New Year resolutions started a month ago

IMG_6022“Happy New Year!” conjures up memories of bubbles floating to the top of non-alcoholic wine in colored stemware, party hats, and noisemakers ushering in the new year while watching the ball drop in Time Square from the comfort of our living room. New Year’s Day is spent curled up on a couch with a notebook rewriting our lives with resolutions to become better people in the coming months.


For me, this year was very different. When my supervisor told me our shift was working on New Year’s Day I realized there was no reason for me not to work. Celebrations to usher in the new year with goals and plans to move ahead seemed counter productive since I basically started that over a month ago.


The changes began in October when I got back from Nigeria. I had decided my work schedule needed to change, as well as my pay grade. Weekends off were a rarity in retail, and weekends were when my husband was home. For a few weeks I tried to accomplish those goals through changing positions within Home Depot, but nothing worked. Drastic measures were in order.


I put in an application for a job that would give me longer shifts, the ability to work fewer days in a month, and weekends off every other month, and I got it. Another benefit of the job is the schedule is already prepared for the next 12 months. I can actually plan farther ahead than three weeks out, which is a huge benefit where my book is concerned.


Another goal I had set for myself during my last days in Nigeria was to begin journaling again, both so I don’t forget who I am and to process this wonderful life as it happens. I have had a love affair with words my entire life, and writing in journals has helped me through many tough phases over the years. Being faithful to my creative sanity has been the last thing on the list, so let’s just say I haven’t written in journals consistently for years. My jumbled brain can attest to the insanity that has caused.


I have started filling two blank books with my own handwriting. I haven’t gotten very far, but beginning the process has already made a difference in my frame of mind.


Decluttering my life a little and organizing my possessions is also on the radar. Each day following my return from Nigeria one thing was either thrown away, donated, organized or fixed. That worked very well until I started working 12 hour days. I still keep it in mind, but the tasks are assigned on my days off.


During Advent I also began the habit of getting up 15 minutes earlier to read a Jesse Tree Advent devotion. I was hoping to continue the morning habit, alternating with some yoga stretches. We will see if I can pick that up and keep it going.


I guess the point of all this is that New Year’s resolutions can happen at any time of the year, whenever we need to make a change. It’s nice to have that annual marker where we can take a look at the last year to see how we are doing, but life does not always wait for us. Any time we choose to rise to the occasion of life can be the beginning of a new year.



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