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  • Brynne Betz

Wednesday Wish (171); Setting New Year Intentions With Love and Joy

Updated: Jan 4, 2023

(image courtesy of google images)

I opened my Hello Kitty notebook to its first page pressing its clear plastic cover back enough to be out of my pencil’s way. The pink lined pages looked back at me with pure invitation. Anything I dared to imagine for my 10-year-old future was wanted here. I was sure the words would magically begin to flow any second, so I let my yellow pencil hover in wait. I had so much to say, after all, so many dreams to make come true! How would I ever fit it all onto a page!

1. Be nicer to my brother even when he’s rotten to me.

2. Write a letter to someone I love 1x a week.

My pencil was so dull that at least three pages were permanently dented with every word I wrote. Perfect. Why wouldn’t I want my New Year’s Resolutions edging toward permanence?

3. Learn Spanish.

4. Eat more cake.

5. Listen to the birds and the trees and the flowers every day.

Over the years I noticed that the resolutions that felt good had a better chance of lasting the whole year. Still, I kept setting resolutions or intentions that didn’t always feel good.

6. Don’t be afraid of the snakes that live near the mailbox. Get the mail anyway.

7. Always do my homework right when I get home. No more excuses.

Did I somehow believe that real growth was meant to hurt, that being a better person wasn’t an easy path but one I needed to force myself into? How did I learn to not walk myself gently, lovingly, through life?

A lot of people say they don’t do resolutions anymore. Some think that the premise itself is flawed, that we’re already perfect however we are. Others prefer to choose a single word for their new year, leaving it at that. For me, the act of setting a resolution or intention is something I look forward to every year. I like feeling like I have new spaces to fill or places to try on within myself. It feels hopeful and interesting, the opposite of stagnant or boring, as if I have a whole new adventure waiting for me. Choosing just one word for all that though? That’s like someone asking me to keep my bubblegum on a single tooth. I guess I could do it… but why?

Someone close to me is struggling with cancer these days. She intends to still live a long life and yet many days she isn’t sure how far her intentions will take her. She wonders if a lot of her power has been hijacked, given over to the fateful choice of the cancer cells looming in her body. Even so, she’s determined to embrace the power she has, using it in all the ways she possibly can. But how? How does she thrive? What intentions help her most?

She starts with love for herself and she gently, with tender care, opens that heart of hers into ideas of what might bring her happiness. Is it a texture or a sight? A flavor or a sound? A place or a scent? Whatever speaks an emphatic yes is her path forward. She listens to what makes her smile and lets her joy show her the way. One step in front of the other and soon her intentions born of love and joy create the life she wants for herself—regardless of the things she can’t control.

Maybe it’s always been that simple. Maybe all any of us need for a New Year filled with fresh dreams coming true is to begin with love and to walk forward with joy leading our way. When I remember my Hello Kitty notebook from all those years ago, her message still sounds the same: Share your imaginings, your dreams for your future in these happy pink pages and together we’ll make them come true. Yes, Hello Kitty, I say… yay yes!


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