New Year’s resolutions. I love them. A clean slate, fresh start, brand new page to write a brand new history. Every new year is a chance to reconsider life and make necessary changes. There’s only one problem. While we’re thinking about all the changes we need to make, and preparing for a new opportunity to fix what’s wrong, it’s easy to forget all the things we did right and all the things that WENT right in our lives this year.
My friend mystery author Casey Daniels introduced me to Manhattan’s Good Riddance Day in a recent post on The Little Blog of Murder. On December 28th giant shredders are set up by the Times Square Alliance, and everybody who wants to can shred the negatives of the past year. Letters from ex-lovers. Rejection letters from editors (okay, I added that myself), disappointing report cards. If the artifact can’t be shredded, then giant sledgehammers are available to pound it into submission. How freeing to say goodbye to the negative to make way for the positive.
But what about all the good moments of 2009? It’s so easy to concentrate on the things we didn’t accomplish. What did we accomplish that made us happy? What serendipities occurred that were simply gifts, deserved or undeserved, from the universe? What good advice did we pass on? When did we practice patience when annoyance would have been so much easier? When did we NOT forget a loved one who needed us? When did we NOT forget a stranger in trouble?
Here are a few of my own finer moments of 2009.
Discovering that 20 of my older novels will be made into television movies in Germany. This was truly a gift from the universe and completely unexpected.
After more than 10 years of open houses and regretful head shaking, finding the perfect (for us) cottage at Chautauqua Institution to enjoy in the coming years. Proof that even the craziest dreams can come true.
My husband’s six month sabbatical and a chance to spend some of it in Florida, where we both grew up, with family we rarely see.
A year of Southern Exposure and Facebook, and the discovery that both blogging and social networking are a wonderful way to make new friends and get new viewpoints.
Pushing deadlines back a bit to give myself room to breathe and enjoy life.
Introducing the world to the women of Happiness Key.
A fact finding trip to Guatemala to visit social justice agencies trying to right the wrongs of decades.
Now, what about you? Are you concentrating on all the things you didn’t do this year, and all the things you want to change? Why don’t you take a moment and list your 2009 accomplishments. It’s not as easy to be happy with what you did, as it is to expound on the things you didn’t do. Society trains us to be both modest and negative. So break the rules. Take a chance and blow your own horn right here. Trumpet those virtues. Let us wallow in your good luck and enjoy it vicariously.
If you tell us something good about your own 2009 (click on comments at the top right to do so) I’ll enter your name in a drawing for an autographed copy of Happiness Key, whose four major characters accomplish a LOT over the time span of the novel. Just tell us something good that happened to you or that you made happen in 2009 and do it by January 7th. Or tell us a lot.
2009 is nearly over. Let’s celebrate all the reasons we will hate to see it go.