one family's yearlong dare to live their dreams

A New Year’s Manifesto

Ah, it’s 10:55 pm. The kids are asleep. The house is clean and orderly for the first time all day. The dishwasher is humming its soapy, comforting tune. how to start a private chat.

It’s the perfect time to write a manifesto.

When Michael and I first conceived of this Party of 4 blog and project, in our rush of adrenaline and enthusiasm we decided that we wanted it to contain a manifesto of sorts. We wanted this project to inspire and energize not just ourselves but everyone who reads about it and touches upon it. And the perfect way to do that is with a call to action.

In the meantime, serendipitously, I came across the Internet presence of Gwen Bell, who has written a great piece on her blog called Create Your Personal Manifesto. It’s bursting with advice and tips on how to do just that. And I enjoy the manifesto graphic pictured here, which I found on Etsy. When you’re about to write your own manifesto, it’s a good idea to read a few first just to get in the spirit.

Michael and I came up with a rough draft of our manifesto on New Year’s Day, over samosas and malai kofta at an Indian restaurant in Kingston, New York. I will now attempt to polish and shape each of our statements into something that is, if not elegant and declarative a la Ralph Waldo Emerson, then at least fairly readable. So here goes.

Party of 4 Manifesto

We refuse to believe that A LIFE OF ADVENTURE is incompatible with a life with kids.

Material things have a lesser value than RELATIONSHIPS and EXPERIENCES.

Our job as a couple is to NURTURE and PROTECT each other’s dreams.

EQUALLY SHARED PARENTING shall be the new world order.

May we be true to ourselves.

May we remember to pause and SEE THE MAGNIFICENCE in everything, especially our children.

Marriage is not the death knell of PASSION and LOVE.

Home is where we have our FAMILY – not our mortgage or our stuff.

We don’t stop growing after bringing kids into this world. In fact we owe it to them to keep EXPANDING OUR LIVES and moving toward our dreams.

May our actions be fueled by JOY rather than fear. May we live in openness to POSSIBILITY and CHANGE.

No whining.

No clinging to the past. No self-indulgent bouts of torment or nostalgia.

In uplifting ourselves, may we also UPLIFT OTHERS.

So there’s a start. It’s a selection. I’m tempted to add a few items from my own personal belief system, such as EAT CHOCOLATE or Unroll Thy Yoga Mat Daily. But I need to stay true to our Party of 4 theme. So there you have it.

Have you ever thought of writing your own manifesto? What would you say?

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4 Responses to “A New Year’s Manifesto”

  1. Rachel says:

    That is an excellent and inspiring manifesto, Wendy! And I loved Gwen Bell’s post. It makes me want to gather a group of people and magazines and get inspired…

    • Wendy says:

      Rachel, so glad the manifesto spoke to you, and glad you enjoyed Bell’s post too. I, too, have the urge to tear through a stack of magazines and create one of those fabulous “life plan” collages….

  2. Right in the midst of the whine about how much better it was in years gone, I opened your manifesto. Wondering where’s the rocket fuel, I found inspiration. Barter swap and sing about the joy in what we do will uplift. Surely, it beats moping and groping!
    Thanks Wendy & your all the best for your Party of 4!
    Jonathan Kruk, recently posted..KIDTOPIA! Jan 15th 11am @ WDST studio Woodstock- NY

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