Daily Affirmation

The best things in life are free.
The second best are very expensive.
- Coco Chanel

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Wish

New Year's Eve, 2013.  L and I have already been out and had a little dinner at our favorite pizza place.  If you couldn't guess, we're not much for parties and revelry.  I didn't put a stitch of makeup on all day, and I went to dinner barefaced.  And of course I ran into an old friend... Oh well - I think I'm progressing, as I wasn't even properly mortified.  Only just a little.  We had antipasto salads and a medium pizza with "the works."  Exactly what I wanted tonight after all of the rich and fancy foods over the holidays.  I guess it still wasn't exactly lo-cal, but it was true comfort food as one year makes it's exit, making way for the new.

I'm not one to make resolutions.  I have an idea of what I'd like to accomplish, or at least work on, in 2014.  It's a list that wouldn't be an interesting read for most anyone else.  It's a list that will, hopefully, strengthen shortcomings I see in myself, or help me resolve confidence issues.  Help me become more well rounded.  More thoughtful.  More intuitive.  Help me anticipate what steps to take next.

1. Patience.  Need more of it.  Patience with myself.  Patience with family.  There are those family members who are, shall we say, prickly at times to deal with.  I've been known to get extremely frustrated to the point of anger.  I need to stop that, and accept what is.  I need to stop treating the issue like a battle of wills, and just love them.  No matter what.  Because what they don't need is a lecture from me.  A lecture will not stop the behavior, and (although I may be disappointed because something isn't going according to plan) I need to learn how to roll with it and not sweat the little stuff.

2. Spirituality.  Need more of it.  I need to stop putting unrealistic expectations on myself, and realize I just may need a little help here.  Or a lot of it.  Do everything within my power, and then, when there is no more to do (or I'm at the end of my rope), learn to rely on my faith to help me through.  It's never failed me yet, but I am so reluctant to give up my control - the control I never had in the first place.  You see the problem here.  More prayer, more time on my knees, more careful listening for answers.  Not less stress - just the ability to handle it better, accept what is, and try to see the lesson or the plan.  Something.

3. Go the extra mile with confidence.  No thinking that a phone call might not be welcome, or that I might be intruding.  Write more notes, give more compliments, because really - who doesn't like them?  Smile at people I don't know.  Be the first to extend a hand, instead of waiting for an invitation.  And for heaven's sake, don't hide behind a snarky mask when I'm feeling vulnerable.  That's been my favorite go-to when I'm feeling insecure, and it doesn't really show me in my most attractive light.  Not at all.  And call those little ones I love so much, send them cards, and be a happy face in their little lives as much as possible.  Keep up with their fund raisers, their activities, their books read.  That will make us all happy.

So that's it.  The Big Three.  Of course there are other goals - get back on the diet train and lose that last 15 pounds.  Get back in touch with my talents and activities I love.  I used to play piano until (with the last move about 20 years ago) about 14 strings broke.  Make this the year we finally get that baby grand repaired and back in working order.  Get back to playing music and filling our home with it.  I used to paint.  I'm not sure if I love it like I used to, but I'd like to explore it a bit, maybe find a project that interests me.  I've become far too one-sided with work, work, and more work.  Time to clear the table and get out the paints and brushes.  Teach myself some new tricks with my camera.  It takes practice (and patience: see #1 above)  Be better about writing and blogging.  I love to write. 
Sometimes it's hard to sit down and begin, but once I do, the words seem to pour out.  My life is far from extraordinary, but I notice that my favorite writers do tend to write about the ordinary things surrounding them.  It's comforting to realize we all have similar trials, triumphs, and take joy in the same simple things.

We're all just humans trying to get along in this world as best we can.  Some of us pull ahead at times, seeming to have an edge, and sometimes we get knocked flat.  What matters is that we get up and try again.  We take inspiration from each other, we learn to be courageous from watching others struggle valiantly.  We learn compassion from having a hand extended to us when we're in need, so we can, in turn, extend ours to the next one in need.  We behave badly, and we learn better ways to cope with problems.  Always the upward climb in learning and personal growth.  I find that having spiritual beliefs helps.  Makes me feel less alone.  Less helpless.  There is always Someone I can pour my heart out to, who loves me unconditionally, and who knows the real me with all of my complicated issues.  It's comforting and empowering all at the same time.

So Happy New Year - 2014.  It's always interesting to ponder what the year will bring.  2013 brought our family two sweet baby boys.  It brought me reunions with the best sort of friends.  It brought it's share of trials, too.  There are always those, but I choose not to dwell on them too much.  There is only so much I can do about most of them, and so that is where the prayer and faith come in.  Prayer for the wisdom to know when/where/how I CAN make a difference, and faith that we are loved and watched over, and that I can let go of that control I don't have in the first place.  And so as we stand on the edge dividing old and new, I have that excitement that comes with anticipating the unknown.  Knowing there will be hard times and disappointments, and hoping I will handle them with grace.  But also knowing there will be many good times and hidden joys that will be completely unexpected.  Hopefully more of those, as they're much more fun, don't you think?  But having said that, I wish you all the very best for 2014.  Joy, love, happiness, good health - all of it.  The whole banana.  And when the bad days come - as they surely will - I wish you grace under pressure, many helping hands, and the knowledge that you are loved.  Armed with that knowledge, you are ready for anything.  Anything.

Happy New Year.


  1. I'm with you on the Big Three...and learning new camera tricks. Wish all my goals stuck but I seem to run outta steam by February.
    You are a great writer and should definitely work on that.
    Thanks for the good wishes...and most of all the grace under pressure. Right on.

  2. Happy new year, dear karen! This is powerful stuff - all of it. The resolutions you drafted in your mind have become more real and compelling now that you have put them in writing and shared them with us. Your musings reveal a person who is not afraid to take an honest look at herself and to work on herself. Each of us will have our share of good times and bad times in 2014. How we handle ourselves in the midst of setbacks, crises and tragedies is key.

    We must all learn to stop swimming upstream against the current. Doing so depletes our energy. By riding with the current and exerting subtle influence upon it we can eventually steer it in a different direction.

    The wisdom you dispensed in this post can be adsorbed and implemented by all of your readers. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and goals with us, dear friend karen. I wish you and your beautiful, ever expanding family a safe, healthy and happy 2014!

  3. Happy New Year Karen! I wish all the best for you and your family. I know you'll achieve all those goals..they are really good ones to tackle. I guess because they are the same ones I need to work on! I haven't given all my goals a good going over yet...I'm really going to pick a few and work super hard at them...I'll check back in Dec. of this year and see how it went I guess! It's been fun reading your blog this year and getting to know you and your lovely family better. This is year 6 for me in the blogging world and I'm glad I did it! Have a wonderful day!

  4. Happy New Year to you, my friend. Love your last paragraph. Here's hoping you get the whole banana as well.

  5. "Write more notes, give more compliments, because really - who doesn't like them? Smile at people I don't know. Be the first to extend a hand, instead of waiting for an invitation. And for heaven's sake, don't hide behind a snarky mask when I'm feeling vulnerable.. "

    Karen you just seem like a friend... a good one others (me) would love to have. You have an open spirit... and a good soul. I consider it a privilege to know you just a little and to be blog friends! Happy new year my friend... May much love and joy and peace be yours in the year ahead!

  6. Thanks for making me think about the good things waiting for us in the new year.

  7. Happy New Year Karen! I have been neglectful in blog reading. I'm hoping to get back on track; I love your blog and so many others.

  8. I must admit after catching up on several posts it actually made me feel better. I'm not the only one with a life seemingly out of control. I don't know when this train is going to slow down! Loved hearing about all the goings on, and good idea on non resolutions! I haven't yet parted with the kids ornaments. So far they say they enjoy putting them on the tree here. We shall see. I know you are itching to get back to all those sweet grand babies. It's the traveling to and fro that just wears me out. I did look for your DIL in the Sound of Music so I"m glad you had a photo of her all by herself. I kept counting but would lose count and start over! What a beauty and how exciting! Happy New Year dear friend, I look forward to seeing all the fun and joyous things life will bring to you and you will bring to life! Hugs~


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