Last year, I made my first adult New Years resolution, inspired by my baby Sacha. I decided that, as a new mother, I needed to respond to my personal-life worries and anxieties by honestly exploring them (instead of ignoring them), coming up with practical solutions in a timely manner, and asking for help without feeling ashamed. This resolution did not help Sacha have a longer or less painful life. But it helped me be a much more effective and loving mother to him, both before and after his birth and death.

This year, still inspired by Sacha and motherhood, I’m recognizing that I need to be more aware of my own needs. I’ve spent most of my life with the false belief that I don’t really have needs of my own. Within relationships, especially, if I don’t have any needs then I won’t get in anyone else’s way. And if I don’t get in anyone’s way, then (in my childish mind) they won’t have an excuse for treating me badly. But, thankfully, that’s not how the adult world works. I may have learned that I’m responsible for others’ actions, and that others’ needs are much more important than my own, but those things are simply not true.

This “needless” way of thinking has been convenient in my own life, because it keeps what I need from getting in the way of what I want. But I simply have to get over those wants that may be inappropriate.

So: this year I will strive to be more mindful of and responsive to my own personal needs. That’s exactly what I need.