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It’s been said that over one-third of New Year’s resolutions don’t make it past January, so if you are one of those who made a sugar-induced vow to change the world and are now returning to life as usual, don’t feel bad. You are not alone. Instead of ditching the entire set of feel-good promises, how about trying a new perspective? How about picking one aspect of your life that screams the loudest, “I want to be better” and seek out a support network to feed that effort? And, while there can be great support found on the Internet via social media, maybe the challenge is to unplug for a while and be present.

My dog will snuggle up to me, lean back and stare into my eyes. It is like she is saying, “put the phone down and be in the moment.” There is something about those big brown eyes that burrow into my soul and bring me back from a world that only exists on a 3”x2″ screen. “Pay attention to me, I’m right in front of you.” How many times a day do we enter the cyber world to “feel connected” and see how other people live? While we are lost staring at a screen we can miss what is right in front of us.

Things I wish for you in the new year: I hope that you find yourself on the floor playing with children. I hope that your hands get messy creating art. I hope you wrestle with a dog and nap with a cat curled on your lap. I hope you enjoy the brilliant beauty of newly fallen snow. I hope you listen for the ice melting in the spring. I hope you take time to smile at a stranger and open a door for someone else. I hope you invite a neighbor over for coffee and make new friends. I hope you feel your breath labor as you hike in the woods. I hope you go outside and gaze at the night sky and be filled with the wonder of the galaxy. I hope you pick up your phone to call a friend just to catch-up. I hope you make plans and experience live music, excellent food and dance. I hope you read a book or two while curled up under a warm blanket. I hope you get wet in the rain and jump in puddles. I hope you laugh until you cry. I hope you notice when a friend is sad and reach out in support. I hope you ask for help when you need it most.

The only way of making change is by actually living life. To live life is to create the moment in the here and now. Maybe it’s the gentle nudge of a dog who wants to stare into your eyes. Maybe it’s a child who wants your attention. Maybe it’s a hunger to be around someone who cares deeply. Life is not meant to be lived “someday” but today. Hope is created when we stop what we are doing and love what we have. My wish for you is to create hope and joy in this new year.

Kelly Brevig is Suicide Educational Services Coordinator for Evergreen Youth & Family Services, Inc.

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