On the Brink of a New Year

“New Year’s Day. A fresh start. A new chapter in life waiting to be written. . . . Today carve out a quiet interlude for yourself in which to dream, pen in hand. Only dreams give birth to change.” –  Sarah Ban Breathnach

Lately I keep seeing articles and blog posts about preparing for 2016.

  • Releasing 2015
  • How to find your “One Word”
  • Deriving a theme for 2016
  • Making resolutions—or not

I’ve already derived my resolutions, and as usual, they are not much different than last year’s. I’ve decided not to beat myself up about this. It is good that I know what I want and that I keep trying.

I think this year my One Word will be “Create”. Because if I want my dream life, I need to create it. I need to create a sanctuary at home. I need to create a writer’s life—my writer’s life. I need to create written work. I need to create a more fit body so I can fully enjoy traveling with my husband.

To finish preparing for 2016, I asked myself, “What do I want to change in my life?” and “How will I do that?” Clues for answering this arose when I thought about recent experiences I’ve had and how they made me feel.

Early in December, my sister and I went on two holiday housewalks in one weekend. We enjoyed seeing beautiful houses all dressed up for the holidays, including the interiors. However, two days of this may have been too much, because I came home with house lust–a yearning to live in a bigger, custom home in a beautiful setting.

I could sit here and be envious, but it’s better to be inspired instead. After all, do I really want the indoor and outdoor maintenance needed for a home like that? Do I want to have to clean such a house or to pay someone to clean it?

Given the opportunity, I’d trade my house for one of these. But what I most like about them is the spaciousness. If I get rid of clutter, my house would feel serene and spacious, too. This is something I am inspired to work on in 2016.

Another thing I’ve noticed lately is that a couple of friends made derogatory remarks about women who are not employed. The remarks were said lightheartedly, not with malice, but I found them hurtful. I’m not employed for pay and such remarks are partly true about me—I’m not as productive as I could be.

And I’m guilty of occasionally making similar thoughtless remarks. A friend created a beautiful homemade Christmas card for my family, and I said, “She has too much time on her hands.”

Isn’t that true of me, with the time I spend on social media? With my collecting papers and constantly having to sort them and clear them out? These are timewasters I can cut back on this year. And the lovely woman who created those homemade cards is making art. By taking the time to create these cards, she is showing people she cares.

I am envious of another friend who has the ability to make her food look beautiful. This is a meal Rachell prepared for herself (skirt steak with black bean and avocado salad):

rachells skirt steak with black bean and avacado salad

Photo from Rachell Ross Kitchen, who blogs at http://www.levelup2thenextphase.com

And this is a dessert she prepared for herself (poached pear):

rachells poached pear

Photo from Rachell Ross Kitchen, who blogs at http://www.levelup2thenextphase.com

These also are works of art—and Rachell cooks like this even when eating alone. I can learn from her to savor my food and “eat with the eyes” as she says, rather than to gobble my food. I can be inspired by her to create beauty in my home. I can learn from Rachell to treat myself with care.

We need to learn from each other without envy. Being envious indicates that we think we couldn’t do what the other person is doing. But if we want to badly enough and have confidence in ourselves, we can. We need to decide what we want. Let’s live our lives the way we want to while being inspired by others.

Happy New Year to you!

What are your feelings about recent happenings in your life? What would you like to change in the new year? How will you do that?

About Susan Ekins

Freelance writer and blogger at Women Making Strides. Interested in personal leadership and empowerment. Wanting inspiration and to inspire. Leader in church ministries. Blog: http://www.WomenMakingStrides.com/ Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/WomenMakingStrides1
This entry was posted in Beauty, Goals, Holidays, Inspiration, self-care and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to On the Brink of a New Year

  1. nanciec13 says:

    Thank you for your honesty–it is an inspiration to me. Blessings in the new year!


  2. “We need to learn from each other without envy.” – This resonates with me. I say I’m not envious, but, oftentimes, I realize that I am and that I can work harder, with a softer heart, at learning from others.
    Clearing the clutter is definitely on my list, and, I am starting THIS year, with some sorting and tossing of those papers you mention.
    Happy New Year to you and yours, Susan. I enjoy your posts. They always make me think and take a closer look at life and at myself.


  3. Great post! And though it’s a bit hokey to make New Years resolutions, this is a great time of the year to assess our life and to think of ways to change things so as to improve our experiences of living. And I say “Amen” to getting over envy. This is one of the most common “sins” of women, who often feel powerless to change their lives. We CAN change. No need to feel envious of someone else!


  4. Thanks for the beautiful photos to inspire me – and your authentic words to let me off the hook! Happy New Year Sue.


  5. Estela Hammond says:

    Thanks for your inspiring words. Sue. I get rid of stuff not being used but that is probably because I gain some items to use for granddaughters visits. It is a balancing act. Have a Happy New Year.


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