Monday, January 2, 2023

The Only Resolution is to Love

Happy New Year!

Well, Happy New First Monday of the Year!

I made an intention not to wax nostalgic about 2022, not to make lists of all that was accomplished, and not to make resolutions for 2023.

"all roads lead to now." That is something my oldest son has been saying all during the holiday break, a time with us that was extended another week because of Southwest Airlines. 

Watching him be in the moment, to soak it all in, and simply enjoy life, gave me a great sense of joy and hope.

If you are like so many of us, it has been a bit of a fog through uncertainties, much like the misty rain I drove through on New Year's Eve from Boston to Connecticut, the visibility was not always clear, my wiper blades got a workout, and we had to navigate a couple new roads as we took a different highway.

The time from 2020 to this new year in 2023 has definitely presented that way, with all that has gone on in the world, so greeting this new day gave me just a sense of being - present.

I decided to be in the moment of making my annual Soup Joumou to celebrate my heritage in Haiti, Cap-Haitien to be exact. It is my connection to my 1776 ancestor who was born there before the family came to New Orleans. The Island of Hispaniola flows through me, so I let myself feel the savory sweet preparations.

For me, it was different in that I started prepping around midnight.

Our family filled with adult children all had varying plans so it was more of a low-key kind of day, my oldest son and I had spent it in Boston after he was there a few days with his little brother. One of my daughters took the train to New York to visit a college friend, and my youngest one, as a college freshman, had so many friends to visit that she has almost been a blur over break.  

He and I watched movies and brought in the new year with joy.

Making the soup with all the different steps and watching it form was my way of making an offering into what I hoped for the new year.

I made soup, then for our African American heritage, made a pot of black-eyed peas and some rice. My oldest son has been with us for the holiday for the first time in about twenty years, so he, my husband and I sat down for this hearty healthy meal.

Once we sat down, we knew there were new moments forming as we all talked about how the time was changing and we cherished about how much we appreciated being together this holiday season.

That said, we still only uttered prayers of appreciation but resolved not to make any grand resolutions of who we would be or what we would do in 2023.

"All roads lead to now, Mama." My oldest son uttered this mantra so many times, he will be thirty-six years old at the end of January and as a small business owner, artist, and creative, he is a muse that observes the world and is definitely present in his experiences. 

I am thankful for what I have lived and for what lies ahead. 

My late father once said when he was a few years younger than I am that he had more days behind him than in front of him. That reality is hitting me a bit differently as I am entering a new year for the first time in decades as the mom of all adults.

Life is like all the waterways we crossed over while catching a day trip in Boston and driving back down to Connecticut. 

Each one flowed differently in directions that vastly impacted the life around it, but each one only seemed to have an intention of being present. 

That is what I want.

To be present in all the moments of my life.

So I didn't spend the day reminding myself of what I accomplished or what I hope to accomplish.

We chilled out for the New Year, I didn't even watch parades but spent it reading a book, listening to the alternating sounds of laughter and sleep that engulfed my tired and busy young adults as the season of holidaying started coming to a close. We just wanted to be.

To be present with each other and in the moments we share.

To feel what we were feeling of joy and happiness.

To simply live.

So if we do have a hope and dream it is to be present in our moments.

To just be.

The only resolution is to love. 

_____________________________________________________________________________________©2023 by Taye Foster Bradshaw Group LLC. All Rights Reserved.

This writer is enjoying soup for breakfast and a warm latte on a "record warm" morning in Connecticut.

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