age and all that they’ve accomplished in awe. Seeing women in executive positions or killing it as successful business owners at times may leave me feeling less than for being a teacher turned stay at home mom with no clear direction. I know I shouldn’t feel this way as my job is extremely important, but sometimes it’s hard not to think I haven’t accomplished enough in my 34 years.

Maybe I have to look at all that I do on a daily basis, monotonous as it can be, as being successful. I pushed out two children; success! I have fed them 3 meals today; success! I have taught one to use the potty; however it did take 10 months, not 3 days like they advertise. OK - that one is subjective. I guess without realizing it I did accomplish my biggest goal, and that was becoming a mom. I’ve dreamed about it since I was a baby myself and I eventually made it my priority.

So no, I didn’t open a ballet studio, or become a concert pianist like I once imagined I would. But I chose to be a mother first, subconsciously set this as my goal, and accomplished it. Now it’s time to set that next goal. Maybe I’ll have that figured out before the next New Year.

Caitlin Coletta, currently a stay at home mom, spent her pre-mom years as a teacher for students with disabilities. She has proudly been a Hoboken resident for nearly 10 years and is now outnumbered by her husband, two sons James and Everett, and Boston Terrier, Rocky. Caitlin enjoys playing piano, dancing ballet, and painting watercolors. She especially loves to frequent her favorite local restaurants and shops and feels lucky to live in a town with such a large sense of community.