Category Archives: Stephanie Barko

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 follow her on Facebook.