Life Notes: Reflections for the New Year
by Erin Rockett

Familiar themes for beginning the year often resemble this one: “Out with the old, and in with the new and improved”. New Years’ resolutions hold the potential to motivate and inspire us to be healthier, kinder, more accomplished people. However, sometimes the rush to attempted perfection serves to send the masses of potentially kinder, healthier, more accomplished people down the path to failure. And strangely enough, failures in life often create impressionable moments. Allow me to share stories of notable failures from my life.

In my family’s quest for the perfect Christmas celebration, we’ve created treasured tales of holiday mishaps which outshine the flawless festivities. Who could forget the Christmas morning on which the ham was pulled from the oven in fruit-covered, brown sugar-glazed perfection, only for the eager family to discover that the wrapper was inadvertently left on the ham prior to its baking. I will forever treasure the Christmas on which my sister was called in to work unexpectedly, so we loaded gifts and dinner onto our RV, and rushed to Dallas for a celebration after her work shift.

Non-holiday glitches also pave a personal path to self-improvement. Who could have predicted that my flat feet, inadequate for professional ballet, would lead me to a life-long love of tap and folk dancing. Who knew that my questionable calculus skills would steer an educational curriculum into teaching reading for developmentally challenged students. This experience, coupled with the tragic loss of my mother at a young age, inspired a graduate degree and rewarding career in family therapy.

While these examples may appear trite to some readers, the point is that while resolving to emerge transformed and improved in the new year, we should also create room to accept and grow from our imperfect nature and from less than ideal circumstances.

The Life Notes articles are written by staff of Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home and are published in The Ruston Daily Leader.

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