Happy New Year!

Grr. I still can’t figure out how to move photos, or I’d put a photo of me naked, dancing around the New Year’s Bonfire with elves and angels … Naaah, I’m too tired to go with the fantasy. It’s seventeen below right now, but at lest there’s no breeze. It’s been so freaking cold this week that I’ve barely left the house, and I’m used to the weather. I remember one Christmas when the thermometer dipped to minus 42 (but then popped right up to a balmy minus 36). I’m like the logger in the old song. I wear a hat at 10 degrees, at zero I button up my coat. But this stuff is nasty.

But I had a glorious Christmas, my kids are doing very well indeed, my grandchildren are fabulous – they probably initiated FaceTime more than half a dozen times this week – last night Ali fell asleep talking to me.

So it’s the new year, end to a horrible year, which followed a terrible year (remember how we all said 2016 was awful). Signs are not good for 2018. We have to stay strong against injustice, kind to everyone (even the people who don’t deserve it) and good to ourselves because right now life is a challenge given the state of the world, both natural and political. Apparently kindness makes the kind person happier. I’m generally a kind person, and I’m happy. Not necessarily proof – when I’m not in a depression I tend to be a happy person. Years ago (I’m thinking around 1960) I was in the library at Valley Road School in Princeton, and I had a miserable cold. Just awful. And I sat at the table and thought, instead of always noticing when I’m feeling awful, I’m going to pay attention to when I Don’t have a cold, and enjoy that. Pretty advanced thinking for someone in sixth grade, but I’ve tried to do that whenever I could. It’s a better way to live, when you can do it.

We’ve been picking words again to symbolize our coming year. Last year mine was “glide.” It wasn’t soar – that was too much effort, and I didn’t need to soar. I needed to glide peacefully on the breeze, smooth and free. It was a good pick.

Oddly enough, this year mine is “celebrate,” and it goes back to that day in the library. Each day when my kids are okay, when no one is sick, when the sky is bright blue, when the cats curl up next to me, when I’m writing, sewing, baking, cleaning, singing, shopping, sleeping.

Bad things happen. There’ve been many occasions this year when I’ve simply had to take a break from the news and the horrible things that are happening in our country. But I can still celebrate while I fight the good fight, and I can celebrate the fact that we’re not taking freedom for granted any more, that we are energized and involved and not just ignoring the terrible things the Fat Cats are doing. There’s good everywhere.

So choose a word. Sometimes it’s simply endure. Or comfort. Or laughter. Or growth, light, learn. Try for something positive rather than simply reactive, and remember it as you move through the year. I promise you it will help.

Okay, ante up. What’s your word?

15 thoughts on “Happy New Year!

  1. MJ says:

    My daughter asked if I’d picked a word for 2018, and since I couldn’t remember what I’d picked for 2017, I said, nah, gonna skip that.

    And then a few hours later my brain clanged: “CLEAR.”

    Clear out stuff. Clearly state what I want. Clarify my vision. Clear my path!

    So I do have a word, but it picked me.

  2. Change.

    I went through such a horrible period awhile back, and before that was menopause, and because I was raised to just suck it up and do it, I never really changed how I did things through all that even though my brain chemistry changed with menopause and my worldview changed with the emotional crash. But now everything around me has changed again (for the good, finally) and I’ve changed even though I tried to ignore it, so it’s time for me to embrace the fact that the world needs a new me as much as I need a new world. So starting today, I’m going to change everything I do: the way my work is organized, the way my house is organized, the way my mind is organized. I’ve made so many decisions and stuck to them even though everything else changed . . . time to make it all new again. I cannot go back to where I was before, and I don’t want to.

  3. Brussel Sprout says:

    My word is engage – engage with new people and places, engage with ideas and concepts, engage with change. I’m popping in to new place of work tomorrow, and then Weds/Thurs, will do longer days with first major meeting on Friday. Then it is full-on from Monday.

    Another word for me this year is authenticity. I want to be an authentic leader with clear integrity, honesty and compassion. Wow, big stuff.

  4. Carol says:

    My word is discover. I’m having a big birthday this year and not only do I want to make sure I remain open to possibilities, I want to make sure I go out and find them.

  5. Office Wench Cherry says:

    2018 gets two words: Finish and Stillness.

    Finish because I have issues with that. I don’t like it when things end. I know they have to end for new things to begin but I prefer to leave something undone. It’s an annoying personality quirk.

    Stillness because I am very rarely still, mentally if not physically. I’ve learned one of the ways to manage my depression and other mental issues is to not give my brain much of a chance to get the upper hand and that means lots of distraction. For instance, as I’m writing this I’m also watching Deadpool and watching the dogs play. There’s always a running commentary in my brain, I’m always telling myself stories. I need to learn how to be still and quiet because I think my brain needs the rest, I know I do.

  6. KimM says:

    My word is turn.

    This last year had a number of upheavals/changes/unpleasant events that smacked into me, and I spend too much time grumbling and obsessing about the events/what it did to me/ blah, blah and blah. So what I’m going to do it turn it around, look outward, look for the bright side, turn my “why me” attitude to the OFF position, and turn my back to what I can’t fix and move on to what I can.

  7. I’ve discovered I have one, too: explore. Which is about taking the pressure off – letting go of trying to produce something, and just focusing on enjoying exploring – especially with a camera or notebook, since they help me to slow down and explore in more depth.

  8. My word is PEACE. After all the death and illness and upheaval in my life basically since 2014, in addition to the state of the world and the country, I’ve been without peace for at least 3 years. It’s time to change that. So I’m breaking out Sara Ban Breathnach’s Simple Abundance daybook and my gratitude journal–a brand new flowered one–and I’m going to focus on peace. Life is good–my kids are back, I’ve got a book contract with a great publisher, my job is going well, Husband and I are strong and healthy. Peace…

  9. Jill says:

    I think my word(s) are going to be ignore and play. Like the ostrich with its head in the sand. A total cop-out-I know. Ignore as much as possible the chaos that is our government. And enjoy the trips we have planned for the summer.

  10. Alis says:

    I really struggled with this because so many words have baggage for me, and in the end I was talking it out with my husband who suggested reprogram. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I need to accept that some of my programming was lousy, but the people that did it aren’t doing the programming anymore. So, this year I will reprogram my responses, bury my PTSD reflexes in the past with their triggers, say yes instead of no, embrace bigger things instead of agonizing over tiny failures, and see undertakings as possibility for good instead of guaranteed punishment for having the audacity to try.

  11. Gina Black says:

    Enjoy! That’s my word for 2018. It means taking time to smell the flowers for one thing. It’s kind of like your *celebrate* in that it forces a positive outlook–which I generally have–but it helps with that focus. So, even the things that I don’t usually enjoy (laundry, paying the bills, etc.) I want to find ways of enjoying…

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