From The Editor: Goals for the New Year

By: Kristin Mudge

People all over the world see the new year as a chance to make changes, have a fresh start, forge new habits, or leave behind bad attitudes or memories in order to become a better, more fulfilled version of themselves. And it certainly is a good mile marker by which to set those things in motion. But for some, like me, a new year is a reminder to hold on to something rather than letting go. Something precious and heartbreaking.

Holidays can be a difficult time for families who have experienced the loss of a loved one, and that holds true for my family as well. We lost my mother unexpectedly in a car crash on January 9, 2019, and life will never be the same again. We feel the vacuum left without her every time we gather for a holiday, on every birthday, on every grandparents’ day at daycare, and especially at every new year.

Before that January morning, I would usually try to set some sort of New Year’s goal for myself: I want to exercise every day; I should try to eat better; I should read my Bible more often. But since losing my mom, my new year goals, along with many other parts of my life, have shifted. I want to recall more memories from my childhood. I want to tell my son more stories about his Nana Ruth. I want to call my dad and my siblings more often. I want to hold onto the beautiful shining life my mother led, making her a deeper part of me, and becoming a better person because of who she was.

My mother was a prayer warrior. She loved family and friends fiercely. She lived with a childlike faith, speaking to God just as easily as she spoke with us. Her enthusiasm for life was infectious. She raised five children, running a household of seven with just my dad’s income as a Methodist pastor. She was generous to a fault. Her creativity and passion flooded out, poured into programs, ministry, and people. She always made sure we knew we were loved and prayed for every day.

This new year, my goal is to hold even more dearly onto the memories of my mom, and to become a little more like her every day.

If you have already made your new year’s resolution, I pray that you stick with it and use it to become a healthier version of your already beautiful self. And if you’ve lost a loved one, I pray that you find peace and hope in your memories of them. And maybe this year you can choose to hold on, instead of letting go.