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!