My New Years Resolution, A Few Days Late

I know Rosh Hashana is come and gone. But I only just got the inspiration for my resolution for the new year and change is always better late than never. Especially considering that Yom Kippur is only three days away.

The inspiration came from a comment a rabbi made that resonated with me. “Do you create a positive atmosphere in your home even when you were up all night with a crying baby?”

The mother of a seven-month-old baby and an almost-two-year-old toddler, I know all about sleep deprivation. Maybe he’s old to still be waking up at night to eat, as my baby’s doctor told me, but that is the reality. I set my alarm for a little after seven in the morning, but rarely get a chance to sleep that late. And with a full time job at Kars for Kids, it’s not like my night ends young.

But that question woke me up to another reality. How much sleep I get may not be entirely in my control, but my attitude is. Yes, it is easier to be in a good mood when you’ve got eight hours of shuteye behind you. But you can make the effort even on only four.

I can kvetch and grumble that life is so unfair and snap at my kids and my husband and be generally miserable. Or I can down yet another cup of coffee, force my eyelids not to droop and smile at the world.

It is possible. What’s more, it’ll make my life and my family’s life so much happier. How much sleep I get does not have to define how my life will be lived. As my mother (who knows a thing or two about sleep deprivation herself, having raised ten of us) likes to say, “I’ll sleep in the grave.” Now, I’ll concentrate a little more on the joys of life and try to (day)dream a little less about my bed.

Wish me luck.

About the Author
Rivka Kirwan is the director of media relations at Kars4Kids, a nonprofit based in New Jersey, where she lives with her husband and two young children. If it were up to her, she'd be living in Israel, which she grew to love in the year she spent there post-high school.