Sep 24, 2007

Autumn Resolutions by Becky Wiese

This is an exert from Hearts at Home Newsletter

Autumn Resolutions
by Becky Wiese

I love autumn. I'm not sure exactly why. It could be that I was destined to be a fall lover because my birthday occurs during this season. Or it could be the changing of the seasons and the dramatic color scheme. What's not to love about crimson and gold leaves shining against a crisp blue sky? I lived once in a place that did not have dramatic seasonal changes. I had to keep close tabs on the calendar since it was difficult to tell the season by looking outside. Thankfully, my mom framed a bright red maple leaf and sent it to me as a reminder of autumn. Perhaps the thing I love most about the fall is the feeling of newness. I know that in reality everything is dying a gloriously colorful death, and much of nature is preparing to hibernate through the long, cold winter months. But something about fall, probably the kids starting a fresh school year, makes it easier to start fresh with new strategies, theories, and ideas. We already face a new schedule, new teacher, new clothes, new pencils, new alarm routines. We might as well take advantage of the "newness" and make some resolutions to keep the year going well.Here's what I mean: I resolve to listen with my eyes. My kids and my husband deserve my full attention when they're sharing the details of their day. I resolve to love with my actions and words. Including a note in their lunch, helping with a field trip, or making a special effort to "be there" by listening to them speaks volumes to kids. You can never say "I love you," or show it through your actions too many times. I resolve to maintain balance. This one is a little tougher. But it is so important to keep balance not only in my life, but in our family's life as well. If we're over committed, life gets stressful. There are a lot of good activities, but we don't have to be involved in all of them. I resolve to plan specific times to just be together as a family. As our children get older, they get more involved in outside activities. Honestly, sometimes it's hard to just make sure we eat dinner together periodically. On the other hand, our children need to know and be reminded that their family is the one thing they will be able to count on for support, love, friendship, fun, and security--no matter what their age. Doing things together as a family helps to reinforce and strengthen the bonds between children and parents, as well as between siblings. I resolve to spend quality and quantity time with my husband. It's easy to let days go by without having a real conversation with our spouse. But parents need to be on the same page. We need to keep the communication lines open and fully operational. A lot can fly in our face in a short amount of time; knowing we're united about the things going on in our family's life makes decisions easier and less likely to cause conflict. Even before I had school-age children, the fall months seemed to be the time when it was easier to start and/or finish projects, begin a new routine,or set goals. Resolutions seem to be easier to handle in the fall than in January, when we traditionally talk about making changes for the better. After all, who wants to start something in the middle of the winter? I'd rather curl up in front of the fireplace!

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