New Year: A Time For Celebration Growth & Achievement

by Stephanie Conroy

I do not really do New Year's resolutions for myself, because I do not keep them. Being a special needs parent, I find it is often hard to get my kids to co-operate in these kinds of activities as well, and the results seem to mirror mine; after all, they are my children. This year I decided to try something different.

It was around a year ago this month that I bought a little bucket list book from Amazon for my family. It is just a plain book that has pages with lines and boxes to check off goals as we work through them. I think in some ways, resolutions can just be bucket list items, so I sat down with my family and as we reflected on the New Year, we each came up with little ideas of things we would love to try to get done this year. I thought I would just get a straightforward list, but what I got was two kids with Autism, and my neurotypical daughter, reflecting on how they grew the past year, and how far they felt they have actually come. For my family, this is a major stepping-stone; it is monumental.

The goals we had were nothing really unattainable, recycling was listed, one of my kids wanted to see more museums, and one wanted to plant a butterfly garden, but this exercise was such a lesson for all of us in how we can help each other as we learn about what we, ourselves, want. There was so much more meaning than there is in a list of goals without any real introspect, there was so much depth, so much connectedness, and that is a pretty perfect way to start off a new year.

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