On New Year’s Day, everyone was talking about resolutions. I wasn’t into it. I’ve already figured out how to eat healthy, most of the time. I exercise, almost enough. At 49, I have come to a place where I don’t waste my time trying to be perfect. Sure, I thought to myself, “I could drink a little less wine,” but then I thought again. “Let’s get realistic here.” So what resolution should I make? Or should I make one at all?
As I relaxed with my family on that frigid day, taking in some Netflix and catching up on my kindergartener’s 100 Book Challenge, I wondered what was missing in my life. What did I want more of? I wracked my brain and finally came up with it.
It has been close to two years since I first learned the power of meditation, positive thinking and the law of attraction. As beneficial as it had been for me in numerous areas, I was not paying as much attention to it as I wanted to. Early on, I had set aside 10 minutes a day for meditation. I had gone to fun and fulfilling workshops and attended guided meditation regularly. During that time, some amazing things happened for me. Areas of my life that had caused me anxiety for years became trouble-free. I had fulfilled a dream, to be able to take my entire family on an international trip. I was able to afford several home-improvement projects that had eluded me for years.
More importantly, though, I felt more peaceful than ever before. I learned to be appreciative of everything positive around me. I became aware that, the happier I was, the happier those I loved would be in my presence. I found that it was not selfish to do whatever I wanted that brought me joy. Instead, it was my responsibility if I wanted to be the best wife and mother I could be.
So on New Year’s Day I took a look at the writings and video clips of some of my favorite spiritual leaders. I filled my brain with the eternal wisdom of Lao Tzu, the mystical teachings of Abraham Hicks and the guidance of Dr. Wayne Dyer. Much to my 6-year-old’s dismay, I took a few minutes to meditate alone in my room, wearing noise-cancelling headphones streaming peaceful sounds from nature. I went to bed that night purposefully counting my many blessings. I woke the next morning and chanelled anxiety about the tasks that lie ahead away. Instead, I focused on the plushness of my comforter, the softness of my pillow and the warmth of my dog’s body.
Despite the fact that it was the first day back to work after the long holiday break, I found myself smiling on the drive in. When an anxiety-producing thought tried to enter my mind, I took control and pictured something beautiful. I thought of my favorite thing about each of my children, my husband and my dog. I took in the early morning rays of sunlight, in awe of their beauty. I thought about how amazing it is to live in such a place like the Abingtons, and how I wouldn’t want to raise my kids anywhere else.
I pondered what had brought me the most joy recently and I focused on it: the fact that my husband and I were able to grant a wish to one of our teenagers. We were sending her on the trip of a lifetime, something she had quietly hoped for and humbly requested. I pictured the look on her face when we said yes, and the high-pitched glee in her voice when she told us how special this was to her. I held on to that picture in my mind, playing it over and over, feeling my eyes glisten and my heart soar.
Is seeking joy a New Year’s resolution? If so, I guess I have one. Unlike resolutions of the past that have make me feel like I came up short and filled me with a sense of self-condemnation, this one is making 2018 look bright.