I love making new year’s resolutions at the beginning of the new year. The holidays, as wonderful as they are, always leave me tired, overfed on all the wrong foods, and longing to live normally and more simply again. In the words of Bilbo Baggins, I feel like “butter scraped over too much bread.”
When the new year arrives, I am relieved. On some level, I remember that I hate January because it traditionally comes with the worst weather of the year. But I can ignore that because January is a fresh start.
In January, the calendar is blessedly blank. Salads are fresh and lemony after a month of holiday foods. My tired body is eager to ease into a yoga practice. Staying home with a book is much better than going out. My wallet finally gets to relax. It is time to re-center. I may have detoured in a wild forest of frosted Christmas cookies and overscheduled days, but I’m ready to be back home.
I think everyone needs a fresh start sometimes. I detour from the person I want to be, and the new year is time for me to reflect on who want to be, who I was intended to be, and reorder my life accordingly.
If I’m not careful, I can detour into Bridget Jones territory. Bridget always begins a new year with a new diary and new resolutions. “Everything is going to be different! I will be skinny! I will be career focused! I will not die alone and get eaten by wild dogs!” At age 21, I related strongly to Bridget, craving the glamorous life I was sure was lurking around the corner. At age 38, I still relate more than I care to admit, but I’m no longer looking to turn into someone else each new year.
I want this to be the year where I fall in love with my life. I’m not an in-the-moment person. I’m an in-the-middle-of-my-task-list person, fully absorbed in micromanaging my own life. I’m not terribly impressed with the state of my career, and I’ve been disappointed in myself for decades now for not completing a novel yet. I spent so much time focusing on the areas where I feel inadequate that I miss the beauty of my own life.
I have a beautiful life. I have a blessed life. I have love, meaning, a wonderful family, a beautiful home, a job that provides what I need, a church, and opportunities. This year, I want to be more in love with my husband, to be more generous and loving with my family, to appreciate my cozy home more, to notice the beauty in the world, to find more meaning in my job, and to get to know my friends better. In some ways, this blog will be a tool to help me do this.
I also want this to the year that I fall in love with writing again. I have wanted to write a novel since I was nine or ten. This is the year to put aside regrets and do what I love.
I also want this to be the year that I speak up at last. Like most women, I’ve been raised to be nice, to be concerned with how other people think of me. I believe firmly in the importance of being kind, but I’m over being nice.
With the new year also comes my new blog. I loved my last blog, but I wanted more flexibility with the template, and I was starting to feel like I had outgrown Blogger after 10+ years. I’m no longer a young girl typing out sarcastic rants to the blogosphere. I’m nearing middle age, and I have a better idea of who I am and what I have to say.
Fifty-percent of The Cat’s Meow will be book related, mostly book reviews with some lists and essays to balance it out. The other half will be the personal blogging I’ve done for the last 10 or 11 years, with light-hearted content like favorites lists and silly stories about my pets blended with more personal memoir-type writing and also some travel writing. I have a blog calendar, which is new to me, and my goal is to post once a week.
Thanks for following me to my new blog. I wish you a happy new year, full of peace, blessings, good books, time with loved ones, and opportunities to do good. And may your voice always be heard.