My New Year’s Resolutions

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Can you believe it? 2021 is finally here. I know for many, 2020 was the year that wouldn’t end and it is a year that most do not wish to look back on or remember (this is not the case for me but we can save that for another column).

With a whole shiny new year ahead of us, did you make some resolutions for 2021? Did you decide to lose weight? Save money? Read more? As I pondered whether I wanted to set goals for this new year, I decided to do a little research on why we have this tradition of setting New Year’s resolutions.

According to the History Channel, the first recorded instances of New Year’s celebrations and resolutions were the ancient Babylonians about 4,000 years ago. Each New Year the Babylonians would reaffirm their loyalties to the King, promise to pay their debts and return any objects they had borrowed. The ancient Romans also celebrated the New Year and made promises of good behavior to their gods.

Early Christians took up this practice and adopted the New Year as a time to think about past mistakes and resolve to do better in the future.

Today, New Year’s resolutions are mostly a secular practice and focus on self-improvement, which is why most resolutions are rarely followed through. According to research conducted by the History Channel, almost 45 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. Of that 45 percent, only 8 percent are successful in achieving those goals. Most people make a list of self-improvement goals and within two weeks, those new aspirations are left withering until they are put off again until the next New Year.

In light of these dismal statistics, I decided to do away with the traditional resolutions of weight loss, exercise, saving, etc. Instead I will replace them with just the resolve to enjoy life.

Enjoy life? Yes, enjoy life.

I am a busy person. I work full time, I have a new husband, I have children, I have pets. I just moved into a new home and am in the process of selling my other house. I am constantly thinking of all that I have to do and get done. The result of this chaos is that I just rush from one thing to the other. I find that I do not take the time to really enjoy those moments that matter most. Those little everyday moments that, in the grand scheme of things, end up being the ones that touch our hearts.

When I get home from work, I am usually focused on getting something ready for dinner and doing laundry and picking up clutter. It is usually during this time that my youngest comes out of his room and wants to chat with me. I am ashamed to admit that many times I am simply hearing his words…not listening… not connecting. These are times he is sharing his views, his aspirations, his heart. So, this year, I will be present in those moments and I will LISTEN. We will share opinions, views and hearts and hopefully I will grow a much deeper and meaningful connection with my son.

I have such amazing parents. They both survived COVID this year for which I am so thankful. I need to spend more time with them and enjoy just being in their presence, remembering every aspect of their voices, their laughs, their mannerisms. I know these are what will matter most when I no longer have them with me. So this year, I will sit with them, I will visit, I will reminisce and I will store those precious moments in my heart.

Last Monday I had invited my new mother in law and father in law over for dinner. I worked all day and rushed home with only a little over an hour before they would arrive. As I was rushing into the house, my new husband was heading out to Lowe’s and asked me to ride with him. I told him I had to get dinner going. It was the please that got me. I jumped in the truck and the 20 minutes we were gone, I had the best time. We laughed and visited and made a memory…an inside joke involving a tennis shoe box that I know we will always remember.

So this year, I will enjoy those little moments with my boys, my parents, my husband, my family and my friends. I will be present in those moments and make those connections that will be worth more than any amount of money, lost weight or gym time.

This year I will enjoy life. I pray you do too.

Charlette Hilton is a Mother of 2, a Louisiana Tech graduate and serves as Editor and Advertising Director for The Gazette. Contact her via email at news@fgazette.com