There is always something about turning the calendar page to a new year, which inspires reflection of the past and planning for the future. I like that. I also enjoy at this time of the year endless hours of listening to the radio, or perusing the paper, for the reports covering the year’s top news stories: famous people who’ve died, wedded or divorced, significant discoveries and the top books/bands/gossip/do-s and don’t-s. I like lists and one of my recent favourites was The Guardian’s Worst Ideas of 2012. I couldn’t agree more that the adult gender-neutral outfit known as the “onesie” is a stinker!
As we speed headlong towards the next twelve months, I would like to come up with a rhyming slogan to set the theme for the New Year. There are a lot of possibilities with the number thirteen, but washing-machine, annual vaccine, full of beans, trampoline, or My Friend Eileen are all hard to work into a pithy slogan. While we haven’t settled on one yet, our top contenders are:
- We’ll avoid a regressing toward the mean in 2013;
- There’ll be no mindless routine in 2013; and,
- Embrace the unforeseen in 2013.
But what would the start of the New Year be without mention of resolutions? Across the world, millions of these little goals will be made and a good many broken. I know I’ve done it myself. To address the desire to both learn from the past and set forth into the future, Roger and I write on pieces of paper any regrets from the previous year and then throw them into the fire, symbolically letting them go. It’s easier to torch them up the chimney rather than spend hours ruminating on those things we can’t undo. Examine our mistakes and try to put our best foot forward is our hope. For me, there is a small thrill in making a list and I’ve noticed over the years that my annual “resolutions” isn’t about making big changes as much as it is about renewing a commitment of how I want to live. Having found comfort in my life, along with the knowledge that I know how to embrace change, my list gets tweaked a bit just to keep me on track.
Typically, New Year’s resolutions are like the famous lyrics from the Frank Sinatra ballad, New York, New York: “I’m gonna make a brand new start of it.” That notion of committing to a few personal goals, projects or changing detrimental habits is enticing when January 1st looms and provides a fresh start and a chance to do it better. There are the obvious big ones for many people: get out of debt, quit smoking, loose weight, get organized, stop biting nails, get a better job, stop being so grumpy, get smarter or do something good for the world. Some people may aspire to be less self-centered and more helpful, while others may still embrace the more superficial and appearance goals of having thinner thighs and better hair. But does it matter? In the end, it’s all about getting a focus for how we choose to operate in the world.
With that in mind, I’m happy to present my list for 2013. I wont be sharing my regrets as there aren’t many and they’ve already gone up in smoke. Time to move on!
- Keep my health in order. Yes, the nutrition, exercise and alcohol consumption make appearances on most people’s resolution list, so I’m not alone. I’m not making any changes, just hoping to be mindful of what I eat, drink and do to stay strong and healthy (though I’ve recently discovered Hula Hoops – a UK snack item that is beyond compare!). Sadly, I must make an, long overdue, eye exam and possibly embrace the prospect of wearing that fashion accessory known as glasses.
- Make music every day. Maybe I can find a piano locally or learn a new instrument, perhaps the Harmonica? If nothing else, I’m determined to continue singing aloud when I’m doing projects. Apologies, Roger and Sam.
- Continue to keep family and friends in the foreground. What I’d like to do more is visit long-time friends throughout the globe.
- Make time for special gifts and any day gifts for people I love. You can’t beat the any-day gift as it is given without expectation. I learned this from my friend Mary Ann and try to stay on top of this one when and where I can.
- Creatively document life through art, photos, and writing.
- Keep the home improvement project list manageable and extend the time line from 5 years to maybe 10 years to avoid burnout and disappointment. The project list for Crockern Farm is at times daunting, so I’m busy making lists of the list as a way to have it seem more bite size.
- Avoid lying to myself. “These heels don’t hurt.” Or, “I’ll only have one glass of wine tonight.”
- Be scared – and brave – more often.
- On a daily basis, rediscover my purpose and joy.
- Remember the happy and the half-full glass in all things. Throw in a daily belly laugh for good measure.
- As both of us will turn 50 this year, perhaps we’ll acquire a telescope and peer at the stars nightly. I know I’d like to stand on a mountain above the clouds this year, too.
And so there you have it, a humble list to kick off the New Year. What appears on your list?