The New January

It feels like I’m about to get a New Year do-over.

We’ll be leaving the sunny skies of southwest Florida tomorrow morning and heading home to Michigan, where I hear a fresh covering of snow awaits us. I haven’t seen snow - or felt cold winds or seen gray skies - for almost seven weeks. It’s possible that I’ll go directly into shock, or at the least into an emergency case of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Interventions may be necessary!

Spending the entire Christmas and New Year holiday in this vacation-like atmosphere was a bit strange.  I’ve spent the past six weeks lounging around, eating in one restaurant after another, reading, watching movies, shopping, and generally not participating in “real life.” Most of us kid around about wanting that kind of freedom from routine and responsibility, and yearn for the day when we can shake off the chains that bind us to jobs and relentless responsibilities. But I’m here to tell you, contrary to Mae West’s famous quote, you actually CAN have too much of a good thing.

At least, that was my take on it. Maybe I’m just not old enough for the retirement lifestyle, but I got a little bit bored of it all. Well, not the sunshine part. Never that. But the nothing to do part? Yeah, that gets a little old for me.

 I head home tomorrow with some mixed feelings (not looking forward to that white stuff on the ground) but generally excited to get back to my house, my routines, my activities (Classical Bells! Paul’s Players!), and most of all my FRIENDS. Goodness, how I’ve missed you all.

So February is feeling a little bit like the New January to me. This is the month I hope to get into gear and get down to work on my plans for 2017.

What might those be, you ask?

First, and most importantly, I’m happy to announce a new book, Life Goes On, scheduled for publication on April 10, 2017. This one will follow the same format as Life In General -  a compilation of blog posts from the past three years.  I’ve decided to continue gathering my posts into a traditional written format every few years, so that I can keep them together and also share with my friends and family. I’m excited about doing this and also about sharing it with you.

I’m committed to remaining politically active, and have already joined some local groups to that end. I especially hope to work for change in the 2018 local elections, and increase my awareness of what’s going on in the political sphere. I want to play a part in how this turns out in the history books, so when my grandson someday asks me what I did during the Trump regime, I’ll have something concrete to tell him.

All this sitting around the pool and eating in restaurants has left me feeling heavy (in more ways than one!) I’m embarking on a healthy eating and exercise program when I get home, because I’d like to lose the extra pounds that have gathered around my midriff during these lazy days in the sun. I’m committed to cutting back on carbs, sugar, and alcohol for the month of February, and adding in walks and workouts at least three days a week. 

January was an interesting month. There were so many changes going on in the wider world, changes I was watching from the sidelines because I was here in Florida and away from the familiar people and surroundings that give me comfort. It was disconcerting and upsetting. But it also gave me a chance to sit back and reflect on how I can move forward, how to keep my sanity and make a positive contribution, and how to balance all the events and information that flood into my inbox second by second.

It’s not only a new year it’s a new world. 

So here’s to February. It’s the New January for me.

How about you? What’s on your agenda for February?