Health & Wellness

Fresh Start: Sometimes the Best "Present" is Being Present

Surprisingly simple, the resolution I made in 2017 turned out to be one of the best ever.

I don't make New Year's resolutions any more. At some point I realized that if I want to change something about myself, there's no time like the present, so there's no need to put an artificial "start" date on it. And if you read my story about tips to help you keep your resolutions, you know I'm also a supporter of giving yourself permission to start over. Make a resolution and screw up? There's no shame in taking a re-do.

That said, in 2016-2017, I did make a resolution: to be more present, physically and mentally, for my family, especially my son JT Mazula.

Before that I could come up with lots of excuses to miss things. My most frequent excuse was my job (this was pre-Sparkt). It was -- literally -- 24/7. When I wasn't sleeping, I was at work, working from home, thinking about work or talking with someone on the phone about work. Long hours often meant things like missing my son's baseball games, or jumping into my seat in the school auditorium just as his band concert was set to begin. It also meant that my mind was usually somewhere else when my family needed me to focus on something that was important to them.

2016-2017 was my son's senior year in high school, and I resolved not to miss a moment if I could help it. At first it was difficult. I'm used to working harder and longer than everyone else. But when my son had an activity I simply delegated some of my work responsibilities to my capable staff, left, put the phone on vibrate, and made it on time for the game, the concert, the awards ceremony, the banquet the volunteer opportunity, whatever. Believe it or not, the world kept on turning!

My husband and I traveled with the North Hills Indians baseball team to spring training for the first time in JT's four years on the JV and Varsity teams. I managed to miss only two or three far-away games that baseball season. Who knew when I made my resolution to "be present" that the season would be storybook, The Indians won the WPIAL 5A Championship for the first time in school history, in the longest championship game (11 innings) in WPIAL history. My son, the starting catcher and relief pitcher, played an integral role in the team's success.

My point is this: you don't know what you're going to miss if you're not physically and mentally present in the moment. It could be as simple as a meaningful conversation someone you care about it. Or it could be something as big as your son and his closest friends achieving a goal they had worked for since they were little boys. I wouldn't have missed that for the world, and I sure am glad I didn't!

How can you start something good?
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