The tradition of making New Year’s resolutions is almost as interesting as the tradition of breaking them a few weeks down the road. Somehow, we think that just because the calendar turns to a new month that ends in a new number, we should somehow change. We believe if we make significant changes in our behavior that our lives and our year will be different and better.
On New Years Day, we take on the challenge to change our lives all at once. We decide to lose weight, to work out, to eat healthier, and to live happier by reaching out to the less fortunate and changing our attitude. Really? And we wonder why we give up a week (or two… or four…) in.
Life change is an on-going process. It’s called growth, and growth is something that is constant and continuing until the day we die, regardless of our contribution to the process. While we have the option to make choices to help steer our growth in a positive direction, it is never advisable to make changes in all aspects of life at once. Unless we want to fail. If one truly wants to lose weight or get in shape or be more altruistic, one would do so regardless of whether the calendar changed.
In 2014, my greatest growth came not from changes I made, but from my choice to grow from the situations in which I found myself. Through these situations, I experienced one of the most important epiphanies of my life as a single parent, and consequently, I was able to release one of the long-standing stresses I have had. This growth is not something I could have predicted on January 1st, but will change my approach to similar situations in the future.
My resolution for 2015 is one that was originally made 17 years ago, and is one that I am still working on. Before my son was born, I resolved to be the best mom I could be, and I am forever working on this resolution as I define and redefine what it means to be “the best mom I can be.” My definition is different for teenagers than it was for toddlers, and what they need from me also transforms and evolves. My life as a single mom poses challenges that are neither constant nor predictable. But by striving to be the best that I can be in the situations that arise, I am making a promise—to myself and to my children—that I will be a presence that they can rely on and a role model that they might choose to follow.
And so I continue to work toward my goal on my journey as a parent. But I know I must do so one day at a time. January 1 represents a new day, 24 hours in which I can work on my goal to be the best I can be.