Happy New Year – Why I haven’t resolved anything (yet)

Happy New Year - What shall I resolve?Happy New Year.  I know I’m a day late, but that’s just how I roll (at least lately).

I know the new year officially starts on January 1st – right after all the fireworks start going off.  But to me, the year doesn’t feel like it really begins until everyone is back at school and work.  Until then, I’m just trying to keep all the pieces from falling apart.

(and don’t get me started on the fireworks rant. ugh!)

And I know I’m supposed to have posted a cool list of resolutions yesterday to encourage and inspire.  But I didn’t.  I can’t.  I won’t.

I have a reason, and I have a plan.

This week, it feels like limbo.

Today, my hubby went back to work.  He’s been off since before Christmas.  He’s helped get lots of stuff done around the house.  But he’s also been a bit of a disruptive force.

(my favorite project?  he hung the drapes upstairs.  i finally have curtains instead of giant post-it notes plastered to the windows.  whoop!)

A week from now, the kids will return to school.  I’m so ready.  The weather is gross, and there are only so many hours a day that I want them play video games.  The new Lego projects are built, the budget is shot, and we have an entire week of “I’m bored.”

This week, I’m just trying to keep up with the laundry and kid messes.  I’m trying to purge the kitchen and pantry of all that holiday excess.  I’m trying to get the kids back onto eating healthy foods at regular intervals and reintroducing a schedule.

This week, I’ve already taken down the Christmas decorations and stored them away.  I’ve already made a pile of boxes at the front door for donations.  I’ve already finished a book and a project.  It’s not like I’m slacking.

Ironically, before kids I was all about New Year.

I can remember being so eager for a fresh start that I started on my new resolutions the day after Christmas.  By New Year’s Day I’d have an entire week of healthy eating and exercise under my belt and be well into my daily walk through the Bible.

Back then, I think I was ready for a fresh start and any excuse to have a new beginning.

Back then, I’d be lucky if my “fresh start” lasted until the first weekend in January.

Now, not so much.

I don’t feel the need for a fresh beginning.

Well, more accurately, I feel the need for one all the time.  But I learned that God is willing to give me a new start any time I ask for one.  God creates us anew, renews us, transforms us.  God is the God of fresh starts and do-overs.  I learned that waiting for a day on the calendar is silly.  I can set goals any day of the year and resolve to accomplish them.  I realized the best time to replace a bad habit with a good one is when it’s on my heart – not when popular culture says it’s time to.

So I tend to start my days with fresh resolve and a fresh beginning.

New Year’s Day kind of doesn’t seem as important given that perspective.

I did start the year with cabbage, pork, and black eyed peas.  And lots of corn bread.  Yum.   I’m not superstitious, but I love feeling connected through cooking traditions.

But it’s a New Year.

It still triggers contemplation.  It’s part of a bigger cycle.

Oh heck, it just feels right.  It would feel unnatural to not spend some time in self assessment and reflection.

So I’ve spent some time thinking about how to take advantage of all that “new” energy.  I know first-hand that listing a page full of classic New Year’s resolutions won’t result in much beyond a case of guilt and disappointment.  But I also know first-hand that drifting through my life without goals isn’t exactly good either.

I contemplated a bucket list for the year.  Fifty amazing things (roughly one a week) that I want to do in 2013.  It would make natural blogging fodder, so it was really tempting.

I contemplated a regret list.  Twelve things (one a month) that I regret not doing in 2012 that I want to change.

I decided to look at my current monthly goal setting thing.  It’s working, why mess with it?  It would be tempting to list out a year’s worth of monthly goals and go “ta-da!”  But I know where that would lead.  Yuck.

It would be easy to ignore the whole thing.

Particularly since by the time I actually post my list it would be well beyond January 1st and “resolution lists” would seem tired and old.

But I’m assuming many of you are in the same position I am.  It’s hard to get traction on “new” when the kids are in post-holiday sugar crazed melt-down mode.  It’s hard to think about much of anything until things get back to normal.

So here’s the plan.

Over the next few days I’ll work though my goal-setting resolution-making thing.  On line.  In public.  With snarky editorial comments.

After a few days, I’m hoping I have a list of “stuff” that represents what I want to accomplish in 2013.  If not… well, what’s one more failed resolution between friends?

Tune in tomorrow for a list of resolutions you should never make (or something like that).




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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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  1. Glad to see you back from your blogging break! My boys go back to school tomorrow and I am excited to get back to a routine–I really understand what you mean about feeling like you are in limbo until that happens. You know the Chinese New Year doesn’t start until February 10th this year. I like to give myself until then to get serious about the whole resolutions business.
    Jean recently posted..Mocha in a MinuteMy Profile

  2. Hmm… I think I could be ready by February 10th. I like the way you think.

    I’m jealous that your kids go back tomorrow. Mine have until next Tuesday. Given that we get MLK day off and then a long weekend at the end of the month for teacher inservice, I’m wondering when I’ll feel like I’m actually back to a normal routine.

    Oh wait, this IS normal.

    I enjoyed my blogging break, but I also missed it. It will take me a few more days to get back into the daily pattern of blogging and tweeting, but I’m looking forward to it. I already have tomorrow’s post written. 🙂
    susan recently posted..Happy New Year – Why I haven’t resolved anything (yet)My Profile

  3. You make me feel better- my few Christmas decorations are still up- my hubby just went to work yesterday- I’m focusing on de-cluttering and straightening, a drawer and shelf at a time. I feel too cluttered to think well enough to do the resolution thing!
    Melinda/Auntie Em recently posted..Take Care of Your PenniesMy Profile

    • I’m glad I can make you feel better! I think de-clutering a drawer at a time is a great way to start. I’ve been working though a box at a time for months and I STILL feel cluttered. But it’s getting better.

  4. Happy New year! Maybe my resolution should be to visit more blogs since I have not been very good at doing that lately! I look forward to your posts!!
    Roshni recently posted.."She was asking for it"My Profile

    • Roshni, I need to make the exact same resolution! I also need to do a better job of leaving quality comments on the blogs I’ve been reading. Something about having to squint at those funky letters for comment verification just spoils the fun of blog hopping…

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