It’s soon that time of year when people make their annual proclamations to change things in their lives.  New Year’s Resolutions!  So full of importance, action, and promise! And yet so often discarded in the first quarter of the year for any number of reasons.  Perhaps the goals are too lofty.  The ideals too large for one person to manage.  Or maybe life intervenes to hijack the resolution with a dose of reality.  Whatever the reason, many resolutions remain unrealized.  I’ve done this for decades and in the last few years, I changed the way I make resolutions.  In fact, I don’t make resolutions. I choose a single word to provide influence, inspiration and motivation throughout the coming year.

For 2015, my word shall be:  LIGHTEN.  And here are a few reasons why:

  • Jim and I each have the problem of stress-eating which has given us some unwanted poundage and inches that we’d like to lose. We can feel changes in our bones and bodies that are not going to be beneficial as the years go by.  We are not nearly as active as we should be. There is a need for lighten-ing here.
  • We have accumulated “stuff” (George Carlin’s routine is such an accurate reflection!) in our home that is either no longer useful to or practical for us. We have our own library of books and DVDs that could serve a small community.  We have clothing that no longer fits (even though “someday we’ll get back into them”).  We have housewares and furniture that we no longer use but that still have life in them.  There is a want for lighten-ing here.
  • Both Jim and I work in demanding jobs in caring for chronically (or terminally) ill and mostly, but not always, elderly. We see the vestiges of once vibrant lives succumbing to the ravages of illness and age.  And we see grieving, up-close and personal. We see people who are facing loss, family and friends who are focused on the lost relationships, the surge of wide-ranging emotions, and sometimes the pressure of unwanted decision-making.  There is desire for lighten-ing here.

There are other examples I could give to substantiate my word choice for 2015.  I’m sure many people can relate to the three illustrations I provided above.  I also found some great definitions for “lighten” online this morning which influenced my word choice:

  • “make or become lighter in weight, pressure, or severity”
  • “make or become more cheerful or less serious
  • “to make light or clear”
  • “to relieve of a burden in whole or in part”
  • “to make less wearisome

It is within these definitions that Caring Choices will share in my 2015 word choice.  The thought (and act) of having advance care planning conversations with people we love is weighty, serious, burdensome and wearisome. Jim and I both hope that one of your resolutions this New Year will be to consider lighten-ing your family’s load and start talking.  It can be one of the most important and life-changing resolutions you make.

Caring Choices is here to help.  Conversations do not need to be weighty and burdensome.  Let us help you lighten the load for the people you love.

(c) 2014 Caring Choices