2022 is just one month old and one intention has been realized!
One month into 2022, how are your New Year’s Intentions or Resolutions going? I fulfilled one of mine already. I declared 2022 the year I was going to get to know my darling granddaughter Isabela, who lives in Brazil with my son and his lovely Brazilian wife. For the past two and half years, I was a grandmother in name only, since none of us were able to travel internationally. I was determined to remedy this situation. Thanks to a lot of effort on the part of many people including my husband, son, and daughter-in-law, our other two sons and their significant others, and God’s grace, we pulled it together. The visit was everything and more. It was wonderous and joyous occasion. It was also an occasion that provided me with some life lessons worth sharing.
Three lessons that might help you with your New Year’s Intentions
- Release Expectations: When I was preparing for this event, I released expectations about how it would go. In the past there was a feeling of disappointment if, let’s say, I imagined that my granddaughter would leap into my arms and hug me and she did not do that. Instead, I was determined to be open to whatever happened. In opening my heart and mind this way, I was able to just be present in each moment and experience the beauty of those moments. This helped me let go of any judgment and in turn, it made me more attractive to my granddaughter. Isabela was so affectionate with me, leaping into my arms after her bath, stroking my face, hugging me hard, and calling me Vovo Andrea (Brazilian term for grandma). Her warmth toward all of us was so contagious, it softened everyone. I noticed during this visit, more occasions where each of my family members was more generous and compassionate with each other. We all became more childlike in our love and understanding.
Lesson 2: All In!
2) Go All In: When I set this intention, I knew I would have to release other commitments and encumbrances. My normal schedule includes dividing my time and attention among many competing goals. Sometimes it gets overwhelming, and it ruins the enjoyment of these activities. So, I put everything I could on hold, and I worked really hard not to feel guilty about what I was not accomplishing. This was not easy for me. I have also been so driven and have had a hard time letting go of commitments. This was good practice for me in becoming totally present to Isabela’s needs at the moment and there were many needs. I cooked and cleaned and played and planned trips. We read together, had a tea party, sang songs, shared food, and cried and laughed together. I even helped bathe her, comb her hair, change her diaper, and play doctor. We all ended up with many Peppa Pig Band-Aids all over our bodies provided by Dr. Bella. I was transported back in time to those days of being a mom, except I was 23 years older, and it was exhausting lol.
Lessons Learned: Self Compassion
3) Be compassionate with yourself. Throughout the visit, I kept wondering how we did this full time as parents of three boys. Both Mark and I had full-time careers. I guess like childbirth, we forget the bad parts and only remember the good parts. Here is where compassion comes in. You are not able to do everything perfectly. Isabela screamed and Isabela refused to eat healthy food and instead wanted chocolate and ice cream. In fact, I even ate Dairy Queen and paid the price for it. The house was a mess. I forgot to take my vitamins. I think there was one night I went to bed without showering. Yes, as a grandmother I need to give myself a break. As a health coach, I need to remember why many of my clients (who are caring for others) struggle so much with staying healthy. It is hard to take care of yourself when you are devoting so much energy to taking care of others. But that does not mean, we should not try to keep our self-care routine going. I get to regroup now and put my house and my routine back together and between now and the next time I see my darling granddaughter develop more strategies to balance self-care with the care of my loved ones. I welcome any ideas you have developed.