Cathy: Promises, promises
Every year on January 1st (or I should face it, at least before or in February), I write down a wish and a resolution or promise for the New Year. The wish is meant to be big, seemingly impossible, the resolution is meant for real work on self. I light a candle, and get my reluctant family in on the act. We burn the old after reading them, and write the new. They can be kept to oneself or shared, but they must be written down. I prefer to share. K prefers to keep secret. Being who I am, I usually peek at his sometime in the first week, when he’s not around. Over the years, I’ve had some very pleasant surprises unfold in my sneakiness — my favorite is the year I read “be a better big brother to S.” We place the new resolutions and wishes under the candle, blow it out and keep them there for the year, until the next round. That’s when we see if we kept promises, met resolutions and if a million dollars showed up in the mailbox. One year the wish was a house, and we got this one that year! Burning the slips of paper is a good way to not hold onto/feel guilty about what you didn’t meet, and to start fresh again. Making a ritual of your intentions gives them more heft, too.
Just making one resolution and writing it down, makes it more plausible to actually meet it. It’s too easy to make a bunch of promises and then blow them off. Mine for 2008 was/is “to be a more involved mother and wife.” I like to think that was easily met, especially after bedrest pregnancy ended. I’ve made individual time with each boy on a pretty regular basis — not in a regimented manner like “Yes, I will go to a café with K every Saturday… I will play a game with S on Tuesdays.” I hold, love, and appreciate Baby C almost constantly. My husband and I can still work on making us time a priority, but I think it’s miles away from last year’s and earlier this year’s frantic yells from my bed for my latest ‘need’ and his frantic running to and fro to help me or get the boys to help him do so. I am very appreciative of him for having put up with me in such a state. I’m so glad it’s over and I can show that to him now. Not that I’m great at doing so, but I’m trying. After all, I made a promise I intend to keep. Maybe I’ll continue this resolution into 2009, but I’d really like to make another. I’m still thinking what I’d like to focus on next. Maybe it’s actively appreciating what is great about my life: my family, my creativity and its actual production of late, and taking better care of myself. Maybe instead of wishing for a million dollars, I’ll wish for a bestselling novel. The one I’m working on will be finished by February. I better get cracking on this resolution. There’s room for improvement in every area of my life. I really need to narrow this down.