Monday, December 31, 2007


It seems every time a new year rolls around, I tend to think back on the past, wishing in a lot of instances that I could have "do-overs." Isn't that what New Years resolutions are all about. We know we can't change what's been done, but it eases our consciences to think we can prevent making the same mistakes again. I've been known to join the tradition of those who write out their list of resolves, thinking that doing so will make this coming year a better one—only to give up on most, if not all of them, by the time the year's half over.

Recently, I've been eating chocolate like crazy. I do it to assuage the guilt that comes from realizing I was going to lay off the sweets a year ago in order to develop a healthier, handsomer body. But my resolve didn't last long, so in the back of my mind, I hear voices saying. "Come New Years day, we are going to quit putting chocolate in our morning coffee. We are going to get more exercise. We will lay off the fudge and ice cream." My answer to those scheming voices? "All righty, then. We've got one more day to down all this scrumptious Christmas candy and birthday cake."

Yep, come January 1—ohmygosh! that's tomorrow—we'll try once again to get back on that diet we started last year. The getting on isn't so hard, but like in bull riding, my trouble is staying on for the 8 second ride (or it's equivalent—8 weeks would be a record, I think.)

So maybe not. I think this year I'll forget all resolutions save one. I resolve to be kinder to myself by putting down the whip of self-flagellation and enjoying life, minute by precious minute. I'll do what I can—what I want to—with love in my heart and laughter in my voice. I'm going to strike certain words from my vocabulary...words those voices in the back of my head tend to harp on, even when I refrain from saying them out loud. "You gotta, you oughta, we should! You should've, could've, if only we would've."

No, I've decided that at my age, it's time to admit I'm fallible, that I won't always do everything perfectly, won't always be on time with all the work I lay out for myself, won't remember everything I'm supposed to remember. Like Al Franken's "Stuart Smally" (remember SNL?) I'll say, "and that's okay."

Life has been very good to me. I am surrounded by loved ones, and new and wonderful people come into my life all the time. I will allow myself to be blessed by them and accept their love and kindness to me with a heart full of gratitude. That is my resolution for 2008. I think it's going to be a very good year.

P.S. I don't mean I'll quit working, because I love what I do, especially the writing. As I come to the closing chapters of the second book of my trilogy, I'm hard to pull away from the keyboard.

I wish a very happy, be-kind-to-yourself New year to all of you.


Janet Grace Riehl said...

"I will allow myself to be blessed by them and accept their love and kindness to me with a heart full of gratitude."

Yup...kindness...gratitude...good qualities to focus upon...and, jumping off the perfection wagon.

Janet Riehl
(The other/another Janet)

JAYRAE said...




Angela said...

I was blessed to read your blog on resolutions before getting my pen out to write what is usually a long list -

Setting ourselves up for failure happens when there are a multitude of resolutions, each needing it's own focus and energy. How can we truly love and accept ourselves ~ or accept the love and kindness of others ~ when being full of the "should have's and could have's," lacking self-acceptance?

It's a very deep concept, with it's beauty being in the simplicity and truth of the power of our thought(s).

Mary Cunningham said...

Beautiful post, Janet. But, give up chocolate?? It's GOOD for you! Espcially my favorite, the dark kind.

I, too, am going to focus on the positive this year. Which will probably mean ignoring news shows and newspapers all together. How do we balance being "informed" with being "disillusioned?"

One thing I'm working very hard on is to be more tolerant and kind.

Have a wonderful 2008!

Janet Muirhead Hill said...

Thanks for the wonderful comments. I wish a positive and prosperous new year to all.

As I read Janet Riehl's comment, I'm reminded of how important an attribute gratitude is. Maybe it's the most important attitude of all, for without gratitude for what we have, how can we be in the right frame of mind to accept more? Without being grateful for who we are, how can we "jump off the perfection wagon," and grow personally?

Jayrae, you're right. It's going to be a wonderful year. I plan on visiting western Washington, you, your mom and brother next summer so I can see and hold my first great-grandchild. Yahoo!

Thanks for your insightful comments. You are so right. We can't truly love and accept ourselves, and thereby, love and accept others fully, if we are ever dwelling on the "Should'ves"

Mary, I love the dark kind of chocolate best, too. You must be right that it's good for me. If not the body, at least the spirit.

You pose and interesting question about being informed versus being disillusioned. I don't know the answers. And sometimes I think that most of our news sources delude rather than disillusion us. And how much does it help to be "informed?"
Like you, I plan to focus as much as possible on the positive, and make a try to make a difference when I can in the places I see need, and in the lives I am able to touch with my writing.

By the way, yesterday I looked at your website, ( again. Love it. Great job.

Janet Grace Riehl said...

Janet, I wanted to let you know I'm participating in Eric Maisel's "The Van Gough Blues" blog book tour. I'm day two, and our conversation on connection is now posted. I think you'd enjoy it...some information there to help you support your resolutions.

Janet Riehl