New Years Resolutions
One mother's list of hopes and goals for the new year
As 2012 ends and 2013 begins, it is once again a time of reflection and hopes and goals for the upcoming year. If you would have asked me on December 13th what my New Year’s Resolution would be- I can almost guarantee you it would have had some adventure focused theme. I learned in the past years that I get a thrill out of saying things like “I’m going to Europe this year”- Or “I’m going to complete a Tough Mudder this year” and then doing it.
Not this time. Actually since the Newtown tragedy, a lot of my thinking has changed. My New Year’s Resolution is simply not to forget how fortunate I am to have an incredible daughter who isn’t much younger than many of the victims- and to be kind to others. I understand that just stating that isn’t really a New Year’s Resolution- so I’ve made it a bit more formal. I respond well to challenges and I feel that if I make it a challenge, I will succeed.
Ann Curry sparked a firestorm when she simply tweeted that we all should commit to 20 acts of kindness in honor of the young victims. As the tweet spread, it went on to include the educators we lost and hashtag #26Acts was born. People all over the nation were committing to doing random acts of kindness in honor of the victims. Some acts were big- An anonymous person from out west called a pizza place in Newtown and paid for 1000 slices- He said whoever came in, just keep handing them out until the 1000 were done. Some acts were small, my aunt who lives in New Jersey had a stranger hand her a $26 gift card to the store she was in- All that was written on the gift card was to remember the victims.
I think it made for a good news story amidst tragedy- some light at the end of a very dark tunnel, but I want to keep that initial dream alive throughout the upcoming year. Sounds easier than it is. Since this #26Acts has become national news, I’ve been trying to find things to do. Granted, not every act has to be monumental, but sometimes it’s hard to figure out how to be kind. I guess a lot of the stuff I do normally is an act of kindness- always let pedestrians cross the street, always hold the door open for the person behind you, if someone drops something, pick it up- I don’t necessarily consider that part of my strategy because I think all decent humans should be doing that.
So I’ve compiled a list and have tried to make it specific.
-Once a month, mail two people cards (NOT e-mails, actual cards) to someone who brightened my day to thank them.
-Once a day, put my iPhone away for an entire hour. During that hour of no technology, no work and no e-mail, draw with my daughter. (Note: This is part of my thankfulness of having her in my life- and if anything- is a random act of kindness for myself)
-Once a month I will do some form of charitable work, whether it is a monetary donation, tutoring underprivileged children or donating time to a charity.
It’s a small start to a long list. I hope that come next year when I reflect on how successful I was, I can smile broadly and remember the compassion and hope I had today. Sure, do I hope to lose five more pounds? Of course. Will I make sure eat more vegetables- sigh, yes, that too. But I think we should all be focused this year on honoring our Connecticut own who faced the darkest days just weeks ago. Think about them when you’re planning your New Year’s Resolutions this month.
Anna Zap is the Show Morning Co-Host and Midday Personality on Connecticut radio station Star 99.9. She has performed stand-up comedy all over New York City, Westchester County and Fairfield County. Make sure to check out her obscured views of Connecticut at CTBoom.com and her adventures in motherhood at rantingsofafirsttimemommy.blogspot.com Her most important role though is as a Mommy to her beautiful three year old daughter Hayden, and wife of seven years to her college sweetheart, Paul. Together, they are making it in Fairfield County. Follow Anna on Twitter @AnnaZapOnAir.