Pastel New Year 2 via Billy Alexander stock.xchng.com
My mother always says the way you ring out the old year is how you’ll spend the new. When I was younger, there was no sense of relevance to her words. New Year’s Eve success meant you were out with at least one other person, paying cover charges to enter night clubs and enjoying price gouging restaurant meal packages. Sometimes it would be a night of socializing and fun. Other times it would spiral down to end-of-the-year drama, arguments or tears. Back then, New Year’s Eve failure was being at home. That’s right—all or nothing with no middle ground.
Now I’m more mindful of the energy around me as I ring out each year. Celebrating is more than noise in a room and random revelry on a dance floor. My take on her wisdom is to count the spirit of anything you do on December 31 and the immediate days following. It is doing something totally different for you…it can be large or small. Making that move alerts the universe that you are ready to dance to a different beat in the upcoming year.
My Simple Starts:
Keeping in Touch – Do you have friends that you think about often, but haven’t caught up with in a while? No time like the turn of a new year to send them a note or put in a call. I sent out a few e-mails yesterday as a means of checking in. I have a few more cards to send, notes to write, calls to make and lunches/coffee chats to set up. I’m making a goal to have consistent touch bases at least once a month this year so the dust bunnies aren’t able to settle in.
Positive Energy for Others – I had lunch with a dear family friend. This friend moves into the New Year with a surgery looming. In the battle of cancer, she’s fighting a third visit and an air of raw fear hovers over our hearts. There were things she said. Things she didn’t say. If you have a spare moment, send up thoughts of comfort, peace and health for her.
Mindful Spending – Following lunch, my mother and I rambled our way over to Target to make an exchange, pick up some cordless phones that she needs and price check some items we’d purchased before Christmas. Leaving Target, we agreed to roll to a new super Walmart down the street to check pricing as well (including for the phones we just picked up) and buy some grocery items (Target had a few, but they were pricey).
I’ll admit to having an instant agitation I feel when walking through the Walmart doors. Maybe it is the garish lighting. Maybe it is the layout. Maybe it is the temperament of some of the staff and other shoppers I’ve encountered. Yet, I make myself go in because I can’t deny the significant savings on certain items and these are savings of dollars not just cents off on individual items from what grocery and drug store chains provide. And that’s cash to go in my gas tank.
Active Writing – Jeff Goin’s has launched a 31 day challenge for writing. The rules are simple: write 500 words each day in January. They can be blog posts or a specific writing project you are working on (book, short story, essay), but e-mails, tweets and the like don’t count. If you are a writer, you write. The words build upon each other until each project is done. Then you write some more.
I’m doing this challenge for discipline. Oh, I’m a goal-oriented gal and can make plans and get stuff done. I’m also a realist and get that out of sight or kicked off schedule for me can equal staying off schedule, having plans pile up and then goals forgotten. I just dug out my 2013 goals list and the properties say it was created on January 1 and last modified on January 27. The good news is from writing down the goals and plans to achieve them, I organically did hit some. The bad news is I let life get in the way and I didn’t check back in with the list in any consistent manner to catch what had fallen.
There’s Always Time for Dancing – Once home last night, I surfed the cable guide to see what the best network shows would be to see the Times Square ball drop. My eyes locked onto the Michael Jackson 30th Anniversary Special being shown on VH1 and I sang along and boogied for an hour. That’s a concert that never gets old. I settled on watching Carson Daly chat about all things music and pop culture and then caught replays of Beyonce and Mariah’s Vegas concerts and danced into the early morning.
What are you doing to ring in 2014? Are you a resolutions maker? What would you like to approach differently this year?
Those are great ways to ring in the new year! Staying in touch with friends and being there to support them are important for all of us. Let me know how you do on that writing challenge. Sounds like a more relaxed version of NaNo. I’m ringing in the new year by hanging a giant calendar over my desk with my business plan schedule on it. Looking forward to a more productive year!
Marcia, I should have added ringing in the year wearing a mask so you avoid getting the flu. The fun is that it passes and that a high fever sparks a cool (crazy) level of creativity. The active writing has been steady for me so far, though it has taken on different forms and has included some revision from online classes I’ve been taking. I borrowed your calendar idea and picked up a mini-inspirational one to chart progress on my writing goals. Something about physically crossing off tasks feels good.