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On Being More Tree-Like In 2018

I have never been very good at endings and 2017 was all about endings. Some were good, some not so good, and most were bittersweet. Of course, endings are also beginnings, but sometimes it is tough to see the beginning when you are in the middle of the ending.

My goal for the New Year is to be more like a tree. Instead of riding the highs and lows of beginnings and endings, I want to be more balanced, steady, and resilient – more tree-like.

I want to be more tree like in 2018 and other New Year's resolutions

When my daughter was two she started hugging trees. This wasn’t something I taught her, or even suggested; she just started doing it. One morning on our way to the park, about six blocks from our apartment, she waddled up to a tree, wrapped her soft arms around the trunk, and cried, “I remember this tree.”

Each day she discovered (or remembered) more trees. There were days we didn’t even make it to the park because there were too many trees in need of hugs. Some of the trees were young and their leaves rattled when she hugged them. But most were thick and steadfast and didn’t budge when she leaned into them arms stretched wide, cheeks pressed against their bark, leaving impressions on her skin.

Why I want to be more like a tree in 2018

We had four cats in hospice when my daughter was born. The first one passed away when she was six months old and the other three when she was around two, about the same time she started hugging trees.

The end of the cats’ lives shaped the beginning of her life and vice versa, grief and hope all jumbled together. I imagine this is why she was so drawn to trees – because in her eyes they weren’t going anywhere, unlike the cats who were loving, but frail and fading fast.

Why I want to be more like a tree in 2018 and other New Year's Resolutions

This year was very much like those early years with some amazing highs and heartbreaking lows. But this time, I let myself get a little too swept up in the ups and downs and lost my balance.

I want to be different in 2018 – more tree-like in a strong, steady, weather-any-storm kind of way.

Trees are all about balance and perspective. Fierce and resilient, they grow where they want to grow and don’t fall without a fight. And when damaged by storms, fires, or humans, they leave behind their roots and stump as a final badass reminder that they were here.

Trees are always unapologetically themselves. Trees are always trees.

2018 New Year's Resolutions be more like a tree

Whatever the New Year holds…Ruby and I wish you the strength, balance and authenticity of trees to weather the storm and celebrate the sun. Happy New Year!

New Year's Resolution #1: How to be more tree-like



  1. Annie
    January 1, 2018 / 6:29 am

    Happy New Year! We love you! XO

  2. Yamini MacLean
    January 1, 2018 / 10:29 am

    Hari OMLet's make a forest!!! Huggies, YAM xx

  3. Molly the AireGirl
    January 1, 2018 / 10:53 am

    What a fabulous post! Happy 2018!

  4. Emma
    January 1, 2018 / 12:30 pm

    Happy New Year! Highs and lows can't be helped, but one has to find the balance.

  5. Brian
    January 1, 2018 / 2:03 pm

    You are always great at being you beautiful Ruby! Happy New Year from all of us at Brian's Home!

  6. Jan
    January 1, 2018 / 2:21 pm

    Trees always need hugs from little girls. Happy new year from all of us.

  7. The Swiss Cats
    January 1, 2018 / 3:52 pm

    Happy Mew Year ! Purrs

  8. Bouncing Bertie
    January 1, 2018 / 3:56 pm

    That is a great resolution. And such a touching story about the tree hugging. Wishing you all the strength and resilience you need in 2018. And hoping things go well so the tree-like qualities won't be too tested.Happy New Year!Gail and Bertie.

  9. Bernadette
    January 1, 2018 / 3:59 pm

    Thank you, Ruby. I wrote a poem on this subject in honor of my favorite tree, and though that tree has fallen–not without a fight, though it spared my house, and its badass stump is still there–I still remember its inspiration, strength and grace in accepting what it was given. Happy Mew Year in return from our feline household!

  10. Madi and Mom
    January 1, 2018 / 4:10 pm

    Kristin…this was a beautifully written tribute and resolutionHugs and Happy New Year Madi and mom

  11. Beth
    January 1, 2018 / 5:12 pm

    Happy New Year! I love this post and wish you luck on your journey to be more tree-like!

  12. Mama and da DB Boyz
    January 1, 2018 / 5:19 pm

    What a beautiful analogy, and a wonderful goal!Wishes for a happy, heathy and sturdy 2018!

  13. Sandee
    January 1, 2018 / 6:40 pm

    ° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛˚ ˛ •˛• ˚| 田田 |門| ˚Happy New Year* Joy to all! ♫•*¨* Peace on Earth ♪♫•*¨*

  14. evie
    January 1, 2018 / 6:50 pm

    Have a wonderful New Year, i hope that the New Year will bring you lots of joy and happiness.

  15. Bella Roxy & Macdui
    January 1, 2018 / 7:16 pm

    We love trees, too! But alas….even they can be squirrely.

  16. Hailey and Zaphod and their Lady
    January 1, 2018 / 7:16 pm

    May your year be filled with more gentle breezes then storms so your branches don't break. Within the best.

  17. Tweedles -- that's me
    January 1, 2018 / 7:39 pm

    This is so beautiful love tweedles

  18. pilch92 15andmeowing
    January 1, 2018 / 7:41 pm

    Beautiful post. Wishing you health and happiness in 2018!

  19. Vanessa Morgan
    January 1, 2018 / 8:17 pm

    Happy New Year!

  20. Marv Marvelous
    January 1, 2018 / 9:26 pm

    Oh! Oh! Oh! I like that! Tree zen is purrfect!For this New Year, may you have–12 months of HAPPINESS52 weeks of FUN365 Days of SUCCESS8750 hours of GOOD HEALTH52600 minutes of GOOD LUCKand3,153,600 seconds of JOY!with LoveBarb and Marvelous

  21. Kinley Westie
    January 1, 2018 / 9:29 pm

    What a good goal. Yappy New Year!

  22. messymimi
    January 1, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    Happy New Year! May it bring you and yours blessings beyond your measure.

  23. ♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥
    January 1, 2018 / 9:51 pm

    That was just so beautifully expressed!!!*°*”˜˜”*°•.¸☆ ★ ☆¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.¸☆╔╗╔╦══╦═╦═╦╗╔╗ ★ ★ ★║╚╝║══║═║═║╚╝║ ☆¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.¸☆║╔╗║╔╗║╔╣╔╩╗╔╝ ★ NEW YEAR ☆╚╝╚╩╝╚╩╝╚╝═╚╝ ♥¥☆★☆★☆¥♥ ★☆❤♫❤♫❤.•*¨`*•..¸☼ ¸.•*¨`*•.♫❤♫❤♫❤Woos – Lightning, Misty, and Timber

  24. Millie and Walter
    January 1, 2018 / 10:27 pm

    Happy New Year to all of you.

  25. The Church Cat Family
    January 1, 2018 / 10:38 pm

    I have my favorite tree just outside the window and I find myself talking to it all the time. It's solid and calming. A good influence for 2018, for sure!! Happy New Year and all the best ~ Tom

  26. 24 Paws of Love
    January 1, 2018 / 11:11 pm

    Plants in general are so resilient. But trees are just the rock of the forest. They just keep coming back no matter what is thrown at them. I love trees. Been a while since I hugged one. I think I'll do that next time I'm out. I have a favorite in the backyard and I have missed her. I understand what you mean about ups and downs and staying steady. May you meet your challenge like a tree. Strong, rooted, and reaching for the sky!Happy New Year!

  27. Inger
    January 1, 2018 / 11:15 pm

    I needed to read this post, thank you. I will keep your tree in mind as I begin to navigate the storms of old age. Sounds a bit melodramatic, I know, and I'm doing fine, but now it's an older fine at 77 and a half. It's interesting how you find the things, words, advice, you need to once you reach out a bit. Happy New Year to you, your family, and Ruby.

  28. The Island Cats
    January 1, 2018 / 11:37 pm

    We hope you can fulfill your goal…Happy New Year!

  29. Three Chatty Cats
    January 2, 2018 / 2:51 am

    So well-written, as always! Happy New Year!

  30. Caren Gittleman
    January 2, 2018 / 3:20 am

    your sentiment is one of the most beautiful that I have read and I couldn't agree with you more! May 2018 be a kinder, gentler year! DakotasDen

  31. kathleen
    January 2, 2018 / 3:53 am

    Me Too…Tree Like…Strong and Steady in the Storms of Life…I Am..<3 Lovely and Poignant Kristin XXOO

  32. The Ladies of Beaglebratz Manor
    January 2, 2018 / 5:42 am

    Loved this post – to be like the tree, balanced and resilient. But I have also found a couple tree-like qualities that come in handy in times of ups and downs – beginnings and endings; being able to bend and sway in times of storms like that of the tree but in the end, remain steadfast. We all endure storms of some kind in our lives – like you said – beginnings and endings – whether they are welcomed or not. It is how we endure them that bring us balance in our lives. Your posts have helped me dig deeper into my mind and thoughts. Keep up the good work in 2018 – Happy New Year to you and Ruby!Mom Kim

  33. Darla M Sands
    January 2, 2018 / 1:28 pm

    What wise, beautiful words. May you and yours be safe, joyful, healthy, and prosperous through the New Year.

  34. Tails Around the Ranch
    January 2, 2018 / 7:12 pm

    Here's to a kindler, gentler 2018 with loads of balance. Cheers.

  35. Tweedles -- that's me
    January 2, 2018 / 7:18 pm

    Happy New Year my friends! I Wish you peace and love!lovetweedles

  36. Tweedles -- that's me
    January 2, 2018 / 7:19 pm

    Happy New Year my friends! I Wish you peace and love!lovetweedles

  37. Eastside Cats
    January 2, 2018 / 9:24 pm

    Yay to 2018, and trees really do talk to us, if we pay attention!

  38. Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat
    January 2, 2018 / 11:08 pm

    What a beautiful thought and resolution. I love that your daughter grew up a tree hugger … literally 🙂 Happy New Year … and thank you for inspiring us yet again.

  39. Jan K
    January 4, 2018 / 11:30 pm

    What a beautiful story. I love trees. They certainly are resilient….I've seen them growing out of rocks, fallen over and broken yet still going…we would all do well to be as strong, and refusing to give up! ♥

  40. Cathy Armato
    January 18, 2018 / 2:07 am

    I love this analogy! I hope I can be strong & enduring like the trees in the coming year. Wishing you all the best in 2018.Love & biscuits, Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

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