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SALT LAKE CITY — With the new year just begun, it is only customary for millions of people to begin forming their annual New Year's resolutions.
When determining what resolutions to make, the term “a new me” is often alluded to. Just the other day, in fact, I opened a popular mothering magazine, with a title, “A New Year, a New You,” written in bold lettering on the front cover. As I read that, I thought for a while about what a “new me” would consist of. As I stewed over it for a while, I decided that this type of a resolution was not for me.
I don't want a new me. I want the old me.
No, I'm not talking about the “me” of my twenties, teens, and most definitely not my “tweens.” When I think of the old me that I want to bring back, it is the me who was a young child, perhaps between the ages of 3 and 8.
When I think of the old me that I want to bring back, it is the me who was a young child, perhaps between the ages of 3 and 8. ...these were the times when I was allowed to be playful, and perhaps a little silly, without care or concern of what someone else might think. I was able to be, well, me.
Such a wonderful time it was. It was a time of continual learning, discovering new talents and of having new successes. A time of forging new friendships, learning to share and to be kind. Looking back, these were the times when I was allowed to be playful, and perhaps a little silly, without care or concern of what someone else might think. I was able to be, well, me.
As a mother of children who are all between the ages of 3 and 8, I am constantly reminded of this pure way of being. I love watching my 3-year-old as she waves and smiles at everyone she meets, bringing about smiles on some “not-so-smiley” adults. I chuckle each time my 4-year-old dresses himself in mismatched winter apparel just so he can go outside and play with his friends.
I look forward to getting my morning, afternoon, evening (and every time in between) hug and kiss from my 6-year-old son. I am reminded each time my 7-year-old gets out her art supplies of the hours I spent coloring, cutting and creating my “masterpieces.” Furthermore, it brings me joy to watch my 8-year-old son as he spends hours practicing soccer in the backyard, and how excited he gets each time he learns a new move.
In addition to this, I was reminded just this month, while reading about the victims of the mass school shooting in Connecticut, how wonderful each of these precious children were. When 7-year-old victim Emilie Parker's father spoke of her, he said, “I can’t count the number of times Emilie would find someone feeling sad or frustrated and would make people a card.”
Seven-year-old Grace Audrey McDonnell was described as “the love and light” of their family, and 6-year-old Jesse Lewis was so perfectly described by his family as “a typical 6-year-old little boy, full of life.”
As we ring in the new year, let us not focus on creating a “new you.” Instead, let us take our cue from these children, as well as the children we once were, and begin the new year with the “old” you in mind.
Arianne Brown is a graduate from Southern Utah University, mother to five young kids and an avid runner. Contact her at email@example.com, follow her on twitter @arimom5, or check out her blog at runariran.wordpress.com