My New Goal For 2022

My New Goal For 2022
by Heather Molendyk


The road ahead of me was long.

If traffic was kind, it would be a 9-hour day. The snacks would be plenty, the drinks would stay cold, the CDs wouldn’t repeat, and (most importantly) the battery life on the digital entertainment for the kids would last.

If traffic decided to be a bully, it would be an 11-hour day or more. The road would end with body aches, cranky kids, and an even crankier mama.

“Please,” I begged God, “Let traffic be kind!”

An hour into my journey home, all taillights ahead glared red. Standing on the brake pedal, I demanded my car fall into line. We had reached the first slowdown.

My spirits sank as we creeped and crawled. A 3-legged turtle with 2 bad knees and 1 twisted ankle passed me as i sat in that traffic. The three lanes merged to two. The two lanes merged to one.

The grumbling easily rolled around my brain:
🔹️ This is only the beginning, isn’t it?
🔹️ The batteries are going to run out on the devices and my kids will transform into beasts.
🔹️Now I’m going to have to spend extra money on dinner at a restaurant because we won’t get home on time.
🔹️ (And many other thoughts that shouldn’t be put in print. You know the ones. You say them in your head, too.)

And then I saw the accident that caused a three-lane highway to shut down.

I quickly felt ashamed. I had been complaining about personal comforts. Someone somewhere was receiving a call that they’d never see a loved one again. I had been complaining that I’d have to spend extra money for food. Someone will be spending way more money to replace a totalled-out car.

I had plenty of time to ponder that accident on the long drive home…

I often treat life like a road trip. I have my plans. I’ve mapped my course. I’ve planned my entertainment and food so that the journey is comfortable for me. And like that accident, my thoughts center on myself and my comforts and plans way more than they should.

If there is anything the last two years have taught me, it’s that I control very little in this world. The only thing I have complete control over is my response to the punches life swings at me.

🔹️Will I focus on myself, or will I think about others?