Roses and Thorns

I love New Years: a holiday of reflection and resolutions. Oh, the peace that accompanies self-awareness coupled with a good plan of attack!

Tonight, after the kids are asleep, I’ll sit on the dock with my husband and sister and we’ll share our roses and thorns of the year.

There are small, persistent thorns, like the motherhood downer of applying sunscreen every ninety minutes, and unexpected, consequential thorns that usually involve health or money. The beauty is in the perspective gained from the spectrum—how a challenging medical situation makes you appreciate you’re alive to slather SPF 50 all over your kids.

Roses also run the gamut: from the pleasure of opening a perfectly ripe but not yet browned avocado to your lifelong dream coming true in a bigger way than you dared to imagine. Roses are inherently wonderful, but the special thing about sharing them with those you love is that their roses become your roses and vice versa, so by the end of the night everyone’s garden is bigger.

Resolutions stem from understanding your roses and thorns. On New Years a few years ago I wrote the words that helped me quit my job to write: Make room for who you are by knowing who you’re not. Tonight I’ll refine further. What do I need to make more time for? Cut back on? Remove completely? Yoga and charitable work will be on the first list, social media and wine on the second, guilt on the third.

As philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset wrote: Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are. Right on, Jose. Right on.

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Abby Fabiaschi is the author of I LIKED MY LIFE (St. Martin's Press, February 2017). She and her family divide their time between Tampa, Florida and Park City, Utah. When not writing or watching the comedy show that is her children, she enjoys reading across genres, skiing, hiking, and yoga. Oh, and travel. Who doesn’t love vacation? Learn more at

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This article has 1 Comment

  1. I love that annual tradition: roses and thorns. I’m terrible at that sort of taking stock exercise, but I think it’s something we all should take time to do. I love that your sister gets to play, too!!

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