By the time you’re holding this paper in your hand, we will have already rung-in year 2017. Many will have already made their new resolutions and some will have already broken a few. And some, well some won’t even bother making-up fantasy plans in their heads – plans that they know full well probably won’t come true and if you don’t promise it to yourself, the disappointment won’t be as hard.
I think we put too much pressure on the holidays. We expect our Thanksgiving’s and Christmas’s to favor the likes of an edition of The Saturday Evening Post. Everybody is all smiles, everyone loving one another, and no one having a difference of opinion and stating it. Every family being the picture of THE perfect family – when there just really is no such thing – there never was.
There has been dysfunction in families since the beginning of time. Old Aunt Lucy who drinks too much, Uncle Charlie who flirts a little too much, and children who take totally different paths than we ever dreamed. Every family has something that makes their family picture not as perfect as they think someone else’s is – but here’s the thing: it’s all a mirage.
All those smiling faces and happy people you see every year about this time all over Face Book, Instagram, and other social outlets – let me just say, all that glitters is not gold folks.
I’m not saying that all of those people weren’t really laughing, weren’t really enjoying each other’s company, or weren’t really having the time of their lives. But what I am saying is this: people tend to take those pictures, those presentations at face value too much. To the point that they sit around wishing they could swap places, and swap lives with such and such.
Believe me – keep your own life, your own family, and your own smiles. Everybody has “stuff”. Everybody has seen hard times, low-on-cash times, can’t-make-their-children-behave times, don’t-like-my-job times, and wish-I-could-start-all-over times. But you can’t go backward, there are no do-overs, and your family is your family. Period.
So my plan is this: I just want 2017 to be filled with love. I want to love my family and friends, help them when I can, be there for them when I can, and hope I get the same in return. I want to dispense respect and I would like to receive it. I want to be able to express my compassion and my opinions and have them appreciated. I want to hold my temper when it’s hard to do so, and I want to possess the grace to apologize when I don’t succeed.
I want the world to be a better place. I want race, gender and sexual orientation to stop ruling our world, how we behave, and how we treat one another. I’d like people to be honest about their needs and their feelings, but respectful and understanding at the same time. And I’d like everyone to try a little harder and be more patient about things we don’t understand. I think anything is possible if we try.