The turn of a year always makes me very emotional. I am not very good with goodbyes but, at the same time, I always look forward to change.
We are not too big on New Year's resolutions in our home -- I find that, if setting difficult standards for adults leave too much room for disappointment, what more for children that are already growing up in a world that thrives on pressure.
Instead, we try to make small changes in our day-to-day lives, using lessons learned from the past year to better the present. For example, we recently returned from a 3-week trip to California, with no yaya in tow. Because of this, my girls did simple chores such as make their beds, wash dishes and assist me with the laundry. They also helped in looking out for each other.
These little acts taught them that they are capable of so much. Realistically, these are things that will be close to impossible to accomplish on a daily basis because of school, extra curricular activities, and the like (we do live in a traffic-prevalent city after all, with so much time being wasted in a car). But there is no excuse for not practicing some of these chores on the weekend and, moreover, not making that conscious day-to-day effort to be more independent in doing things for themselves. From something as simple as carrying their own bags up to their rooms, or getting that glass of water when thirsty, or even cleaning out their closets on their own -- all these acts go a long way.
Back to those resolutions… I tried to tell myself I’d stop shouting in 2018 and, by January 1, I screamed before the clock even hit 9am. You see, we are all trying our best every damn minute, and instead of trying to constantly change these imperfections that make us intrinsically who we are, why not focus our efforts on avoiding situations that bring out the worst in us?
As for me, my non-resolution is to live one day at a time. Too often, I try to over-plan and get so overwhelmed that I end up making the easy decisions over the better ones. On my first day back to reality, I subscribed to online banking. I know it sounds like a mindless task, but for so many months I put it off because I was always "too busy". Too busy going to the bank and paying bills or making calls to check statements -- basically, on-the-spot choices that could’ve all been avoided if handled more efficiently.
So this year, no more delaying that project, or putting off that work out, or trying to get it all done at once. This year will be about finding that perfect balance. I want to reach my goals, but at the same time, I also want to allow myself to take those much-needed breaks in the day without feeling unproductive and guilty.
So here is to change, but also to not letting those changes change who we really are. Cheers to a beautiful new year!