So here we are on the brink of another year! The sun is setting on 2013! One of the most wonderful aspects of facing a new year is having the opportunity to say goodbye to the old one… sometimes those are fond goodbyes and sometimes, there is more of a "good riddance!" in your tone. If it has been a difficult year, we are more than happy to turn over a new leaf and look ahead at a hopefully better, more peaceful, more successful, happier, healthier, or more financially stable future. Whatever the case may be, we can't see January 1st come soon enough. If our experiences included the loss of loved ones or devastating illness, financial struggles or relationship turmoil, we are often eager to say goodbye and not look back… Ironically, those are the years that we often remember the most clearly because of the challenges we faced and the holes those experiences left in our hearts. However, they also tend to be the years of the greatest personal growth as we are challenged and work through our difficulties.
On the other hand, perhaps 2013 was a positive year. If the year has been good to us, we can reminisce and count our blessings, recalling the wonderful milestones and highlights that were sprinkled through the twelve months and brought joy and blessings into our lives. Maybe last year held milestones that will not come again: your youngest graduated from high school, or perhaps even more eventful, college…you found your dream job or better yet, your soul mate and got engaged or married! Maybe you became a mother for the first time, a grandmother or even a great-grandmother! Then again, it could have been that raise, or promotion you've been waiting for for decades that made 2013 such a memorable year!
If you're a parent, maybe your little one began kindergarten this year...that's a real milestone! Or perhaps you had twins or triplets and are still wondering how you're going to manage? That's memorable! Maybe potty training finally worked and you're out of the diaper phase with your final child! Yahoo! Could it be that you finally had a hoped-for communication breakthrough with your teenager and the new year looks brighter than it has in many years! Whatever the milestones, we as parents will often mark the passage of time by the accomplishment and activities of our children. We see the years come and go and can't believe our eyes when they stand before us as young adults! We ask ourselves where the time has gone and realize with the beginning of each new year how God has blessed us immeasurably.
As parents, we can look back at major milestones and rejoice as our children grow from year to year: celebrating victory at last over potty training and the use of the last diaper or recalling the first day of kindergarten, a mere four months ago and how much our child has already learned and grown in the school environment. Or perhaps we will reminisce about the school musical and parts our children played or athletic team participation, bringing a sense of accomplishment to their growing list of talents and interests! Then there's the final six months of their senior year of high school and a graduation to look forward to in the next year...or graduation from college and the start of a new job or exciting career. My how the time flies!
So what does this old year mean to you? Will you be saying goodbye and good riddance or counting your blessings as you turn over a new leaf? And what does that new leaf look like for your family? Do you long for consistent cooperation with chores and less hassle with homework? How about decreased conflicts, improved communication, and increased understanding with your teenager...not to mention, more date nights with your spouse and clearer boundaries with the in-laws? Or do you pray for more peace and unconditional love to emanate from each member of your family so your marital and parent-child relationships take on new meaning and lifelong depth?
Whatever the old year has meant to you, there is now the opportunity to bid it farewell and look to 2014 with renewed hope and clearer understanding of what it takes to make each year better than the last. What are our 2014 New Year's resolutions for our families and homes, and how can we resolve to make them stick? It's worth thinking about...
Happy New Year everyone (almost) ~ Here's to a happier, healthier home environment in 2014 and a New Year’s resolution we can all make: to love our children unconditionally and improve the relationships in our homes! How will you improve the chances for this New Year resolution to succeed?
Ann Van De Water ~ Author of "MOMMY MEMOIRS - A Hilarious and Heartwarming Look at the Trials and Triumphs of Being a Mom...Morgan James Publishing, NYC.
Currently available on Amazon.com as an ebook, soon to be relaunched as a paperback (2/1/14) and as an audio book by Mother's Day 2014!
Please visit and "like" her author page on Facebook!