Bag the resolutions and pass the Skittles

By Kay Braddock
Steppin' Out

  Flipping through my sons’ homework pages last week, one sheet in particular caught my interest. It was a list of resolutions – a short list of two, mind you – but at least it was an assignment that the young students were given allowing them an opportunity to ponder areas in need of improvement. It was obvious this list – as short as it was – had sincerely been thought through by the resolutions he chose – going to sleep earlier and stopping his bad temper. 

I liked the idea of giving young children a chance to think through areas in need of improvement. It made me think of New Year’s resolutions I’ve made in the past – exercising more, eating healthier, monthly reading routines, and so on. There were no resolutions made this year, but what would they be if I sat down to write a list?
Maybe a little unconventional, but here are a few items I might add:
Love more and care less about the minor details. The dirty socks lying in the middle of the living room floor matter less than the beautiful relationships surrounding me. The coat that can never seem to get hung up, let alone make its way to the closet, is less important to me than the person who wears it. A clean home is well and good, but the love that exists there matters more. There will be a day when my home is perfectly tidy and perfectly empty.
Respect the past but live the present. Yesterdays are filled with mistakes and absurdities. Why dwell on them? Whether it was an insult or injury incurred or carried out, learn from it and move on. Today is a gift and wasting the precious time given on guilt, shame or resentment is pointless and frankly stupid.
Relationships matter more than things. Having the newest and hottest techno gadget, automobile or home is great, but it can’t buy you love. Money may be what makes the world go ‘round, but my gravitational pull would be turned upside down if it weren’t for the people in my life who love. 
Retain viewpoints while keeping loved ones.  Opinions matter. But clinging to political leanings and religious beliefs rather than the people around you is fruitless. Your beliefs can be maintained without shoving them on others. Love outweighs words a million to one.
Accept myself today. I weigh a little more than I’d like. I’m sure in the heck not as well-read as I should be and that half-empty box of Skittles sitting next to me really wasn’t the afternoon snack my body needed. Maybe I’ll get it right tomorrow, or maybe not. But that’s ok. Because for now, I’m just thankful for the way I am today.

Published Jan. 18, 2012

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