2014 Resolution: Lose the Hate, Not the Weight

Another year has gone by, and I find myself contemplating yet another New Year’s resolution. All too often, my goal is to hit the gym more or eat less crap.

Admirable goals, of course, but if I had the willpower, these lifestyle choices would already be part of my daily routine, and I wouldn’t need to make them goals.

Just last night – over Chinese food, no less – Gaby and I were devising a competition to see who could stick to their resolution longer. The winner would get a prize. We were brainstorming ideas:

  • “We could see who loses the greatest percentage of body fat,” she said. “Pass me the fried rice.”
  • “Or, we could see who exercises the greatest number of minutes in a month,” I countered. “Are you going to finish that fried wonton?”

We haven’t discussed what the prize will be, but I suspect it will be something along the lines of a 7-course meal.

Then, last night, as I was reaching for the Tums, I had a revelation.

How about a resolution around mental health?! I write about it everyday at work – the importance of a strong mind, a healthy mind!

I wrote in a previous blog about the anger and hatred I sometimes feel about Adriana’s disease and Gaby’s cancer. Plus, there’s the stress of starting a new life in Peru, finding a new job, keeping the kids (and us) healthy and fed, paying the bills, learning how to drive in Lima (I’ll write about that later), etc., etc.

Just writing about it now is giving me a headache.

So, along with my “get fit” resolution, I’m adding a “lose the hate” resolution.

Making room in your heart

I sometimes feel it’s easier to hate than to love. At least, it is for me. Love requires us to look past our faults and daily problems.  I’m too lazy, at times, to do that.

It’s easier for me to simply despise the customer service agent on the phone who knows nothing about customer service. Or, the doctor who makes us wait an hour, only to spend five minutes with us.

When our hearts are filled with hate, not much else can get in.

Love fights hard to get inside your heart, though. Like a child who runs away from home, but then returns, only to find the front door locked. The child pounds on the door, crying and fighting to get in. But sometimes there’s no answer….when the hate is too strong and fills your heart.

The locksmith is always close by, though, ready for your call. Ready to open up your heart so you can remove the trash – the hate – and make a clean start.

So many times since Gaby was diagnosed with cancer and then Adriana with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), God has made his presence known….his loving presence that made its way, sometimes slowly, into my heart.

He’s blessed us with a loving family and friends who bend over backward to help us; compassionate coworkers who understand that family is more important than a job; wonderful doctors and nurses who listen (most of them); and therapists who don’t give up.

And so, my hope for 2014 is that I can appreciate more the things we have and complain less about the things we don’t; think more – before I speak; and replace the anger and fear in my heart with the love that’s been fighting for so long to get in.

I owe it to Gaby, to our son Santi and to our little fighter, Adriana!

[Adriana with her therapist Michael. Location: Arie in Lima Peru]

Happy New Year to all!

We hope your 2014 is filled with love and blessings…….and a few fried wontons on the side!

12 thoughts on “2014 Resolution: Lose the Hate, Not the Weight

  1. Carlos,
    Thank you and may you and your beautiful family have a wonderful new year also filled with love and blessings!
    Love, Tia Martha

  2. Merry Christmas,Carlos and Gaby! What a wonderful gift you have, Carlos, to be able to write and share your feelings so well. I encourage you to keep going as you are doing an awesome job! Besides, journaling/writing is very therapeutic, which is obvious in your progression of writings. I could feel your pain and anger and cried right along with you as I read, and I thank God for our faith as it gives us hope to keep looking ahead; reminds us to be grateful for the blessings we do have, even though we don’t always see/realize them; and it brings us comfort to know that God is always with us on our journey, just waiting for us to invite him into our being. I continue to keep your family in my prayers for strength, courage, peace, and healing. We miss seeing you at Cabrini, but we are together in spirit! Love and prayers, Karen (& Mike)

  3. Love love LOVE this entry! Keep writing and sharing your story with everyone! We miss you all so much and wish you a very healthy and happy New Year!! Love to you all!!

  4. Hi Carlos & Gaby! It’s wonderful to hear from you and your family. Both your kids are precious and are blessed to have wonderful parents, loving and caring. We read all your posts and especially love the last one, the 2014 new year resolution, we decided it too would be our resolution, just to be thankful for what we have and complain less of the things we don’t. Thank you for sharing your journey (and pics) with us and know you and your family are always in our thoughts and prayers. Love Rosie and Armando

    • Hi Rosie and Armando, it’s so great to hear from you! Thanks for taking the time to read our blog, and we hope to hear more from you this new year. Love and blessings to all your family!

  5. Carlos, Hello to you and your beautiful family! This is Mari, Rosie Pedraza’s sister. Rosie and Armando shared with me your awesome blog, that I now have the pleasure of following. Happy New Year! And may it bring you and your loved ones joy, love and beautiful blessing. It was nice to meet your family via your blog you are truly blessed with your beautiful wife Gaby, your precious daughter Adriana and your handsome son Santi. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.
    “Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you. He will prepare your way before you” (Matthew 11:2-1)
    Lots of love, Mari

  6. Happy New Year to you too Carlos! I am just reading your posts since we were away for the Holidays. As always, I find your words so beautiful! Good bless you and my Gaby and your “gatitos”. The best for you this 2014

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