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My big fat New Year's superstition

This is not a long-held superstition, nor is it one passed down by generations of family members (unlike the "shoes on a table is bad luck" thing, which is TOTALLY the result of generations of my mother's family). It's one that I developed myself over the past half dozen years or so, and it is a simple concept:

I believe that what you do on January 1st sets the tone for the year. Therefore, if I want to be a person who writes a lot, I need to make time to do some writing on January 1st. If I want to cook more, I need to cook something. ("Something" on New Year's day means a pork roast and sauerkraut, based on long-held and family-bred superstitions, again from my mother's family.) If I want to read more, I need read. If I want to be a decent housekeeper, my house has to be clean by then, and I need to do a wee bit of tidying as well.

It's all very simple in theory, and not necessarily difficult in practice, but it does take being really conscious of choices on January 1st. And, I suppose, it means being really conscious of choices on the 2nd, and 3rd, and 4th as well. But come Saturday, my house will be clean and relatively tidy, the pork roast will be cooking, and I'll be spending some time reading, some time playing music (piano or guitar), and some real quality time on Scrivener, working on my YA novel, which is now about 28,000 words in length and just under the half-way mark as far as planned chapters go. (Okay, promise not to laugh? I'm on chapter 10C. Because I planned for 23 chapters, and then my characters did stuff after chapter 10 that I didn't plan for, but that totally makes sense, so I added chapters 10B & now, 10C - I'll fix it all later. It's okay if you couldn't keep that promise not to laugh.)

Over the next few days, this will be me. Only without the cheerfulness, or the long hair/up-do, or the frilly dress, or all the vermin:




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Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
amyklv
Dec. 30th, 2010 04:30 am (UTC)
I love this idea that January 1 sets the tone for the year, and now I am going to think more carefully how to spend those hours. Thank you! Happy writing...cooking...cleaning...2011!
kellyrfineman
Dec. 30th, 2010 05:23 am (UTC)
I have operated under this particular belief for the past three years. The first year, I only made it a point to write a bit on the 1st, and I got a lot of writing done that year. The last two years, I've added some other things in there - and while not everything sticks, some of it does. It all has to do with mindfulness, I suppose. (I'm extra-superstitious this year, since I didn't get around to something I planned on doing last January 1st, and it pretty much didn't occur AT ALL this year. Freaky!)
robinellen
Dec. 30th, 2010 05:52 am (UTC)
I like that idea :) Last year, of course, we were traveling on January 1st...but I did read most of the way home ;) Not sure what will be happening this time, but I probably will be cleaning (sometime this weekend).
kellyrfineman
Dec. 30th, 2010 07:11 am (UTC)
It's an idea that has power because you have to consciously take/make the time for the stuff you want to be your priority. (Of course, for it to work, you have to KEEP doing that throughout the year . . . )
jeniwrites
Dec. 30th, 2010 01:19 pm (UTC)
I have been thinking about this throughout the week, as Sarah Dessen has mentioned it in the past, too. My plan is to start the day by writing, and to also exercise and make a home-cooked meal. I, too, will probably tidy up my home. It seems like I'm forever picking up toys, so I'll probably have that goal down, no problem.

Just out of curiousity, how do you make your pork roast with sauerkraut? My mother gave me a bottle of her homemade sauerkraut for Christmas, and pork roast with sauerkraut sounds delicious.
kellyrfineman
Dec. 30th, 2010 10:20 pm (UTC)
I cook the sauerkraut on the stove and the pork roast in the oven. I don't cook them together, although there are recipes for such a thing (similar to an Alsatian choucrout garni). I usually make mashed potatoes, too. Because I love mashed potatoes. NOM!
(Anonymous)
Dec. 30th, 2010 01:44 pm (UTC)
tanita says:
Sorry, lovey, but we all had a big smile about the 10C...

I'm so glad you're writing this week. You're giving me the impetus to gird up my loins. Eventually.
kellyrfineman
Dec. 30th, 2010 10:21 pm (UTC)
Re: tanita says:
I love the phrase "gird up my loins". And I knew you'd laugh at my 10C, but it gives me the illusion of control. If I started calling 10B & 10C "11 & 12" just now, it would mean that the end is getting farther away (at 25 instead of 23), and I'd start to panic and feel adrift and aimless. This way is working well for my sense of control, even if it might be illusory.
lillpluta
Dec. 30th, 2010 03:28 pm (UTC)
I have this same superstition. It also applies to Mondays.
kellyrfineman
Dec. 30th, 2010 10:22 pm (UTC)
I never thought to apply it to Mondays. Can't decide if it would be a good thing or a bad thing to do so. *ponders*
p_sunshine
Dec. 30th, 2010 08:29 pm (UTC)
Ooh! I like this concept. Is it bad that I plan to implement this while slightly hung over? ;^) Happy New Year, darlin!
kellyrfineman
Dec. 30th, 2010 10:22 pm (UTC)
"Slightly hung over" just means you partied the night before - it doesn't mean you intend to be hung over all year.
p_sunshine
Jan. 2nd, 2011 04:43 pm (UTC)
True! And I ended up skipping the hangover alltogether, so... win! :)
arialas
Jan. 1st, 2011 07:09 pm (UTC)
I totally agree! My friends have a lovely tradition of having an open house every New Year's Day. People go over (still in pajamas) to hang out, eat food, watch movies, and play board games -- Stacy & Gian want every new year to begin with their friends and community, which I love. We're heading over later today, but right now it's a pot of Darjeeling tea and a manuscript followed by a walk in the woods.
kellyrfineman
Jan. 1st, 2011 10:01 pm (UTC)
That sounds lovely. I hope that Marisol makes it home soon, which would make this the happiest of new years for you, I'm sure.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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