A couple of weeks ago, my friend Jeramy wrote a post entitled “Better Together in 2016.” In it, Jeramy talked about how he and his wife, Araya, sit down at the start of every year and ask this question: One year from now, what do you want to say that we did?
Then they make a list.
They dream big and they think realistically, all at the same time. They spend the evening writing down goals, personal and collective, for the couple and for the family. But most of all, they do it together.
The HBH (Hot Black Husband) and I have always had a rather lackadaisical relationship with New Year’s resolutions. I’ve typically gone into the new year wanting to lose twenty pounds. He’s typically gone into the year not wanting to make goals because, “Every day is a new day! Every day is a day for goal-setting!”
I mean, he’s got something there, but this year was different.
This year, we’ve sometimes felt like we’ve been slurping through our own spaghetti strainer of sorts, although certainly not by choice. But strainers (see also: sifters, refiners, icy cold showers) also serve a purpose: they clean and they make cling, they get the icky remnants off and they leave you with the heart of the matter.
And perhaps I’ve taken this metaphor too far, but here’s the truth: that spaghetti strainer of a year gave us the gumption to sit down and write out our own list of “Better Together” goals.
He wants to take action in the community and do something in the fight against racial injustice, perhaps as a mentor to urban youth.
I want to challenge myself to write for pay.
He wants to take the family to Colorado or Arizona later this year, and see the Great Outdoors.
I want us to have weekly date nights, even if it’s “just” at home, after the boys go to bed.
As we sat on the couch, thinking and dreaming and putting pen to paper, something happened: we became better together.
Now that list hangs on a frame in our dining room, prominent for all to see. But the best part is that the “all” of this equation, really, mostly, usually is just our little family of four. And for right now, that’s all that matters. That’s all who matters.
For the four of us – just like the two of us – are better together. But these goals, just like this life, we can’t do alone. We weren’t made to do it alone.
Whether you’re married or single, divorced or separated; dreaming of children someday or having just welcomed the sixth child into your home, this togetherness is something you can enter into with the people who are already right there in your world, already sitting at your dining table or wherever it is that you partake of food.
So as you step into 2016, start dreaming, if you haven’t already. Start thinking and start putting pen to paper. And start thinking with that end-goal in sight: One year from now, what do you want to say that we did?
But don’t you dare go at it alone.
So, better together: a bunch of baloney, or a rather charming hunk of ham? What are some of your “better together” goals for the new year? One year from now, what do you want to say that you did?