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New Year Reflections

Reflecting on the New Year and how it can keep us in the Present...

My New Year's resolution for 2024

I am 42 years old. I have a 20-year-old daughter and a 16-year-old son. My daughter will be 21 in late January and my son will be 17 at the beginning of March. When I was a teen, my mother and my father would buy a special wine for the New Year. Every New Year we would have a wonderful party. 

Around 11:56 P.M. We would all get a glass, and we would get to make a New Year's toast. My mother would let each of us 4 children have a say in that toast of what we wish for for the new year. Some of us would say, "I hope for this New Year that we continue to be a strong family." or, "I hope for this New Year that we lose weight." I enjoyed this because it gave me something to look forward to. 

If you know me,( some of you don't) but if you do, you know that for a long time, I didn't live by a set schedule. Sometimes my thoughts are disorganized. Sometimes I read a book backwards and sometimes that's my life. I do things backwards to others but to me, it's right. I would set a New Year's resolution. 

I would say, "This year, I'm going to exercise every day. I'm going to run. I'm going to learn a new language. I'm going to be a better person." my favorite was, "I'm going to stop cursing." That New Year's resolution wouldn't last more than five minutes. 

 As I write this, I always remember the feeling of each failed resolution; sadness, disappointment, and a big heaping pile of... I don't know the word, but maybe failure. Maybe I felt like a failure because these New Year's resolutions everyone seemed to be accomplishing them. 

Everyone seemed to be making it and working out when they said. Everybody seemed to be dieting perfectly. But me? Why couldn't I get it together? 

With time, and when I finally got my footing, I got a real schedule under my belt. I guess children change you in that way where you have to get on some type of schedule because you want them to have a balanced life. I wanted them to wake up at a good time. I wanted them to go to bed at a good time. That time in between I wanted to make sure that it was balanced. 

So in balancing my children's lives, I was able to balance my own. I poured a lot of my life into my children because I love them so much. They are my crown and glory. They are the one thing I believe that I was meant on this Earth to create. I am so happy that I did.  

So happy that they chose me as their mother. So having that schedule put me on a schedule, and it made me realize that maybe I don't need a New Year's resolution. 

Lately, I find now that I live more in the present, every day is a gift. I find that this year, I have been the most Present than I've been in quite a long time. I have no schedule to tie me down. I have no crazy mainstream goal. No gauntlet to run, just me working on my passions, working on myself, working on my self-love. 

It hit me that making New Year's resolutions makes me sad because who can plan their life in a year? Can you sit down and plan your life? And if you did plan your life and then lived it and it didn't go the way that you thought wouldn't that bring a level of disappointment that maybe you would take a while to shake? That's how I feel about New Year's resolutions. I feel that I can't sit down in the last month of the year for 335 days and then decide then and there that this is what I want to do for the next 365 days. 

Because I am going to disappoint myself. I'm going to disappoint others because the truth of the matter is tomorrow's not promised. The day after tomorrow isn't promised. The people that I plan to see may be gone, or they may not want to see me. The things I want to do may be out of style or God forbid I get injured and I'm not able to do them. 

Who knows. But what I do know is all I have is now. All I have is the present moment, and in this present moment, the things that I do today can help me tomorrow. And if I wake up tomorrow, I can stay present and think about the things I did yesterday that can help me move forward in that day and so on and so on until I look back, and realize that those 365 days, not only were they planned, but they were planned in a way that I could be proud that I was present. 

I think there is no better gift than being in the present. And that is why I do not believe in New Year's resolutions. If anything, I believe in forgiveness because every year as our tradition I ask my friends and my family if there is anything that I have done to offend them this past year, I ask for forgiveness and they will say I forgive you or I don't forgive you and I must work on that.

 I find that lately, New Year's resolutions are not needed. What is needed most at this moment, in this time, is for us to stay present. When we stay present, we're able to make sure that our days are filled with meaning. When you can fill a day with meaning you can blink and look up and the next thing you know you have a year filled with meaning, and you end up looking forward to the next year instead of dreading it. 

You look forward to wanting to be present so that it manifests even more presence in your life. Am I telling you that your resolutions are silly? No, but for me personally, they don't work. So if you do have a New Year's resolution I congratulate you on having the stamina, the willpower, and the discipline. I urge you if for whatever reason you cannot hold that New Year's resolution, to give yourself grace. 

Something that I am learning to give myself in these times. Give yourself grace. Let yourself be forgiven if you miss a day. If you don't accomplish what you thought you needed to. Just remember that sometimes "no" is a "yes". 

Sometimes the Universe says no it is redirection, and in that redirection, may you find the true power of a new year...-GTG

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