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!