Another Ghost of My Blogging Past

I have spent the day wondering what I would write about in my next post. One topic brewing relates to the word ‘fair’, but the topic is still cooking and needs more time to simmer.

As I flipped through various  news stories and headlines, I started noticing more and more ‘year in review’ headlines. While scanning the blogosphere, I am seeing an increase in posts related to resolutions.

Christmas day has come and gone, and Hanukkah’s 8th night is tonight. After today, all eyes will be on New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, gym memberships, and a rebirth sought through resolutions.

Well, I won’t play that game.

Though I may try to stay awake until midnight on December 31st, I have no grand plans for ringing in the new year. I am not joining a gym, and I am not making any resolutions.In fact, I am not going to create a new post for today. Nope. Instead, I am going to re-post what I wrote on January 4, 2011. Yep. Twice in one month, I am repeating a post.

Frankly, the timing is pretty good. My friend is returning home tonight, after spending Christmas with her husband’s family. Her tradition changed this year, and I have not forgotten that fact.

So, this is a new year, eh?*

It is the start of another week, and the end of the year holidays have come and gone. I can feel myself exhale, as I slip into the comfort of a routine. And, though the calendar indicates a new year has started, today seemed just like another day on any given year.

Though I have found comfort in the familiarity of my routine, I know several people that are trying to adjust to their new routine this new year. Specifically, my heart is heavier when I think about my friend, Andrea HT. Her mom died the day before Christmas Eve – the day before her Mom’s birthday. Having just returned home, after spending several weeks with her Mom before she died, Andrea is in the midst of finding a new normal. And, as one might expect, her new normal – frankly – sucks.

Here’s the thing, I want to address my friend’s struggle. I want to acknowledge that she is forced to find a new routine. I want to mention the fact that while so many people are thrilled to have the hustle and bustle of the holidays behind them so they are able to return to their routine, others are struggling to create a continued hustle and bustle to avoid a new and changed routine. Though losing a loved one and starting a new year are two very different things, the pressure to ‘change’ is the same.

How many of you have resolutions for this new year? How many of you have made a deliberate attempt to make it to the gym or make better choices with your eating habits these past several days?  And, how many of you have done these things because of the ‘new you’ hype of the new year? Why?

What is it about a new year that makes us feel we need to renew ourselves? Unless you die during the overnight hours, isn’t the fact that you lived to see another sunrise reason enough to renew yourself? Can we not renew ourselves daily? Why do we insist on changing our lives at the start of every new year? If you want to change yourself – do it. Don’t wait for a new year celebration before you ‘resolve’ to do better.

And, you know what? If you don’t want to change yourself, that is OK, too. Unless you are battling a life-threatening addiction, harming yourself or someone else, or involved in some other life-threatening situation, what’s the harm in doing today what you did yesterday? What’s the harm in liking yourself as-is, no improvements required? Do you really need to lose an extra 10 pounds? Unless you are morbidly obese or battling a health condition, I’m guessing your so-called ‘extra’ 10 pounds are not a big deal. Let it go. Exhale. And, realize you have just as much potential today as you did yesterday, regardless of the year.

Typically, I create new posts on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Well, I’m late this week. So much for starting the new year on schedule. But, that’s OK. The world is still turning. Besides, you were too busy starting your new year’s resolutions, so you didn’t have time to read my post.

Andrea HT – take your time. Go as fast or as slow as you want to go. As long as you continue to put one foot in front of the other, you are doing fine. And, should there come a time you don’t want to put one foot in front of the other, call me. Love you! Mean it!

*Originally posted on January 4, 2011.

To lighten the mood and before you head off to the gym to snag a treadmill, I encourage you to check out PegOLeg’s post “Garcon, Treadmill for One!”

38 thoughts on “Another Ghost of My Blogging Past

  1. Perhaps there should be a collective exhale around midnight on New Year’s Eve. And the world will keep on spinning…………thanks for this perspective, enjoyed it!

    1. D.A., I checked out your new blog, and you are about to embark on a great challenge. Here’s to you reaching your lofty goals. Go for it!! Oh, and welcome to the neighborhood. Thanks for stopping by this place.

  2. I’m so sorry about your friend’s loss – horrible at any time of year, but particularly during the holidays and special dates on the calendar. I hope she was able to enjoy happy and fond memories of past Christmas celebrations with her mother.

    I agree with what you’re saying about resolutions. The only sense I can make of people making changes effective January 1st is that having a “hard and fast’ date helps them keep from procrastinating any longer. Lame explanation, but it’s also my personal excuse. As it happens, I don’t have any resolutions for 2012 except that I’m not buying any Christmas presents before 12/22/12, if you catch my drift. Did you see this Freshly Pressed post? I think it’s hilarious:

    I loved Garcon, Treadmill for One!

    1. I accept your excuse, AA. (smile) Thank you for your kind words about my friend. She had a nice Christmas this year, which made the bitter pill a little easier to swallow, I think.

  3. I’m not even going to shoot for midnight NYE. I have to work at 6 am on Sunday. I’ll be lucky if I’m up to 11. I don’t make resolutions but I am shooting for good things attached to rough feelings in 2012.

    1. I’m rooting for your shooting, Kim! Here’s to good things attached to rough feelings. Though can we forgo the rough feelings for good feelings? Maybe? Perhaps?
      Why do you have to work on Sunday? That is just wrong!

  4. I’m with ya about the new year and resolutions; David and I stuck to our regular routine.

    Still, there are changes since I lost my husband in Aug. This was my first Christmas without him … the new year won’t be the same.

    1. Oh Maxi – my heart goes out to you and David. You are correct, the new year won’t be the same without your husband. I hope you are able to find strength in family, friends and memories. Though I realize, nothing beats the real thing. Hugs, Maxi.

  5. I write an annual review of the year that’s gone by, because I like to have that abbreviated timeline of my life. I wrote mine a little early this year, for posting on 12/31. In its initial drafts, I took several shots at explaining why this is one case where I like looking back but don’t care to look too far forward. Like you said so perfectly here, every day is a chance for rebirth and renewal. I refuse to tie that to a single day of the year, even if I do use that day as the semi-arbitrary marking point of when I look back on the year past.

    1. Thanks, Deb. I think people put too much stock in one day, and then they become hard on themselves when the feel as though they have ‘failed’. I appreciate you taking the time to read this post. Happy New Year!

  6. Lenore, I enjoyed the ghost post. I have had major changes in my life, and the past year has been one of many, many ups and downs and big adjustments. I don’t make resolutions, but usually do take a look back at the year as the new one approaches. Every day, it seemed, was a struggle in creating a new normal, some of which was good.

    1. Here’s to more ‘normal’ and fewer challenges with the new year, K8. I find the pressure people put on themselves regarding new year resolutions ends up leaving them depressed. Take it day by day – sleep when you can – and write when inspired. (That last request is a selfish one, I admit.) Thank you for visiting, K8. I am glad you enjoyed the post.

  7. This post came at the right time for me. You know how I feel about resolutions in general. Too much unnecessary pressure! I have never understood New Year’s Day to begin with…it’s just a date on the calendar to me, and always has been. I completely agree that you can make big changes any day of the year (or not, if you choose!)

    I am so sorry about your friend’s loss, Lenore. Thank you for reminding us what is really important in life.

  8. I don’t believe in looking back unless the view is really worth seeing again.

    Thoughtful post, LD, and my sympathies to your friend and all who are bereaved at this time of seasonal “joy.”


    1. I agree, MJ. Well, I try to agree. (smile) When I am feeling sad, I tend to look back and harp on the struggles in the past. Thankfully, as I get older, I am having to go back super far to find gunk. Pretty soon I’ll be so old I won’t remember any of the gunk. (Smile)
      Thank you for reading the post, MJ. I am glad you found it thoughtful. I appreciate the kind words about my friend, too.

  9. It’s funny; I usually do use 1/1 to make resolutions, but I rarely take a look back at the past year. Wonder why that is? I hereby resolve to sit down this week, quietly, and really think about where I’ve been and where I want to go.

    ps Thanks for the shout out, and I really hope this year is a little easier for your friend.

    1. You are welcome for the shout-out. You hit the nail on the head.
      If you’ve made it this far without looking back, Peg – then keep on moving forward. No need to change what is working for you.
      Thank you for visiting.

  10. You’re a great friend, Lenore Diane. I hope Andrea is embracing this new phase of life. It’s a hard phase, but one most of us will endure at one time or other.

  11. “Isn’t the fact that you lived to see another sunrise reason enough to renew yourself?”
    Can I get an amen? Every day gives each one of us the opportunity to make good choices and to be better people. No need to wait for an engraved invitation!
    Happy New Year, Lenore!

    1. Exactly, SIG! Too much work. Shoot, the exhale alone is exhausting in and of itself.
      Yes, a nice nap is a ‘must’ after the long exhale. I’m going to turn the ringer off on my phone, too.

  12. Even though I feel somewhat differently about New Year’s Eve and resolutions, I loved reading your take on it because it’s thoughtful and written with care as usual!

    I do make resolutions and the beginning of a new year seems like a natural time to make new goals. Maybe it was all those Catholic masses I’ve attended, but I like ritual. Sometimes it helps me make a more effective change or renewal than I could without a ritual. There’s a sort of mysticism in symbols and rituals that can provide emotional closure or release or awakening.

    That said, I do feel that I make goals rather than resolutions. I don’t resolve to become anything I am not. I try to find concrete, achievable actions that will help me be just a better version of me. I know my limitations, too, so I don’t make resolutions like “You will wake up at 7 am every morning!” because I know it won’t happen. But I know I do better with something that will make me accountable and with some way to objectively measure my progress. So I might say “Read 20 books in 2012” because I love to read but feel I haven’t been doing enough of it in the past year or two. If I don’t get to 20 books, I don’t feel bad, because it’s more about the journey and the effort to be better.

    And you’re absolutely right about the idea of making a new effort each day and not just waiting for what might very well be a completely arbitrary milestone. I also agree in the silliness of choosing a milestone just because the calendar and marketing companies have told us to. It has to have a personal meaning as well.

    Maybe part of it is also that my entire life has been divided into semesters and I’m used to constant change in routines and faces. Every four months, I take stock of the previous period of time and think of how I can make my work better for the next period of time. I guess New Year’s is just an opportunity for me to do this on a personal rather than professional level.

    Now I’ll stop before my comment becomes longer than the post! (Note to self: resolve to be less long-winded in comments in 2012!)

    1. I have an appreciation for lengthy comments, Leonore. I’m not exactly short winded.
      Thank you for your kind words. Your point about having your time divided into semesters is an excellent one.
      Here’s to holding to our resolutions and goals for 2012, regardless of the day the resolutions/goals are set. (smile)

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