My New Year's Resolution

Courtesy of Flickr.com user Creativity + Timothy K Hamilton


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I’ve got a big problem.

I spend my days rushing around and being productive and accomplishing this and that, while the people I care about the very most in my life end up seeing an awful lot of the back of my head.

Of course, in principle, I value a conversation with the 8-year-old who is talking to my back infinitely more than I value the roll of tape I am rushing out of the house to buy, or the nail I am hammering into the wall, or the beet soup I am preparing with red-stained hands. But at that moment when I am busy with something (which, I have realized, is nearly every moment) it is incredibly hard for me to just stop what I am doing, look Maayan straight in the face, and give my full attention to her 3rd Grade joys and woes.

Therefore, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution for 5771 is “To Be a 1% Better Wife, Mother, and Friend,” which in practical terms means that when my husband/child/friend want to talk, I put down my key/ hammer/ beet, turn to face them, look up at the clock to make sure I give them at least an entire 120 seconds of my full attention, and start listening.

Another aspect of my 5771 Resolution relates to my husband. For many years, my husband and I have been committed to going on a 2-hour weekly date. But as the years pass, daily husband-wife conversations in our increasingly crowded and hectic (b”H!) home have slowly gone the way of the VCR, the dinosaur, and the 5-cent lollipop.

Over the past few weeks, therefore, Josh and I have instituted a daily husband-wife 10-minute conversation. The best thing about this daily mini-date is that it often stretches longer, sneaking towards 15 or 20 minutes or even longer.

My New Year’s Resolution has gotten me thinking about how for years I believed that good family relationships come about spontaneously just from sharing the same home.

And good relationships can come about that way.

But in order to create relationships that are as good as they can be, I have realized, my family requires at least the same kind of careful attention that I give to every article I write.

My family also requires an occasional spell-check for errors, the daily removal of over-the-top exclamation points, and frequent reducing of spacing from 2 to 1.

Please God.
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5 comments

  1. Thank you for reminding me that eye contact is so important in building a relationship with our children, (and keeping alive the relationship with our husbands!) .

    Keep the e-mails coming!

  2. Devorah Saban

    1% is 1000% more than most moms will achieve. Yasher Kocheich, Chazak Ubaruch.

  3. so well written, said expressed- empathized by us all -forsure!!! hazak!

  4. Hadassah Aber

    So true. And don’t forget the best way to have a conversation is to listen and only ask questions, we don’t have to supply all the answers and give all the advice. Just being there and listening can help the other party figure out how to solve the situation if we can help them focus on solutions not complaints. (such as what do you want to do now?, or how would you like it to be?)

  5. This is brilliant! Thank you for making a suggestion that actually seems doable! Please God.

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