Striving for Peace in the Year of the Qualified Yes

Do you have a resolution for the New Year?
A year ago, I announced that I was planning to make 2015 a year of saying no. I never reported back on that because my attempt to say no during the Year of No was an outright failure.
So this year I am trying something a little different. I am going to make 2016 the Year of the Qualified Yes.
This year I’ll say yes—because I am apparently unable to say no—but it might be a “Yes, I can do a little bit of that but not the whole thing,” or “Yes, I will do that after I take care of everything my family needs first,” or “Yes, you may have a piece of candy, but you must eat that whole head of broccoli.”
The Year of the Qualified Yes may not sound particularly inspiring, but I am hoping it will help me prioritize. Maybe it will allow me to meet the many needs of those I love, but help me remember I am first here to serve God, second to be a good wife, and third to be a great mother. Then all my other roles—important as they are—come after that.

“Yes, we will do the Epiphany house blessing, but I am not carrying a stepladder outside into the frigid darkness so we can do it. We will just write it on the wall where you can reach.”

I am also striving this year to embrace and promote peace. When I went to our children’s Christmas concert a few weeks ago, the children all sang, “Let There Be Peace on Earth.” The beauty and the power of that song in that moment, especially with all that we have seen happening in the world, really moved me.
So this year I am going to work for peace. My patron saint, St. Rita of Cascia, is known as a peacemaker. Maybe she will help me as I try to work for peace in my home, my family, my work, and my writing.
“If we have no peace,” Mother Teresa said, “it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
Naturally she didn’t mean “peace” as in “peace and quiet,” and neither do I. I have two high-energy, talkative, absolutely marvelous sons. Let’s be realistic—and not suck the noise out of childhood fun! But I do want to promote a sense of harmony and order, a sense of calm and rest, a sense of unity and togetherness.
So if, like my friend Mary, I have a word for the year, it is Peace. We’ll see how I do. Do you have a word or a resolution for 2016?

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.