January 1 – Auld Lang Syne

by Stephanie Barko

The first of January is a day to relax and share with friends. Not a typical day in any sense, there are usually rich appetizers, spectator football, old friends and new acquaintances involved.

I, for one, never get any goal setting done or grandiose plans made for the year on January 1st, but I never feel guilty about it either. Perhaps my ease at feeling comfortably lazy on New Year’s Day lies in what has gone on the previous week.

December’s last week contains both a death and quick estate settlement. It is simultaneously a funeral for the current year and a mad dash to discard, recycle, repurpose, and donate everything that doesn’t fit in life anymore. The lighter you go out of one year, the more you can bring into the next, so for me, the last week becomes a game to uncover what I was too busy to deal with as the year roared by.

There’s the stuff under the master bed that the cats hide in, Jane Fonda’s old steps from her videos I have long since given away. Inside the study’s built-in roll-out file drawers are years of notes I will never use. An upstairs closet houses stacks of low priority mail hastily dumped before company arrived.

Going through what I’ve hidden from view suggests a chance to capture some opportunities I may have missed as well, like soon-to-expire class action claims and equipment rebates. While embracing these chances at wealth, my mind begins to wonder what else I gathered in during the year and failed to acknowledge.

How did my spirit meet its challenge to go for more joy? Did my family and community get larger and broader or smaller and deeper? Has the business infrastructure I put in place paid off in my career? What were the benefits of redesigning my food, fitness and health path? Have I been fearless enough to learn what I needed to know?

Before writing goals for 2011, I decide to first recognize what remains (or not) of 2010. What sense of fullness and satisfaction can I name that came with the past year? What must I jettison before leaping into the New Year? What or who is it that I will port over to 2011?

Have a talk with yourself and comment below with your answers.

Stephanie Barko is a 2010 Book Publicist of the Year Nominee. Her articles and reviews have been published in Western American Literature, Roundup Magazine, San Francisco Book Review, and the Texas Book Marketing Directory. Blog with Stephanie at http://stephaniebarko.com/and follow her on Facebook.


12 responses to “January 1 – Auld Lang Syne

  1. Hi Linda – here visiting!

  2. In 2010, I kept a journal of my veggie gardening work. Lots of fresh food from the garden, good exercise from the work, and good learning from the journal. I’m going to carry that over into 2011, hoping to learn even more. Thanks for your post, Stephanie!

  3. I expanded my circle in 2010 by starting a writing circle. I have been honored to meeting this group of talented women and connect with them regularly. In addition to our monthly meetings three of us have formed an informal critique group. I am taking these things into 2011 along with an intention to connect more with other writers. We can all learn from each other. Thank you for a thought provoking post, Stephanie!

  4. I promised to write more and hopefully be kinder and will move that with me into the new year.
    I would really like to one time do the purge of excess and bless the excess to someone else! Maybe that will work this year! Great post!

  5. Yes, I’m writing more this year, but more importantly, I’m Finishing More Projects. 😉 My theme is completion and it feels good to have that focus. I spend much of New Year’s Day thinking back on all the things I’m grateful for – it’s a long list this year, and Story Circle Network and my friends at the Yahoo!Group (including dear Susan) are high on the list. Thank you for being such an important part of my daily life!

  6. Stephanie this was a great post…thought provoking and helpful…I have yet to come up with my decisions, gonnas or whatever we call these resolutions….I will use the questions you pose to help me get them in order…Once I do I feel a blog post coming on…will share with you then…..

  7. Stephanie what a lovely post! Thanks for giving me pause. It is now the second day of 2011 but for me it is the first chance to stop, take a deep breath and reflect. (I worked both New Yr’s Eve and Day – 12 hr shifts) So, on this, the first day for me to transition into 2011, I have used the morning to get REorganized. In 2010, I embarked on a plan to become more involved in a volunteer capacity with several worthwhile community causes. For 2011, that will be a prime focus for me. And, in 2010, I vowed I’d blog more — but alas, that was a goal I would not achieve… So, I am taking it with me for the new year as well – with a fervent commitment to do so this time for sure!

  8. Great post, Stephanie, and provided me with ideas for the next new year’s day, which, of course, is every day. Good things for me to try to help me get rid of this clutter. I can use all the help I can get!

  9. This was great Stephanie, and as mentioned, certainly thought provoking!!
    It definitley was a busy last week of the year, and many of my intentions to begin purging excesses, set goals etc. got lost in family, flu and cold!!
    Now that I am on the mend, time to get to work!! Lots to go through, clean and think about; hmm, something else that should be on my list, LESS PROCRASTINATION!!
    Topping my list is getting more focused with my writing.
    Thanks again for a wonderful post!

  10. My approach is to choose ‘evolution’ over ‘resolution’ in 2011 and beyond—selecting a vital few life goals to progressively improve each year. In Decembers, I hope to celebrate the baby steps made toward my big girl choices.

  11. Stephanie, your post was a great start to this new blog. My primary resolution for this new year? To write every day. Anything. If my head is about to hit the pillow and my hand hasn’t yet tapped out a paragraph on the keyboard or put pen to paper, I will scribble in the dark, even if it’s just a remembered bit of dialogue from the day or what I ate for dinner. Also, to take greater advantage of SCN’s resources!

  12. Pingback: July 4 – A One Woman’s Day Thank You | One Woman's Day

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