Monday, December 30, 2013

Subtracting in 2014.

A New Year is quickly approaching us and I am sure everyone is starting to analyze their lives. They are embracing what worked for them in 2013 and attempting to fix what didn't work for them in 2013. I've always been one to make resolutions. I've also been one to never keep a resolution either. Laying in bed last night, I thought about why I can't keep my resolutions. They're typically simple ones...

lose weight, be a better Mother, be a better wife, spend more time with friends, get organized, save money

But they end up moving to the back of my mind as the year progresses and I forget what I'm striving for. I lose sight and I fall in to my old routines. It's frustrating.

Then I realized what my problem is.

I struggle with ADDING to my life. 

I need to be SUBTRACTING so I can SLOW DOWN.

I wish I could tell you where the past 3 years went since I had my first daughter. I really do. I remember bringing her home from the hospital on April 3rd, 2011 and I look over at her now singing and dancing to a song on 'Yo Gabba Gabba' and I sigh. How did that happen? 

I wish I could tell you where the past 8 months went since I had my second daughter. I really do. I remember bringing her home from the hospital on May 5th, 2013 and I look over at her now playing with toys, giggling, and laughing at her sister and I sigh. How did that happen?

I wish I could tell you where the past 4 years went since I met my husband. I really do. I remember hearing his voice for the first time on December 23, 2009 and I look at us now and see a couple that has struggled and survived, had two beautiful little girls and I sigh. How did that happen?

Life is fast.

I remember graduating high school like it was yesterday... and then I hear someone talking about '2005' and I realize that was almost 10 years ago. I'm nearing 30.. when did that happen?

Life is fast.

And so I want to start SUBTRACTING from my life instead of ADDING. I want to slow down. I don't want my resolutions to be more work. I want them to be less work, but more beneficial.

What am I subtracting from my life in 2014?

1. I am subtracting negativity from my life. As the saying goes, 'Ain't nobody got time for that!' Seriously, I don't. I am so tired of negativity whether it be from my own mind or those around me. Negativity is a poison. It is a disease and it will eat you alive from the inside out. I'm so sick of being that person. Of being the person that automatically jumps to the worst possible conclusion out there. Of being the person that listens to junk from other human beings. If you want to be a Debbie Downer, that's on your own time, but no more coming to me with it. I am subtracting negativity from my life in 2014.. that way POSITIVITY can be added! 

2. I am subtracting social media. No, not entirely.. (are you crazy!) but I am subtracting it in the evenings. It's sad how a 'movie night' in our family, I still have my I-phone right next to me. No more. As I previously said, my babies are almost 3 years old and 8 months old.. do I really want them to remember their Mother as the person that constantly had her phone/laptop in front of her face? No way! I want to be spending time with them... looking at their little toes, hearing them giggle, playing 'airplane' (my almost 3 year olds favorite), counting, learning, playing outside, taking walks, enjoying movies as a family. I am subtracting social media from my life in 2014.. that way FAMILY TIME can be added!

3. I am subtracting clutter from my life. I look around at our 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom apartment and ponder, 'Why did I even begin to think that I could fit all of this CRAP into this place!' I am serious. There is junk everywhere. It's craziness! I wouldn't say I am a hoarder, but more like a 'sentimental snuggler of all things precious.' Yes, I hold on to everything. Decorations from Tayler's 2nd birthday, napkins from a random party, receipts from 3 years ago that do not matter (am I going to get audited for a meal at Burger King?), wires and cords from devices that we haven't had since Christmas 2010, 9600000 plastic bags... It's serious, folks. So, in 2014, I promise to subtract clutter.. that way ORGANIZATION can be added! (I am starting today!)

4. I am subtracting YELLING from my life. I know, I'm sure you are all giving me a really weird look right now, but this is something that has been weighing on my heart. I am so sick of being a 'yeller.' I am not a loud yeller by any means, but a stern. I hate being that person. I yell at my husband, my daughter, random objects laying around the house.. I feel like my 'yelling' breeds hostility and a negative environment. No more. I want to be a gentle speaker. I don't want my daughters to look back in 15 years and think, 'Man, Mom yelled a lot.' Now, please don't get me wrong here. I believe in discipline. I don't mean that. I just mean yelling during simple moments. Tayler accidentally spills a drink, I yell. Ethan drops a plate, I yell. I refuse to be that wife or mother starting today. I am subtracting yelling from life so PEACE can be added!

5. I am subtracting my photography business from my life. Not the entire business, but a great deal of it. I am slowing down. No more staying up til 2AM to get editing done. No more 50 photo sessions in a month. I am downgrading. Of course, the money is nice, but I am a different person and I hate that. I'm a grump. I'm moody. And I don't use my camera to capture my children. Please don't get me wrong. I love taking pictures. It is a huge passion of mine, but I am getting so lost in the 'business aspect' that I'm not being the wife OR mother that I could be. My house is a disaster. (Or I guess WAS a disaster. I've been on break since December 17th) The laundry was behind. My children never saw their mother. My husband only got ranting and moodiness. No more. I'm cutting back because I want to ENJOY my life. I am so tired of being stressed out. I used to enjoy it, now I dread it.. and that is changing. I am taking on less photo sessions during the month so I can spend more time with my kids. I am subtracting business from life.. so CAPTURING MOMENTS WITH MY CHILDREN can be added!

6. I am subtracting busyness from my life. I guess this can go along with #5, but I'm talking about busyness in general.. for my husband myself. I want to be able to spend more time with my family and friends. I want to make time to see my extended family, my husband's extended family, our friends. I feel like in 2013, we were just TOO busy. And that's a shame because when we pass on from this life, we aren't going to be laying there thinking about our jobs, our money, our extracurricular activities.. we are going to be thinking, 'I just wish I'd spent more time with my family.. my friends.' That's changing for the Bay family in 2014. We are going to cut back on extracurricular things.. so FAMILY/FRIENDS can be added!

Life is short. The Bible says that it is like a vapor.. it's here and then it's gone. What do you want to remember when you pass on from this life? Your job or your family? Your negativity or your ability to embrace the positive? What do you want your family and friends to remember of you? How busy you were? Or how welcoming you were?

I'm making some changes in 2014.

These are the things I want to SUBTRACT from my life in 2014!

How about you??

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Brittany Fry

These are all wonderful things Alyssa!! and if you can subtract them from your life in 2014 then in 2015, 16, 17 and in the years to follow. I always wonder with Mom's that post so much on their facebooks and IGs how much time they are truly spending with their children when they are so busy posting pictures and making statuses. I am sure your girls and Ethan will enjoy you "completely" and disconnected!! Here is to a Happy New Year!!


Have you read "The Happiness Project?" I just started it, but your post really tied in with the book for me. I know, adding reading into your already busy life is going against your new goals, but I think you'd really enjoy it. You are a wonderful mother and a loving, thoughtful wife-- your family is very lucky to have you. Much love for 2014!


I suggest reading the happiness project as well. Sounds like exactly what you are doing!

You are such an inspiration, I love hearing what's on your mind. Thank you for always sharing!