On the firsts of January while we were married, my son Harry’s dad always wrote down his New Year’s resolutions. He had vision, firmness of purpose and clarity for what he wanted to accomplish in the year ahead. My list, on the other hand, was more of a mental sticky note of desired behaviors. To be more positive, more patient and less hard on myself usually topped the list. They were things I didn’t want to admit needed work, so I keep them in my head.
That list didn’t change much over the years, and certainly held fast in the early ‘90s when toddler Harry was a boy who loved Barbie dolls, the color pink and anything sparkly or glittery. But I wish I’d had then a list of suggested New Year’s resolutions I didn’t discover until almost two decades later, when Harry was about to graduate from high school. And like my unwritten bullet points, they focused on attitudes and feelings.
I’ve adopted the short list as my own and recommend it to anyone, especially to parents of children who color outside society’s gender boxes of pink and blue. It’s a reminder that we’re capable of being exactly who our child needs in their life to become a hopeful, confident, resilient and optimistic adult. And instilled in our kids, the ideas on this list affirm that they are exactly who they’re meant to be.
So now that we’re at the end of this first week of 2016, feel free to add these four suggestions to your own list of goals or resolutions for the New Year. I’m pretty sure that no matter what you have going on today, you’re going to feel good just reading it.
- I will approve of myself, my characteristics, my abilities, my likes and dislikes, my inclinations and disinclinations, realizing that these form my unique individuality. I have them for a reason.
- I will approve of and rejoice in my accomplishments, and I will be as vigorous in listing these – as rigorous in remembering them – as I have ever been in remembering and enumerating my failures or lacks of accomplishment.
- I will remember the tremendous energy, joyful spontaneity, possibilities and potential that lie within me to create that which I can imagine for myself.
- I will realize that the future is a probability. In terms of everyday experiences, nothing exists there yet. It is virgin territory, planted by my feelings and thoughts in the present. Therefore I will plant accomplishments and successes, and I will do this by focusing on how I want and expect the future to be for me.
No matter what their gender identity, the children in our lives are a gift. And a bright future is our gift to them. Cheers to you, thoughts that feel good and a happy 2016.
*This list is adapted from one given to Jane Roberts and Robert Butts by Seth on New Year’s Day, 1979.
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