New Year's resolutions are made to be broken, which is why I never make them. Either you are committed to making a change or you're not - switching to a new calendar isn't going to strongly influence your motivation.
The Holidays used to be a great time to reflect on family and friends, life in general and all things in between. Today, The Holidays are tainted with commercialism and for whatever reason, it sends many people into a whirlwind of debt as they try to buy stuff for their loved ones.
That combined with a dark cloud hanging over most of my family, we cancelled Christmas this year; we spent time together but decided to forgo the whole gift-exchange thing. Noticeably absent from the get-together was my Aunt Sandra, Uncle Doug and their daughter, Kailah. It was a strong reminder of the finality of life and the reasons to remain close with one's family.
Since Doug and Kailah weren't feeling up to spending Christmas with anyone but themselves, I decided to force myself upon them for New Year's. We played games like the Hannah Montana version of Monopoly and listened to classic rock. I was in bed before midnight and spent most of the next day with them. It reminded me of how fun it is to do nothing when you are in good company with those you love.
As Kailah and I jumped on her trampoline, I couldn't help but think about how, when I was her age, her mom came into my life. From 13 on, Sandra had a huge impact on me and the way I think about everything. She was the aunt who taught me how to be secretively inappropriate, have fun, take chances and step out of the box even when it's uncomfortable. At her funeral, she was the one who was missing. That feeling just won't go away.
And from this point forward, Sandra will not be with us. Technically, she hasn't been with us since May - but that's a hard reality to swallow.
She is missing out on Kailah's growing up, missing out on growing old with Doug and growing old with the rest of us. We all miss her so much. Her absence is a nearly-unimaginable scenario... or maybe it's a scenario I refuse to imagine.
Regardless, it's happening. It happened.
Just as I had these thoughts, Kailah reminded me that she is a product of her mother. She spent a lot of time forcing me out of my comfort zone, trying to teach me front hand-springs on the trampoline and get me to take a few chances and try things I thought I couldn't do.
I remembered a time when Kailah and I were in a certain-someplace doing a certain something we shouldn't be doing when we broke something, looked at each other with wide-eyes, then ran away as fast and as far as we could... then confessed to Sandra. I can still picture her laughing at us, with us. She was smitten with the fact that Kailah and I had this experience together.
Suddenly I remembered the one and only resolution I've ever made - and it wasn't a New Year's resolution - it was a life resolution to spend more time with those I love. It's the only resolution I need and the only one I've been committed to keep. I may not be able to spend every waking moment with those I love, but I will always put my family first.
Listening to: The Specials - Ghost Town