New Year Cheer – New Year resolutions

We go about our daily business being oh-so-serious and adult, when sometimes we might be better off looking to our children for a little worldly wisdom and inspiration…

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Recently, I had the luxury of spending a full weekend with my children. I’m talking no phone calls, no checking WeChat, and no preparing routines for classes. They had my total undivided attention and it was refreshing and rare, for both me and them.

Defying every ounce of guilt I feel for not being able to provide more of that on a daily basis, I tucked them into bed at night, giving them a million hugs and kisses, and looked into their eyes and told them fiercely how much I love them. After, I sat down, reflected on the past year, and proceeded to make my very own New Year resolutions, mainly inspired by my three beautiful girls.

1) I will see everybody as special.
When Audrey, my six year-old middle child looks at me, and other adults, she does so with admiration in her eyes. There is a sparkle as she sees that person as special and unique through her innocent beautiful eyes. As adults, our eyes easily dirty and we can no longer see reality as clearly as children do.

2) I will always speak the truth.
Everyone knows that kids can’t hide their feelings. They are honest to a fault. We were in an elevator one day and a midget walked in. Arielle, five at that time, exclaimed at the top of her voice, “Mommy, why is that man so small?” I turned scarlet with embarrassment and apologized to the man who took no offense and was gracious to a fault.

In the New Year, I plan to express my feelings more, but with tact. Sometimes I resort to concealing my real emotions just to “keep the peace”. So, if you see me on the streets, and I throw a shoe at you, well, you know how I feel about you.

In the New Year, I plan to express my feelings more, but with tact. Sometimes I resort to concealing my real emotions just to “keep the peace”. So, if you see me on the streets, and I throw a shoe at you, well, you know how I feel about you.

3) I will stay calm when the going gets tough.
Arielle, who just turned nine, had a tough beginning to the school year. She would come home unhappy, and in the middle of the night, she would get panic attacks and come to my room crying, saying, “Mommy, I have no friends. I sit alone at recess.” As with so many expat kids, her best friends had moved away, and new friends in her class preferred to speak in their native language and stay in their own cliques. It broke my heart, and all I wanted to do was cry with her and pluck her out of her situation.

Thankfully, Arielle was blessed with a fantastic teacher, who recognized the problem and sprang into action. Within weeks, Arielle was happier, and now, she hops to school happily and comes home speaking the brand new language she picked up from her new friends.

Life throws us curve balls. When it happens, I will laugh, move on, and be a trooper, just like my brave girl.

4) I will start everyday with enthusiasm.
Abigail, four, wakes up every morning with a big grin on her face. She hits the ground running with sheer enthusiasm and is pumped up for the new experiences that lie ahead. I have difficulty matching that level of enthusiasm, instead often waking up and methodically going through a mental list of to-dos for the day, but I will try!

5) I will remember that some of the best things in life are free.
Every once in a while, the shopaholic in me screams to be released. She pulls me to Hong Kong, and we spend hours shopping and just being fabulous. We try to provide our children with the very best but more often than not, that exorbitantly priced toy ‘loses’ to a puddle of rainwater. In the New Year, I will shop less, and try to enjoy the “free stuff” more. Mr Limowa will be very happy to hear this one. Now, let’s see how long it lasts.

6) I will forgive and forget.
Children … though they get upset quickly, the next minute they forget about it. They forgive and forget so easily. No matter how hard I try to always do the right thing, it sometimes backfires. Maybe it is my fault, maybe it is not. From now on whatever happens, I will just try to realize that what’s done is done, and move on.

These are my New Year resolutions. They might be simple, yet I believe that if I actually stick by them, they will carry me far. Whatever your New Year resolutions are, I wish you lots of love, happiness, and good health in the year 2016.