Last year, something remarkable occurred:
I actually kept my New Year’s resolution.
… the whole year!
I don’t think I’ve ever achieved such a feat intentionally. Sure, I’ve renewed good intentions and yes, I’ve restarted some wavering beginnings… but an honest to goodness New Year’s commitment? Nope. This was a first.
It started simply as a New Year’s project with me and my fourth grade students discussing the tradition of making resolutions– nothing special really. But every now and then these kinds of conversations can become magical moments.
…And Magic happened that day.
We talked of why promises are important, even those — and maybe especially those — to ourselves. We shared ideas of new beginnings and second chances, and discussed the value of making resolutions that were real and serious and worth keeping.
We touched on the usual New Year’s intentions of better health and mind and spirit. But most importantly, we talked of pledging ourselves to changes that would make a difference in the world around us, and in those people’s lives we touch everyday.
Bam! That’s when it hit me: I needed to hug Dad everyday.
It seemed, at first, like such a small, silly thing. Then, it stung with accusation: “Jane! People need hugs; they need touch everyday. You know that! You and Chris have each other… how could you have forgotten Dad for so long?” I was discouraged and dismayed all at once. Yet, from somewhere in the crossfire, I knew that this was a problem worth resolving. A promise worth keeping.
… At first hugging Dad was a little awkward. At first it felt contrived and stilted. And yes, at first, it did feel like a small and silly ritual designed to ease my guilty heart.
But this is what I can tell you now, one year later:
Everyday, as I reach to hug Dad and he reaches back from his sofa perch, I still see his eyes brighten and the twinkle return, and I see each yellow tooth flash in excited joy.
Everyday, I watch him sit taller and reach out further, and when he holds me I hear his gentle Eastern Colorado croon,”Ohhhh, I was just wonderin’ about you, Lady.” Pat, pat, pat. “Have a good day, didya?”
And everyday, with that simple squeeze, I always realize I am more blessed than he.
New. Every. Day.
But that’s the wonder of New, isn’t it? … whether or not that “Something New” begins as a promise on January 1st, or on the next day, or on a lifetimes of Next Days after that.
Every new moment we’re given is opportunity for simple choices, secret challenges and sweet second chances to reflect, repent, revise, re-form, rebuild, restore, renew, revive, re-create and re-solve again. Everyday we can re-solve all the problems of our daily madness with simple resolutions of Love — resolutions that reach into lives beyond our own, and yet somehow rebound their miracles right back to us. Amazing.
So this year, I won’t be looking for any big, hyped-up, self-improving promises. Nope.
This year I’m going straight for those new and fresh ones … those “small and silly” ones. This year I’m going to practice starting fresh. I’m going to make daily promises that are real and serious and worth keeping.
This year I’m counting on seeing Magic happen everyday, in all the lives I touch along the way.
How ’bout you?
Here’s wishing you a new year, filled with new moments that are packed to the top with daily and exponentially amazing miracles.