Here it is, a shiny new year.
I love New Year’s Day, and certainly not because of football. I love a clean slate, and what better one than a brand, spanking New Year, complete with new calendars, new notebooks, and fresh new opportunities. No matter what’s happened in the waning days of the old year, January First is a harbinger of possibility and change.
Normally on New Year’s Day I “undress” the house of all its Christmas finery. But this year I let it go another night, and sit here now enjoying the twinkling tree lights and warm glow of candles on the mantel for one last evening. It will wait until tomorrow, or even Sunday. I’ve been breaking a lot of my own rules the past couple of weeks. And I’ve rather liked it.
I’ve been thinking some today about taking care of myself in the months ahead, making sure this caretaker is in good shape, physically mentally, and emotionally. Eating well, sleeping enough, leaving enough time in my daily schedule for rest and reading, not overdoing the outside activities - all these are the things I do to stay sane and that give me the needed energy to handle my duties.
One of the things I need to work on is planning my steps, not just in the wider world but here in my own house. With our bedroom and my office on the second floor, and the library and piano in the basement, I can easily traverse the staircases upwards of a dozen times per day. Now I can no longer ask my husband to make an extra trip up or down - with his bum foot, he’s lucky to get upstairs to bed at night and downstairs in the morning. Our dog Magic does not do stairs in either direction, so he has to be carried - he doesn’t know it yet, but he’s about to spend a lot more time on the first floor. Sorry, buddy. Mom’s knees and hips have to take precedence. And we’ll be putting a complete coffee station in the office on the second floor. We have a spacious master bedroom suite, with a lovely reading alcove, and enjoy coffee there every morning when we first get up. But that means at least two round trips up and down the staircase to the kitchen, so with a coffeemaker upstairs I can avoid that.
Planning my time is also a necessity in this New Year. I hope to build in some time every day for wordplay. Connecting with my own thoughts and sharing them with others always feels important to me, and I suspect will be even more so during this winter when we will be spending more time at home than ever. But making that happen is a matter of planning as well as willpower. During the past couple of weeks I’ve spent less time on social media which has given me extra minutes, but also seems to have calmed my thoughts and helped focus my attention.
Living creatively is becoming my mandate for twenty-sixteen. New ways of thinking about cooking and eating, new ways of doing things here in the house for added ease and safety, new ways of using time thoughtfully and efficiently. New writing projects are in the works, along with a renewed interest in a project I started last summer. Appreciating small moments and enjoying small victories. Filling life with activities that satisfy and warm my heart as much as possible. Taking the time to rest and restore my mind and heart.
Resolutions? Not really. I gave up on that concept a long time ago.
More like aspirations, I think. Guiding lights in the back of my mind that might make the road of life a bit more pleasant to travel. And though it’s a shiny New Year, none of these concepts are new to me. I learned them a long time ago.
But January first is the perfect time to bring them out of the corner and polish them up.
How about you? What are your aspirations for this shiny New Year?