Happy New Year 2016! My Exceptional New Year’s Resolutions


Happy New Year! So here we are. It’s New Year’s Day, Jan. 1, 2016, and what am I thinking about? If you thought New Year’s Resolutions you are right. My New Year’s Resolutions are not like other people’s, and not even like mine used to be. They are particular milestones that I want to achieve, and yes, as always, it has been Michael and kids like him, who have helped me realize what I want to continue to strive for in 2016.

Joanne’s 2016 New Year’s Resolutions:

  1. Stay present: For me, this is MAJOR. If I can stay in the moment breathing, feeling and doing, then I am operating at full capacity. It’s when I forget to stay in the present that I lose my temper, my goals and my hope, even if temporary.
  2. Spend more time listening and  talking to family and friends: I listen and have been told I am a good listener, but yes, I get distracted, even when a little someone is not with me. In 2016, I want to make sure that I really take the time to listen to those I care about fully. If I can’t, I want to be strong enough to tell them hold on until I can.
  3. Give everyone the benefit of the doubt: This is a hard one, whether it’s a family member, a friend or a total stranger. It’s important to remember that everyone is fighting a battle. Give them a chance.
  4. Spend more time with my husband: It’s here because sadly like a lot of marriages with kids, and special needs kids make it extra hard, we don’t get a lot of time together. I plan on changing that this year and taking up an activity to do together along with just checking in verbally and in person more often with each other. Texting like we do is better than nothing, but not the ideal. 🙂
  5. Exercise: Ok, so this one is like everybody’s else, but it’s true. Regular, weekly exercise it mandatory. I miss it mind, body and spirit and I will get back to it.
  6. Prayer: I want to take my prayer life to the next level and plan to with Bible reading and contemplation. I want to do this for me to have a more personal relationship with God than I already do.
  7. Regular ladies nights with all my girlfriends: I want to do more regular ladies nights with all my friends, they are good for the body, mind and soul.
  8. Help out charitable causes I believe in: This I want to do, even if it’s in small measure. I believe charity is taught and am proud of the example I am setting for Michael.
  9. Fixing up our home: This is a major priority for us, as our house is our legacy to Michael, and he talks about living in our house one day with his family. 🙂
  10. Remembering that love, health and wonderful people around me means I am rich in all the important things: This is a great one to end on as it reminds us the importance of people in our lives and of our importance to them.

Michael has opened up my eyes to so much of what is beauty in this world, and even when I have experienced sadness, struggle and worry with him, it has shown me true human courage when he has overcome challenges, succeeded in managing difficult emotions and helped me see the humor and unpredictability of life and how we need to just go with things sometimes. As the great Forest said in that Tom Hanks movie “Forest Gump”: “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know which one you’re gonna get.”

How true. I think of all the chocolates that life with Michael has given me, the easy, hard and in-between ones we’ve experienced. It has all made Michael, me and his father stronger and I hope, better people for it. So here’s to you, fellow Exceptional Parents and families out there. Good luck writing your resolutions, and remember, stay happy, healthy and safe in 2016. Until next time.





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