Fresh and New

I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, mostly because I can’t seem to keep them.  I used to resolve to lose a little weight, spend less time worrying about things I can’t control, take better care of myself, and eat a healthier diet.  Secretly, I’d also hope that the new year would be the one where my writing career finally took off, and I’d get a nice big contract for one of the children’s book manuscripts I was trying to get published. 

Sadly, none of those things actually happened, at least for very long.  I’d diet for week or so, and then go right back to my love affair with all things sugary or fried.  I’d still worry far too often about far too many things.  The only children’s book I ever managed to publish was sold to an educational publisher for a one-time payment of $2,100…..and the check came three months late.  (If you Google “rich and famous children’s book authors,” my name does not appear on your screen.)

Still, there is something about a new year that feels like a fresh start.  It’s not that the previous year was a bad one, because in my case, it wasn’t.  I was able to travel again, which meant visiting friends and family I haven’t seen since before the pandemic began. My husband’s scans and blood tests revealed the wonderful news that his cancer is still gone.  We finally got the floor in our back family room leveled, and my husband began his partial retirement just last month.  (Never mind the fact that so far, he seems to believe that being partially retired means working lots of overtime.)  

But whether the previous year was good, bad or a mixture of the two, starting a new year always seems like a good thing. I see my house with new eyes once the Christmas decorations are packed away, and I always recognize a few things I’d like to change.  And while I might not make major changes to my diet, once the holidays are over I do stop having Christmas cookies for dessert after every meal.  I no longer write children’s books, but I do write a blog (yes, the one you’re reading) and I’ve come to enjoy that very much.  I don’t get paid, but it is a creative outlet and it’s put me in touch with some wonderful people from all over the world.

So instead of resolutions, I’ve decided to start the new year by simply appreciating whatever gifts the previous year brought and being willing to make at least small adjustments that could result in a better year ahead.  It’s my way of trying to embrace the best of the old and carry it on into the new year, while letting go of the things that it’s time to leave behind.  Because a new year can represent a chance to look at things in a new way, without all the baggage we accumulate through the years.  I guess that’s what “seeing through the eyes of a child” means….  

Happy New Year, everyone!

111 thoughts on “Fresh and New

  1. That is a great way of looking at things Ann. Appreciating what you have and being present in the moment is the way to go. Take the time to communicate, appreciate and celebrate. The rest will come. Happy New Year. Looking forward to reading your posts in 2023. Allan πŸŽ‡πŸŽ‡πŸŽ‡

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So much wisdom here. Love your conclusion: “I’ve decided to start the new year by simply appreciating whatever gifts the previous year brought and being willing to make at least small adjustments that could result in a better year ahead. It’s my way of trying to embrace the best of the old and carry it on into the new year, while letting go of the things that it’s time to leave behind. ” I ought to do the same.

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  3. I appreciate your post and the encouragement to enter the new year with appreciation and thankfulness for the gifts of the year before instead of focusing on those big resolutions that are unrealistic and difficult to keep! πŸ™‚ Adorable photo. Happy New Year to you and yours, Ann!

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  4. Hey, Ann Coleman is the richest and most famous children’s book author I’ve ever visited with! πŸ‘πŸ˜Š AND she has the most adorable grandchildren EVER!! Happy New Year, Ann, to you and yours — for the whole year, I hope! 🌷

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  5. Ann, Blessings to you all for 2023! Stay safe, healthy, & happy! I enjoy reading your blog. IΒ’m a 68 yr old single lady living in a multifaceted nursing facility in Kansas City, Kansas. IΒ’m on the assisted living wing. IΒ’ve been in this facility for about 2 years so far. Almost 3. My 1 yr anniversary up here is Feb 1st! Happy New Year!!! Stay safe, healthy, happy, & Blessed!!!

    Sent from Mailhttps://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=550986 for Windows

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  6. This is a lovely post, Ann. Perfect for New Year’s Eve. I’m right with you on not making New Year’s resolutions. It’s partly, as you say, because I can’t stick to them. Having said that, I did make a post-Christmas resolution, which is to lose half a stone, as I’d gained the weight over the festive season. Too many mince pies and chocolates! I decided to join Weight Watchers (I don’t know if you have that over there). I’m on day two now, and so far, so good. Early days, but I’ve done it before, so I know I can do it again. Wishing you and your family (and Finn) a very Happy New Year. X ✨

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Ellie! Yes, we have Weight Watchers here too, and it’s a very good program, encouraging people to lose weight slowly and in a healthy way. Good for you for going on it! My habit of eating too many Christmas cookies (I love them) has added some pounds this year too, so I’m going to have to get rid of them….I don’t want to have to go buy the next size up in pants! Happy New Year to you and your family!

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  7. Keep sending out those manuscripts! You just never know. I’m so happy about your husband. What a relief that must be. I personally love your writing; typically I only follow food blogs. Blogging is a nice outlet, whether it’s good writing like yours, or writing about a cheese you ate in France, like mine! Here to the happiest of New Years!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Mimi! What a kind thing to say. And I have to admit that yours is the only food blog I follow. But that’s because yours is so well written, with detailed (and often easy) recipes for delicious food that I wanted to follow it even though I’m just an average cook. Happy New Year to you and yours!!

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  8. A resolution toward gratitude can power beautiful eddies of forward motion. Perfect post, perfectly timed.
    May all your days be jolly, and bright! Happy New Year, Ann! πŸŽΆβ„πŸ§πŸ’–πŸ’

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  9. Another great post. I do not do New Year’s resolutions, but prefer to critique myself daily. As you can tell, I am not a writer, but I enjoyed writing little books for my new grandson. That is such good news about your husband. Cheers to a new year.

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    • I agree, why set ourselves up for failure and guilt? It’s better just to decide to do the best we can and be grateful for what we have, I think. I hope you and yours have a terrific New Year!

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    • Happy New Year Ann. I can relate to the lose weight or eat better resolutions never working. And I never really made any goals before like some people are writing about. But this year I did write down a few small goals. One of them is to get a story published in a magazine. I do want to publish a book too but taking it one step at a time. As for you writing children’s books it’s great that you got one published. If I were you I wouldn’t drop the idea entirely. It’s sounds like a genre that you enjoy. Best of luck in the New Year.

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  10. I am also not one to make resolutions Ann. I totally agree as well that the start of a new year is synonymous with a sort of clean slate. Even if things have to be carried over into the new year I hope there are fresh eyes and a renewed sense to accomplish and move on.

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  11. I related so well to what you wrote, Ann. I’ve also been waiting for my career to take off, but it’s good enough for me. That’s because touching people in a big way is more meaningful than reaching more people in a smaller way. It helps me to see it that way.
    And the resolution to diet is looming over me. I love your positive attitude and will let some of that rub off on me. Wishing you all the best in 2023! I always enjoy your posts.

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    • When I first started this blog, I made the decision that my goal was to write something that at least one person found meaningful, rather than to pursue a huge number of followers. Because like you, I’d come to realize that it’s much more important to touch even once person in a big way than to touch thousands in a very superficial way. And trust me, your blog is a blog that makes a difference…. You are touching people in a very profound way. Happy New Year!!!

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  12. Happy new year Ann. Love your attitude of gratitude and you’re right, a new year is like a fresh start. New perceptions. More opportunities. May 2023 be filled with all the things you love and many happy moments for you and your family. πŸ’—

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  13. What a sweet picture!! Her bow! I’m going to skip resolutions this year. I used to pick a word as β€˜my word’ for the year, but that sounds kind of limiting. I think I’ll just keep keeping on after this tough year. I love what you said about appreciating the gifts we have. Sounds great to me. Happy New Year.

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    • Sometimes keeping on is the best thing we can possibly do, and it takes more strength and courage than we ever thought it would. Luckily, you have both of those qualities in spades. Happy New Year, Jessica!!!

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  14. 2022 was a year of travel and a year where I got COVID after dodging that bullet in 2020 and 2021! For me the year was pretty good and much better than several other’s. I’m hoping 2023 is filled with adventure and good times! Happy New Year Ann!

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    • I got Covid for the first time this year too, but I was so lucky that it was a very mild case. I also hope next year is even better…it feels so good to be living a more normal life again! Happy New Year to you and yours!!

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  15. To gaze upon the faces of our children (and grandchildren) is to gaze upon the Face of God. You have clearly done that, Ann. It shows in the way you view life, in the way you live it and all the things you do, including blogging. Happy New Year, my friend.

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  16. Hi Anne, I don’t make resolutions, but last year I chose a WOTY. That was a fun and not-so-confining way to focus on making little tweaks and changes to my lifestyle. Regardless of the word I choose to guide me, the goal is always the same – balance. Dividing my energy among the things that matter is the truest way I know to achieve happiness and contentment.

    I am glad I discovered your blog this past year and have enjoyed reading your words of wisdom. You always inspire me with the depth, yet simplicity of your writing. Congratulations to your husband on his semi-retirement and being cancer free and cheers to 2023. May it be all we make of it.

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    • I just finished reading your post about WOTY, and I think “more” was a very good choice! I’m very glad I discovered your blog, too…it’s interesting and inspiring. And it sounds as if you had a wonderful holiday season! (Isn’t making photo books about significant events fun?) Happy New Year to you and yours!!

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  17. One of the great myths of this time of year is that the new year represents a ‘clean slate.’ It never does. There always are unfinished tasks, incomplete projects, and such that carry over from the past. I finally began to understand that as a good. Who’d want to have to start over every single year? Instead of “starting anew,” I like to think of re-committing, and that sounds a good bit like what you’ve written here. Best wishes for a satisfying, happy, and healthy year, Ann!

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    • Exactly! It’s not a clean slate, but it is a chance to reassess, and think about what we want to continue and what we want to leave behind. It’s even a chance to realize that it’s past time to finish some projects that we’ve neglected in the past year. Of course many of our problems from the previous year will still be with us, but we can at least react to them a bit differently. That’s why I think resolutions aren’t the way to go, but intentionally assessing our lives is. Plus, that way I don’t have to feel guilty about eating cookies….. Happy New Year to you!!!!

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  18. Happy New Year Ann! Like you, I am not one to make New Year resolutions but a brand new year brings with it, the opportunity to give thought to starting anew. Wishing you a wonderful 2023!❀️

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  19. Happy 2023, Ann! I’m impressed with the payment from your children’s book — I’m embarrassed to admit how little I made from my debut mystery. Perhaps we’re supposed to be consoled when they tell us writing isn’t meant to be lucrative … but gee, who wants to go to the poorhouse?!

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    • Yeah, it’s very hard to make a living writing. When I took classes on writing for children, I was told that the average advance for a children’s book (I wrote mostly for middle grade children) was somewhere between $5,000 and $7,000. If the book sold well, you might get additional checks too. But I sold mine for a much lower one-time fee. So I guess what we think of as a good payment is rather subjective? I think the only authors who get really big advances these days are the ones who are writing best sellers…it’s actually gotten harder to get published, which is why so many are deciding to self-publish. I think that’s a good thing, because it opens the doors to so many good books that would otherwise never make it into print! And Happy New Year!!!

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  20. Happy New Year and yes thanks for the New Year when we get to feel like we’re starting over 😊. Regarding writing children’s books, every try self-publishing on Amazon? Your little one is adorable πŸ’•.

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  21. What a beautiful way to look at it, Ann. I’m glad there were lots of positives to your 2022, especially the news of your hubby still being cancer-free. I guess I’ve lost a lot of hope for the future because so much is gone or not possible, but I still appreciate that refreshing feel of a new year.

    I’m still going to cross my fingers that your writing career will take off and you’ll come up on the Google results for “famous awesome author”, but at the same time I think you’ve already won. You’ve already achieved more than most by having written what you have. Some people dream for a lifetime of writing a book and never even write the first page (people like me). I think you should be proud, regardless of what does or doesn’t happen thereafter.

    Wishing you & yours all the very best for a bright New Year! πŸ₯³ πŸŽ‰
    With love and best wishes,
    Caz xxxx

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    • Thank you so much, Caz! Honestly, if this blog is the last thing I publish, I’ll be happy. It wasn’t the writing career I had dreamed of, but it has been satisfying. Sometimes things really do work out, just not the way we had imagined. I hope you have a wonderful and healthy new year!!! And I look forward to reading more of your blog….

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  22. Happy New Year Ann! I made a New years Eve resolution many many years ago that I have kept. And that was not to make New Years Eve resolutions. But I do agree, the new year seems to provide a fresh start and perspective of hope, encouragement, and optimism. I hope 2023 brings you good health, happiness, and prosperity!

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    • Ha! I love that resolution! It reminds me of when I was young and our church had a sunrise breakfast on Ash Wednesday. So every year, when I was deciding what to give up for Lent, I chose the Ash Wednesday sunrise breakfast…… Happy New Year!!

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  23. Well, having written what I just did you know that I don’t do resolutions, having decided to go in an opposite direction entirely. I like the idea of January 1st being a brand-new day that allows for a fresh start to the year, so I’m there with you about appreciating what is right in front of me. Happy New Year, Ann!

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