April’s resolution: peace
The trick to New Year’s resolutions is remembering they sometimes take longer than a year to achieve. I know that to be true, especially since I write about them every year.
So I can always go back several years prior to see how I fared.
The resolutions I made at this time last year are still a work in progress. One of my goals in 2016 was to be a better role model. Whether I achieved this is of course subjective, but I think I’m on the right track. I wrote that I wanted to show my children how important commitments are in life, whether they are promised to relationships, faith, work, friends or family.
Saying “I do” in October was one I couldn’t wait to make.
In my 2016 resolutions, I also wanted to ensure love was always all around our kids, Will and Colston. I vowed to provide them with the independence it takes to become men of honor and respect. I resolved to provide experiences and instill characteristics that support them growing into fine young men. We started our Allford tradition of family camping trips in 2016, excursions that teach our kids to respect nature, appreciate small talk around campfires and follow the Boy Scout, and Girl Scout, rule: “Always leave the campground cleaner than you found it.”
That one can be applied to all types of situations in life.
We took them to see the Rocky Mountains for a summer camping trip to remember. All three of my guys finally met my Colorado friends who have helped inspire and motivate me in life. Via the Iron Mountain Tram, the boys took their first ride 4,300 feet up the side of a mountain in a gondola. They went to their first rodeo in the American West and attended a community fair filled with live music, food, games and family fun that started in 1972, the year I was born.
We sure appreciated being able to cool off under the Harris Family tent.
This year we achieved my ongoing life resolution to travel more and stay sedentary less. That will always be something I aspire to because I love seeing new places, enjoying local faire, and learning about other cultures. Exchanging vows in the French Quarter of New Orleans was life-changing for obvious reasons — the commitment of a lifetime, to be exact — and I can’t wait to return for more gumbo, hurricanes and history tours.
Brennan’s on Royal Street will always be our special place.
Last year, I had also hoped 2016 would be much less painful, in every sense of the word. That wasn’t too difficult considering I did not experience childbirth or endure a particularly uncomfortable postpartum surgery this year. I had big aspirations to stay healthy in 2016, and I’d say I successfully avoided stomach viruses and hospital visits. I did endure a case of bronchitis this week that Santa delivered, but that’s nothing I couldn’t shake with a Zpac, humidifier and much-needed rest. The lesson learned in that end-of-year affliction was to always listen to my body. If I’m not healing, I’m not healing, and there’s nothing wrong with a quick visit to immediate care for a diagnosis and treatment plan.
Did I mention I needed some rest?
The great part about New Year’s resolutions is that when achieved, they make us feel like anything is possible. That’s why I don’t make outlandish assumptions I’ll have enough self-discipline to finally lose that baby weight. Or start running. Those resolutions may come with time. Or maybe the pounds will magically fall off as I sleep this year, which is how my mind works.
I’ve found that if I will something to happen, it usually does.
For 2017, I’d like to see a happier me. That will come with inner peace, which may take more than a year to discover. I’m often troubled by situations beyond my control. I’ll find that spiritual balance through emotional detachment, and I don’t quite possess that yet. Social media, and the drama that’s created on it, affects me. The political landscape is disheartening, and I’m still processing my feelings about it. Meditation helps, so I resolve for more of that. Yoga, too, so I plan to take classes. I received some adult coloring books for Christmas, so those will come in handy to soften mood and sharpen focus. I know certain circumstances and others’ decisions will continue to frustrate me, but it’s up to me to adjust my attitude and state of mind so I react in a less worrisome, anxiety-inducing way.
By 2018, I resolve to be one happy camper.
April E. Allford is excitedly wearing something sparkly this weekend. She can be reached at email@example.com.