I love that we have a ‘season’ for starting over, so to speak. It’s funny that it comes on the heels of a time that we spend remembering. The holidays give us a reason to reflect on things, to remind ourselves of the events of years past. We gather with loved ones, and suddenly all the old feelings come back….some good, some not-so-much. We somehow fall into our old roles in the family dynamic, and some of the issues that we struggled with through the years are staring us in the face once again. However, as we gravitate to those we love this time of the year it reminds us that there are those in this world that we will love, and who will love us, no matter what we say or do.
Then, to balance this time of looking back, we make a 180 degree turn and face forward, looking toward a New Year. We resolve to do things better, or start new things, always in that quest to improve ourselves. And it can be a helpful, healing thing to take a personal inventory. It has helped me learn my limitations. For example, I no longer resolve to lose weight beginning January 1. Too much pressure, and by January 5th, I’m polishing off a bag of Oreos. By myself. However, I love taking this time of the year to organize, purge and figure out how to simplify things. This has become a necessity, as caregiving has become more complex, and dropping the ball on the important stuff is not an option.
So today, I began with the refrigerator….as I was cooking our New Year’s dinner. It made sense at the time: We would need room to put the leftovers in, so the assorted mustards and jellies that I’m sure we bought when we moved here in 2003 had to go. It was so liberating to decide what we no longer needed. Unfortunately, my friend Guilt was helping me sort through the stuff, and she kept saying over and over: “why didn’t you finish this mustard/jelly/you name it before you bought more?” “Why were you so wasteful?” I had no answers for Guilt as I continued my purge.
Eventually, I was rewarded with a beautiful, uncluttered refrigerator, and a New Year’s resolution that had never occurred to me before: to use what we have before we buy new. Maybe now Guilt will become a still, small voice until she finds something else to remind me of. And I have a goal to accomplish in the New Year.
I would love to know what kinds of New Year’s resolutions you are making, if any. Is it something you renew year after year, or something new?
I hope the year 2014 is everything you want it to be!!