Welcome to 2011! One of the great things about being Jewish is celebrating two New Years–the Jewish and secular, and having (at least) two opportunities to reflect on the past year and aspirations for the coming year. This New Year’s couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I desperately need to work on balancing priorities and making sure I take care of myself, along with my daughter and husband.

Many years ago, I watched my mother put the needs of her three children before her own, and it took a toll on her well-being and health. I remember she put off a visit to her doctor because she wanted to wait until I was back at college. That turned out to be the doctor’s visit when she was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. I think as parents we need reminders that if we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t take care of our children.

This year I was so focused on my daughter’s health that I completely neglected my own, leading to my own medical wake-up call. When will we put ourselves on the top of the priority list? I say in 2011!
Here are my 10 New Year’s resolutions:

  1. Remember that work-life balance doesn’t mean having it all at the same time.
  2. Value my own health as much as my family’s.
  3. Spend more time teaching my daughter how to read, and be more patient with her in the process.
  4. Be less conscious of weight and body-image issues so that I don’t pass this on to my daughter.
  5. Make date night happen at least once a month.
  6. Try a Torah yoga class.
  7. Make time to see friends, even those who don’t live close by.
  8. Institute Sunday family game night at home.
  9. Do more acts of tzedakah (charity) and create family rituals to support others less fortunate.
  10. Be a mentor, and get a mentor.

Happy New Year!