I’ve never been particularly fond of New Year’s resolutions. In the past, I always felt like I was setting myself up for failure because it is highly unlikely that I will ever become thin and organized.
In more recent years, all of my resolve was directed at simply surviving another year with my sanity intact. But this time around, things are different. Having spent the past 12 months slaying my demons and ending toxic relationships, I am excited about moving forward into the New Year. So, here is my no-fail list of resolutions for 2017.
1. I will Breathe - We have lost nearly 100 celebrities and public figures in 2016. Nothing, not even money, fame, or talent, guarantees our next breath. So, I resolve to stop at least once a day, close my eyes, and inhale deeply while recognizing that the very breath filling my lungs is a gift.
2. I will Taste - I live in a land of plenty. If I have ever been hungry, it was short-lived and by choice. The variety and availability of foods we have in this country is unparalleled. I will taste with a grateful heart.
3. I will Listen - I spent most of my life filling conversational gaps by aimlessly rambling on any topic that popped into my head. I have come to recognize that if there is a lull in conversation, it is often because the other person is collecting their thoughts or waiting for me to shut up. This year, I will listen and recognize the value of occasional silences.
4. I will Explore - My knowledge of this world is finite. I will expand that knowledge by exploring through travel, reading, and opening myself up to conversations with those who live and believe differently than what I have known.
5. I will Embrace - My children, ages 9-24, have often joked that I am not a “touchy-feely” mom. But now that my life is not focused on emotional survival, I find that hugging, holding a hand, or sitting hip-to-hip on the couch while watching a movie comes naturally. I will embrace my children and hold them close.
6. I will See - I remember the autumn of 1978 when my world turned gray. I didn’t realize how gray it had become until I finally saw color again in February of 2015. I will continue to see the vibrant colors that fill our world, and I will be grateful for how far I have come.
7. I will Laugh - From the antics of a small child in the grocery store, to the jokes intentionally told by professional comedians, there is so much joy and laughter to be had. I will laugh with my family, friends, and lovers. I will laugh with strangers in the street, and with the waitress at the coffee shop. I will laugh until tears roll down my cheeks, and those around me can’t help but laugh, too.
8. I will Cry - I will cry for those who are hurting, and I will cry for those who are doing the hurting. Everyone has pain, and I will cry over that pain because when crying for others, I am less likely to be the one causing the hurt.
9. I will Love - In the past year, I have learned a lot about my capacity for love. Whether I am loving my children or someone I met yesterday, love should free and empower rather than confine. This year, I will make certain others know that my love comes without boundaries, limits, or expectation.
10. I will Write - Writing is how I deal and cope and express myself to others. I will no longer denigrate my talent when comparing myself to those who have made bigger strides in the writing world, or apologize to those who think I should be writing differently. I will simply continue to share my life and thoughts through the written word, and trust that it will be seen by those who need it most.
In 2017, I resolve to breathe, taste, listen, explore, embrace, see, laugh, cry, love, and write. And maybe by some dumb stroke of luck, I will also become thin and organized.
Ginger Lumpkin is an author, motivational speaker, and mother of five. Follow her on Facebook, find her on the web: www.gingeretta.com, or contact ginger.columnist@gmail.com.