Sunday, January 1, 2012

Starting over more or less

I always liked the first day of school each year. It was a new beginning that I welcomed over and over. Nothing like a fresh copybook on the desk in front of me to signify all the possibilities of a new year of learning. I thrived on that new start that held so much potential for exciting opportunity.

And today on January 1 we're faced with a new year based on the internationally accepted civil calendar we follow in our daily life. Although many cultures have their own traditional new year customs, whenever a new year is celebrated, it is for the most part a time to reflect on new beginnings.

What is it about human nature that we so enjoy a fresh start? As humans or Homo sapiens, we are wired to be a wise or knowing species. Our self-awareness and rational thinking separate us from other breathing entities, or at least they should.

So as many of you are doing, I'm pondering what opportunities lie ahead for me this year. I won't call these new year's resolutions, though, because most times they are forgotten, and these are things I think about all the time, not just during the transition to a new year.

The clean-slate, school mentality I like also works well for me on the first day of the new year, as it does for many. So here's my opportunity for a fresh start, a clean page in my copybook of life.

Eat less. During the holidays there's an over-abundance of everything good. I know I contribute to that when I make lots of scrumptious food for family. But I'm ready to detox in 2012. As a lifetime Weight Watcher who continues to check in monthly, I am ready to read the requisite new year program I received on December 31st for motivation. My plan is to continue to do the same as always--eat a wide range of foods in moderated portions--but I still like to read up on what's the latest and greatest in the health industry. I acknowledge that I like the lightness of being I experience when I eat only the amount of food my being needs to function in a healthy way. I'll admit I feel like a slug right now and look forward to the lightness of a new year.

Stretch more. Before the holidays I told one of my Jazzercise instructors that she wouldn't see me at her location while I was home for the holidays since I'd be attending class only near my home, "No worry," she said. "You're a lifer." That was nice to hear. I am, in fact, a lifer. I can't imagine not exercising and jumping around for stress relief. I do know, though, that I want and need to stretch more. I miss my yoga, which I didn't make time for in the second half of 2011. I'm going to do my best to fit more yoga into 2012.

Walk more. I'm a walker. I'm a hiker. Note to self: Get out as much as possible. It's too beautiful and invigorating to not make the time. Hubby and I already started on this one today. Yay! It was a great walk and a beautiful day to wish our neighbors a happy new year.

Dream less. Don't get me wrong. I never want to stop dreaming. I just want to be sure to...

Do more. I want to follow through on more of my dreams and ideas. Of course, I'll have to pick and choose, but I think it's important to mix it up to keep things exciting. This blog was one idea I dreamed about before that I made happen in 2011. So now to think about 2012. To have more time for doing, I'll continue to...

Purge more. Little by little, I'll get to every nook and cranny of my life and follow through on opportunities to simplify and keep only those things I cherish most. It takes time, but I'm confident it will get done. When I have less to manage, I'll use newfound time to...

Read more. I'm always reading. Magazines in print, news online, and numerous books started in various states of progress. Sometimes, though, I put off reading books because I know I'll be all-consumed and won't want to do anything else until I finish a book. I recently gave myself the gift of this luxury and started and finished a book one night during my holiday vacation. Yes, I wouldn't go to bed until I finished. So this year, I'm going to strive for more balance along with the goal of reading more books.

Relax more. I like to do things and see people. But I also like down time and being alone. This holiday I've enjoyed a few catnaps here and there, so I want to fit those in more whenever possible. 

Volunteer more. A Girl Scout leader over 25 years, a catechism teacher over 11 years, I've always enjoyed volunteering. But over the years, as work and family has consumed much of my time, I've had to cut back on volunteering to make time for my own healthy endeavors. In recent years, though, I've really enjoyed volunteering with my family through United Way. And hubby had always coached sports and just recently delivered toys to those less fortunate on Christmas Eve. We both agree we again want to fit more volunteer time in our life this year.

Write more. I really like writing and want to make more time for it. And finally,

Enjoy more. I don't think we can ever enjoy this wonderful life too much. There's so much to see and do and appreciate. No time for complacency or getting stuck in a rut. I want to continue to learn, explore ideas, and reinvent myself every chance I can. It's the little things that can mean a lot and I never want to forget that.

As I review my list, I see I've included more "mores" than lesses. A closer look reveals to me that I could have written "Stress less" instead of "Relax more." Maybe that's the "half glass full" in me at play. I like seeing the new year as a chance to start afresh, a do-over of sorts with the potential for more.

And for you, dear readers, here's to wishing you a wonderful year ahead with all the potential for whatever fulfills you and makes you happy.

Cheers! And let me know what you're thinking about for the new year. I'd love to hear.

Until next time, yours in fun and new beginnings...Therese


  1. Therese, This sounds like a great plan! I just got my first kindle book, "The Happiness Project." It's inspiring! My second book is "Eat to Live." I'm just a typical American, I suppose. Wanting to eat less and be happier in 2012. XX Holly

  2. Therese, I love reading your blogs. I can always relate to them and I'll be looking forward to your next one. You are truly a gifted writer. Lisa Somers

  3. Holly, I treated myself to a Kindle Fire for the holidays! I wasn't sure if I deserved it until I read every book waiting for me on my shelf, but I'm thinking about the additional benefit of accessing magazines on the reader. I've been eyeing up "The Happiness Project" myself. Let me know how you like it!

  4. Lisa, thanks so much for your comment. It means a lot to me!