Happy New Year!
I think my phrase for this new year is going to be this: You can do it! Despite the problems that concern us, the situation we are in, how we are emotionally, if we have any disease or illness, or if we are alone… You can choose to dream and be happy every single day!
We started the new year full of energy and positivity, with the desire to change this world for the better. Starting with our own house, with our own families, with our own children and closest relatives. This Christmas we were in Madrid with a Muslim friend of mine eating and celebrating Christmas with my children. I was so happy to learn that the Koran has a precept that one should tithe beginning with those closest to you: family, siblings, friends, neighbors… and then those who live on the other side of the world also follow. It’s true, sometimes it’s harder to help those around you… My children really enjoyed learning about their customs. They were excellent hosts and they really made us feel at home. Hospitality is a very important part of their culture. After the dinner we sang some Christmas carols and danced together. Long live friendships between different cultures and religions!
At the end of the year we like to do a little bit of family balancing together. You know what my kids proposed on the 25th of December? During lunch, they had to say what their favorite part of 2018 was along with the one thing that they will try to improve in 2019. Starting with the oldest, they each said what they loved the most about the past year. Walking the Camino de Santiago all together as a family with the most beautiful views. For Pepa, the wedding of her cousin on a beautiful ranch with all of her cousins dancing until they couldn’t dance anymore. Going to visit their sisters who were working on the Costa Brava during the summer. Grandma Julita, who we are always with on Christmas, said that her favorite part of 2018 was the lunch we were all having together for Christmas. This Christmas was the first time she wasn’t able to enter into the kitchen because each year gets a little bit more difficult for her. Alvaro, who is 16 and passionate about soccer, said he was thankful that many of us went to so many of his games and were cheering so loud for him and his team. His teammates are always waiting for us because they know when we arrive by how loud we are (my yells never stop!). He proposed for this year was to be more kind to his teammates when they make a mistake on the field. It’s clear that for him at this age the most important thing for him is soccer and everything else is revolving around that…
Rafa, who is 9 years old and the youngest in the house, said he would try to be better about not getting upset with his siblings in the house. I want to clarify that all his siblings, since he is the youngest, give him a hard time and push his buttons so he has to defend himself by yelling and getting angry. Another one of my kids said that they would be better about obeying Mom the first time. One of the oldest kids, who now has a phone, wants to be less attached to it and will try to only look at it 3 times per day. Will they be able to do it? All of them are great challenges that they will have to work very hard to achieve. Perico, who always arrives home late from work (sometimes even after we have already had dinner), said that he will try to not bring the stress of work home to the family. When he enters the door he will try to leave all his problems outside so he can be relaxed with the family. It’s very important that the stress of work should be well managed. I thought it was nice to see how they know each other so well and how they choose very concrete things that they know they need to work on, not simply saying, “I will be better,” because we have to be specific in how we can make that happen. And that is one of the most beautiful reasons for a family, it’s a place of help and love. It’s a great way to start the new year by stopping and thinking and doing this exercise together as a family. The husband and wife should be first to give examples and let it be known that they are weak and that often they fall short and that’s why they need each other, to give a hand to help lift you up.
Do you want to know what I said? I first thanked all my children who had let me go around the world giving testimonies and helping so many families who want to learn how to better educate their children, to give them a breathe of hope and joy. Well, when I travel they make the sacrifice of staying home a few days without their mother. It’s an shared family NGO, one could say. They stay at home protecting the rearguard while I go to a country with one of my children. Imagine, being in a large family, what it is to be alone with your mother 24 hours a day on a trip: just you and mom.
Well, now to what I proposed for myself to improve on: to be more affectionate with my children, my family, my friends and my followers. To be honest, sometimes I can be a little bit cold when I express my feelings and I know that human beings need hugs and signs of affection. Those that know me also know that I am not the biggest fan of giving kisses (the customary way to greet someone in Spain).
Finally, I want to tell you how much I love it when one of you stops me in the street, on the subway, in the hospital, supermarket, or airport… just to say hello. When a someone who follows me sees my life and that of my family every day and greets me as if I’m a part of their family, I am so grateful. I also greatly appreciate when you tell me how much you like my suggestions and that you are my unconditional fans. Thank you thank you thank you!
And remember, yes, you can be happy every single day!
This post was originally published on comoserfelizconunodostreshijos.com on January 11th, 2019.