I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. I gave up on them decades ago. Instead, my kids will tell you that I am constantly lamenting a list of clichés throughout the year. They shake their heads as I yell things like, “Be in the moment” and “Don’t look back unless you want to go there.” As a parent, I feel it’s my role to deliver these friendly reminders. As teenagers, I realize it’s their right of passage to ridicule their mom.
As I reflect on my teenage years, I wish I had taken more opportunities. I wish I’d done my EA prep course right. While we didn’t have the distractions of today’s technology, we certainly had other ways of wasting the day away. Their daily grind is hard so of course they want to take a load off and snapchat about who knows what (I certainly don’t J).
That’s one of the reasons I value the summer camps and teen travel experiences so much. And I know they do too. A lot of thought and research goes into their planning. It’s the chance to navigate without a GPS, explore a new culture and terrain, and engage in a new community. It’s a time to disconnect from technology and connect with the unknown. It’s a chance for them to build memories of a lifetime. I have one child who had the good fortune to travel to Japan last summer and the other will be off to Iceland this summer after 6 years at summer camps.
As they grow into adults, I feel that these will be summer opportunities will help shape them. While their school year, their education, their friends, and their home life carry a lot of weight, the experiences outside their comfort zone can change their trajectory. I hope they celebrate each year, seize every moment and, like me, toss out New Year’s resolutions.