Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Results (and mine) - New Year's Resolutions...

Uh-oh.  New Year's is on the horizon even though Christmas has not yet passed.  I'm not skipping Christmas, it's just this year Christmas seems so commercialized.  Maybe it always has been and I've turned a blind eye to it.  My son wants for nothing from his parents, grandparents, or Santa Claus (that's for sure) but the gifts between my husband and myself have been partner purchases.  We've somehow lost the element of surprise for each other in the hustle and bustle of making Christmas amazing for our son.  Which truthfully, is fine.  He is by far the one we should focus on.  But, I celebrate Christmas for religious reasons so if you want a lovely retelling of Christmas, visit your Bible.  The story is found in Matthew and Luke (Matthew 1:18-25; Matthew 2:1-12; Luke 1:26-38; Luke 2:1-20.).  The prophecy is found in Isiah 7:14.  This is where the Christmas story should be read, not here on my blog.

And, back to New Year's...

I've always wondered what people really resolve to for New Year's Resolutions.  I mean, there is always the standard of losing weight and getting in shape.  Please.  I can't count the number of people that never pans out for.  I did do this last year, but it was not a resolution and I didn't start the process until well into the New Year.

Last year I admittedly fell short in my resolution last year.  Mine was to write everyday.  It did not happen.  As a new writer trying to balance the idea of this career and another, plus being wife, mom, and teacher (and of course that nasty workout goal), time just fell short.  But this year I hope to make a better resolution for myself (still writing of course), and keep it.

So before I expound on the history of New Year's Resolutions, might I inquire what yours are?  After sharing this request on the illustrious Facebook, here is a compilation of resolutions my friends would like to bring into 2011:

Home Improvement
Less yelling
Become more fluent in my Spanish
Learn enough German to not look silly on our trip
Cook more...learn to enjoy it
Keep in better touch with lifelong friends
Read more (some have an organized list of books)
Watch more movies (also with an organized list)
Organize my digital photos and create photo books that are past due
Special time with children, especially one on one opportunities
Better job
Get in shape
Take over the world in six days (a hefty goal!)
Take and Cherish each day .."One day at a Time"
Watch less crap TV (I like this one)
Learn to time an engine (courtesy of my husband)
Lose weight- again
Not to break anything important... (courtesy of my dad who is nursing my mom back to health after a shattered elbow accident while recovering from surgery himself - they are a pair!)
To write more. A LOT more. :)
More time to paint, quilt, and garden
Lose the baby weight
Do more for myself without neglecting my family (from a mom no doubt - do we ever pull this off?)

And one of my personal favorites because I'm not sure the sender can pull this off (with love):
Be nicer to stupid people. They can't help it.

That's a long list folks.  Why do we make New Year's resolutions?  The practice dates back to 153B.C. when Janus, a mythical king, was placed at the head of the Roman calendar, the same calendar we use now (with some small modifications).  Janus was said to have two faces: one being able to look back and the other being able to look forward.  It is said that at the beginning of each new year the Romans envisioned Janus looking back on the events past and making decisions (our resolutions) for the New Year.  New Year's traditions are different throughout the world, but in addition to resolutions, the United States is known for the midnight kiss.  The kiss shared at the stroke of midnight comes from masked balls that have been common throughout history. As tradition has it, the masks symbolized evil spirits from the old year and the kiss is the purification into the new year.

If you'd like to read more about New Year's traditions, not only ancient ideas, but customs in other countries, the full article I've paraphrased about can be found here.

What are my New Year's resolutions this year?  Many are contained in the list above.  I find it interesting how so many people have the same ideas, not just the regular things like losing weight, but common bonds like reading and writing, art, gardening, and family time.

So it is with great energy that I pledge my focus to 2011.  This year I resolve to be more patient (with my son, my students, myself, and even the stupid people from the comment above), to write more (enrolled in a writing class that started today and I'm working on the HW tonight!), read more for myself and less of what others think I should read (four books are stacked on the night stand as I type and not one of them are on the school's required reading list), laugh more - I want to see the humor in things, the light side of the equation when there is one, up my devotional time (I'm using The Busy Mom's Devotional by Lisa T. Bergen) so I can revel more in the blessings God has bestowed upon me (my wonderful husband, my beautiful son, and my fantastic family and friends), and last but not least, enjoy being me (I assure you, this is harder than it sounds).

The list is long my friends and many are things that take time to accomplish, but none are impossible.  I think New Year's is a time where many people look at themselves in the mirror, really look, and ask 'how can I make this better?'.  I know I do.

And the beauty of this time honored tradition:  if you screw it up or ruin your resolutions (much like I did last year), another New Year's Eve will come along and you can kiss your special someone at midnight and start all over again.

Happy New Year to one and all - enjoy 2011!
Auld Lang Syne by Robert Burns 

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne!

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pu'd the gowans fine,
But we've wander'd mony a weary fit
Sin auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl't in the burn
Frae morning sun till dine,
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin auld lang syne.

And there's a hand, my trusty fiere,
And gie's a hand o' thine,
And we'll tak a right guid willie-waught
For auld lang syne!

And surely ye'll be your pint' stowp,
And surely I'll be mine,
And we'll tak a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne!



Should old acquaintances be forgotten,
And never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintances be forgotten,
And days of long ago !

For old long ago, my dear
For old long ago,
We will take a cup of kindness yet
For old long ago.

We two have run about the hillsides
And pulled the daisies fine,
But we have wandered many a weary foot
For old long ago.

We two have paddled (waded) in the stream
From noon until dinner time,
But seas between us broad have roared
Since old long ago.

And there is a hand, my trusty friend,
And give us a hand of yours,
And we will take a goodwill draught (of ale)
For old long ago!

And surely you will pay for your pint,
And surely I will pay for mine!
And we will take a cup of kindness yet
For old long ago!


  1. Ah, so many! To finish the current manuscript -- and maybe the next one! To learn how to write faster. To carve out standard daily/weekly pockets of writing time -- make up my mind whether it should be early morning or late night (instead of oscillating between the two, and writing ALL THE TIME or NEVER). To keep working hard -- but not to ruin my mind and body in the process.

  2. I understand the time dilemma - that's my biggest struggle. I'd like to start one manuscript. I wrote one for awhile and lost the story line, have to get back into it...