In 2017, let’s resolve to place more time giving than receiving

As 2017 began, New Year’s resolutions such as “lose weight” or “stop eating junk food” seem to be on the tops of everyone’s lists. It’s cliche, but when it comes to resolutions, no one seems to look at the whole. Goals should be based on what you can do to help change the world, and less so on things you can do to just help yourself.

Just before the very start of the year, my parents separated. Of course, I was taken aback. For 17 years I’ve always had both of my parent’s beside me; now it’s either my mom or dad. My resolution was to somehow end up getting my parent’s back together this year, but I realized my resolution was something that would make me happy, but it would throw my parents back into a loveless relationship. It benefited me and my feelings, but it went against the two people I love most.

So, I tried to change it into something more helpful. Obviously this isn’t exactly how I planned my family would turn out, but I forced myself into accepting the fact that my family no longer fits well together. I wasn’t angry at either one of my parents. I was just in shock that after 20 years of being together, they decided it was all wrong.

The first thing on my list was “being a good daughter.” Throughout this short time of the separation, I’ve learned and seen a lot. As my parents struggle to get by, the last thing they need is a rebellious teenager to handle. It’s time that I step up and take my responsibilities more seriously. Our parents have always been there to help us when we need it most, and at times like these it’s our turn to return the favor.

The second thing was “rebuild relationships.” Once my sister and I found out about everything, things started to fall apart quickly. None of us could get along, and we all fought until my mom moved out. In a sad way, I picked my mom. I’d rather stay with her than my dad, but I realize that although they don’t love each other anymore, they will always love my sister and I. I will always be a part of them no matter what we go through. So, I spend half the week with my dad. I’ve been trying to communicate better with him and build up a father-daughter relationship I’ve always wanted but never got. It’s hard not to blame someone for the separation, but it’s easier to try and connect with them as much as you can.

Although I sometimes want to scream at my parents for this, I learned that they don’t deserve the hatred of their children because they couldn’t fix their marriage. At first, I wanted to beg them to stay together. Not having my family be a “family” anymore terrified me, but they weren’t happy. I couldn’t be angry for that. People become distant all too quickly, and doing what we can to support each other and help out is what we need to do. Instead of trying to get them back together for my sake, I’ve been trying my best to help out however they need in order to make this transition easier for everyone. I’ve done my best to not be bitter about the situation because like I said, whether my parents are together or not, they love me nonetheless.

This year is going to be so different for me. I’m not sure what’s going to happen regarding all of this, but I do know that I’m going to be a better daughter for my parents. They need me the most right now, and I can’t let them down by being angry with them. I don’t want to be selfish right now. I just want to make sure my parents are happy before anything else.

Giving and caring about others is what life is about. If we all took time to be a little more loving toward one another, things would begin to change. Life is about becoming a better version of yourself, yes. But the most fulfilling thing is helping someone through kindness and love. Holding grudges and being bitter is selfish. I’m done being selfish over things that bring pain to people I love.

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