I chose choose.
(Say that five times fast.)
Yes, choose. As in, I choose to watch one more episode of How I Met Your Mother (which I just discovered on Netflix instant. It's excellent). I choose to keep running almost everyday. I choose to live with intent.
2012 is the year Paul comes home. It's the year I turn 27. It's the year we grow a garden in the backyard. It's the year I hope to make more money than last. It's the first year we have been together where both Paul and I will have weekends free of work (once he's home, of course). It's the year we would be happy to throw a little one into the mix. It's the year I feel like I have been waiting for since forever.
And so, of all the words, I picked choose.
The number one reason is because of this story :
In July 2011, Paul was stationed in Mississippi for training. On a whim, we decided I'd fly to New Orleans for the weekend. He would drive over and we'd spend 36 hours together in the same city. We hadn't seen each other in two weeks but that was nothing compared to the fact that he'd be deploying for seven months in another three weeks. We had a great shot at a perfect weekend.
So I got there. And he got there. We walked down the street from our hotel to a super cute restaurant where we both ate fried alligator. (It was chewy.) About halfway though the dinner our conversation took a turn to a non-important battle we'd had many times before. (I remember exactly what, but it's irrelevant.) And just like all the times we'd debated on this topic before, I geared up to make my point.
"Elise," Paul said, "don't do this."
I could have looked him in the eye and said "Do what?" accusingly and gone on with what we both already knew I'd say and what we both already knew it would incite.
But instead, I looked him in the eye, and said, "Okay."
Then I changed the subject and the conversation progressed. We finished dinner and went on to have probably the best night in our marriage. Or at least top five. We wandered Bourbon Street and people watched. We walked from one bar to the next, beer in hand. We laughed at each other and with each other. We listened to super loud live music until 2am and sang along at the top of our lungs. We walked home to our hotel and stopped for chicken fingers covered in ketchup and ranch dressing.
I'll remember the blast that night was forever.
And I hope I'll never forget that I chose to let go and saved at least twenty minutes of our short 36 hours.
I don't tell that story to say "I plan on backing down more often in 2012!" or "I plan on letting all the little things go in 2012!" Both of those are impossible.
Instead, I tell it to say that I want 2012 to be about recognizing that I get to choose. I get to decide how I am going to react to the big things and the little things and all the medium things that will come up over the course of a year. I can choose which battles are going to be worth the fight.
As mentioned, the next 363 days will be bringing with them a crazy amount of change. We'll be re-adjusting to each other. I'll be creating a new work schedule and I have no idea what it will entail. We will possibly be turning our lives completely upside down in preparation for a new family member.
In the face of all the adjustments, love, growing pains and newness scheduled for 2012, I choose choose.