Fireflies for the New Year

by Helene Louise  

Every January, people make new year’s resolutions, promising themselves that this year, finally, is the year that they’re going to lose weight or get fit or accomplish that certain something that they’ve always wanted to do. But even with the best of intentions and the most sincere of resolutions, we often find ourselves discouraged and abandoning our goal after only a few months. 

I have struggled with this myself but when it came to helping my daughter overcome the effects of a childhood stroke, abandoning the goal of helping her progress as much as possible was not really an option. Still, the motivation to persevere didn’t just come on its own—it’s something that I had to continuously work on. As I explained in my book, it was a bit like catching fireflies on a high school camping trip many year ago.

The thing about fireflies, is that they don’t glow very brightly and they don’t necessarily glow consistently either. They flicker here and there as they go about their quiet bug lives. But, just because you don’t see them, doesn’t mean they’re not there. Maybe you just happened to be looking the other way or maybe there was something in the way so you didn’t even have a chance to see the flickering. Or maybe, you were just too distracted to even notice. That’s how it has been for me as I’ve looked for little flickers of hope, trying to figure out how to help my daughter.

It would be much easier, of course, if we all had a glowing bag of fireflies, so to speak, to guide us and serve as a constant source of inspiration. But that’s not how it works.  We are all responsible for finding our own little flickers of hope and keeping them glowing within ourselves as we travel along facing life’s challenges. The good thing though, is that the more I practice looking for little flickers of hope, the more I find them all around me—and the easier it is to stick to my goals.

I hope this year brings everyone many exceptionally bright fireflies.

Happy New Year.

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