Less selfish New Year’s resolutions, I think.

31 Dec

NYE photo

New Year’s resolutions are always difficult because usually after a brilliant start we end up drifting away from the best of intentions and that’s exactly what New Year’s resolutions are – intentions.

In 2013 I am turning thirty-seven so what I want to do is list a whole bunch of New Year’s resolutions to help me cope with that. To start I’m thinking diet, exercise, detox, better clothes, more effort put into my hair, teeth-whitening, regular spray-tans, no more self-waxing…but none of this is going to improve my life. None of this is going to help me achieve my goals, the things that really matter to me. So instead of including these in my list of resolutions I’ll keep there where they belong – in my bathroom when I can be bothered.

This coming year I want to focus more on integrity. How well do you stick to your morals, ethics and principles? Is sound moral character something that interests you? Are you honest? Considerate?

I try to be but often fall short, particularly when it comes to those who are closest to me. I know this is going to sound ridiculously naive but imagine a world where we all maintained our integrity most of the time?

Tiredness and thoughtlessness are the triggers for me to forget my integrity because sometimes doing the right thing is exhausting and it’s usually in the smallest ways that I fail. Case-in-point. It took me twenty minutes to find a parking space at my local shopping centre yesterday and at first I stayed calm. I made jokes, sang along to songs with the kids. After about the eighteen minute mark I started to lose it. I fell silent. A car driving too slowly in front of me trolling for a space (following innocent shoppers) annoyed me so I made a sweeping motion with my hand and was rewarded with his middle finger. I deserved it.

Two minutes of snapping at the kids later and I found a space. Was it really necessary for me to become the worst version of myself because I couldn’t find a parking space? Do I have to fall short so often?

This is just a small thing but I fall short in other ways too. I could be a better wife and mother, a better sister and daughter, a better friend.

I still think the way to go forward as a species is to focus on small kindnesses, patience, forgiveness. I’m sounding silly again. But seriously how good does it feel when a stranger picks up your child’s teddy bear for you, when someone opens a door, or when you help someone out? Couldn’t we all try and do something like this every day and teach our kids too?

I loved reading that the world wasn’t ending on December 21 but instead it was the beginning of a new era of enlightenment, where we would all share more in connectedness. I can’t think of anything that can’t be made better by increased kindness, can you?

My favourite moments as a parent are watching my children being kind to each other. And doesn’t teaching them to be kind to each other teach them to be kind to themselves?

Those are my thoughts heading into the New Year. I hope you take some time to consider yours. Your happiness matters and when we are happy we are kinder. There’s a balance to be struck between achieving our dreams and giving back and we can all work on achieving that balance. Trust me, nothing bad can come of it.

La Dolce Vita,

Jo Abi

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