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The lull between the holidays

Here at my house, I celebrate Chanukah, and my kids celebrate Christmas. I love years like this, where Chanukah is long done before Christmas arrives, since it means I don't have to mix them together: I put the tree up after the menorah was away. In the future - maybe next year, maybe the one after that - I won't bother with the tree anymore, but with this being M's last year living at home, I deferred to her desire to have the tree up. But truly, I digress.

Chanukah and Christmas are now done, and New Year's Eve and Day are still to come. Lots of folks are starting to prepare their resolutions for 2013. All the news programs, radio stations, papers, magazines, and such are making their lists. Top news stories, best movies, albums or books of the year . . . you know the sort.

Those lists can be so much fun to read - to see which things you agree with, and which you disagree with (or have never heard of, in some cases). They can be extremely challenging to write, and I can tell you right now that I'm not going to bother to try.

For one thing, my list of top ten books might be pretty close to my list of actual books read this year - I've been a bit of a slacker. More about that tomorrow, I think. Same goes for top movies of the year (I've only seen a handful). And apart from some news and occasional sports or cooking shows, I haven't watched TV since I started dating my sweetheart. For another thing, as most long-time readers know, I suck at picking favorites in pretty much any category. I don't like doing it.

So that is not what I'll be doing this week, in this lull between the holidays. Instead, I plan on spending a bit of quiet time thinking back over the year - what was good and what didn't quite work, what I'd like to keep doing in the future or stop doing in the future, and the like. I like using this time to assess where I've been, where I'm going, and where it is I'd like to go in the future (which is, after all, a slightly different thing). And by going, I don't mean it literally, although literal going is also included.

By the time the new year rolls around, I expect to have something like a five-year plan in the works. Perhaps not a formal document, but an idea of what I'd like to do now, what I see myself doing in a year, and what I'd like my life to be like in five years. I don't "do" resolutions, but I do like taking some time to assess/re-assess and to consider.

What about you? Do you take some quiet time to think things through as the new year approaches, or is that something you do at a different time of the year? Do you make resolutions? Have any other new year's traditions?
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Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
lizjonesbooks
Dec. 26th, 2012 11:03 pm (UTC)
Quiet contemplation, rest. Resolutions only if I feel strongly about something. Appreciation of light.
kellyrfineman
Dec. 27th, 2012 12:16 am (UTC)
Quiet contemplation and rest sound divine, and are pretty close to what I do. We could all use just a bit more of both things, don't you think?

Do you keep a journal? It's not something I do, but it's something I've been toying with.
lizjonesbooks
Dec. 27th, 2012 12:33 am (UTC)
I don't keep a journal, but I'm big on list making. I've found that if I dump out my head every so often, I'm calmer, and I get more accomplished. I also save old lists here and there, to show me that I've actually gotten things done in the past. ;o)
kellyrfineman
Dec. 28th, 2012 07:38 pm (UTC)
I do the same thing, list-wise!
juliakarr
Dec. 26th, 2012 11:07 pm (UTC)
I like to make lists! And, I like to resolve to do better or different things. That said, it doesn't much matter the time of year to me... but New Year's Day does offer a nice numeric beginning at 1/1. :)
kellyrfineman
Dec. 27th, 2012 12:18 am (UTC)
I love making lists, too - lists for groceries, things to do, etc. But I don't like making "best of" lists, though I do like reading them. And as you may have noticed, when I resolved to re-start my blog, I did it, even though it was getting close to January 1st. So, like you, it doesn't have to be a particular day to start over.
jessica_shea
Dec. 26th, 2012 11:50 pm (UTC)
I love lists and goal-setting. I'm going to post a 2013 business plan + some personal goals tomorrow, and then some reflections on my word for 2013 (balance) on New Year's Day. I definitely do some reflection in late Dec and then again around my birthday in May.
kellyrfineman
Dec. 27th, 2012 12:22 am (UTC)
I love lists (to-do, grocery, shopping, etc.), too - just not making "best of" ones, though I love to read them. Goal-setting is something I usually engage in around this time of year and, like you, around the time of my birthday, and then again around Rosh Hashanah. (I guess that's three times a year, somewhat evenly spaced, since I have an April birthday.)

I don't do the "word/theme of the year" thing, mostly because I have trouble picking a single word that is "best". But I do like both setting goals and writing down what my wishes/dreams are, too.
susancolebank
Dec. 27th, 2012 01:13 am (UTC)
Hi Kelly--

I love making lists, but general lists, ones without finite deadlines (aka, by January 15, lose 50 pounds!, by February 1, finish 100,000 pages!!). I find that writing out what I need to accomplish in a master list helps my subconscious keep track of it, and me glancing at it every so often helps me remember what I'm running out of time to do (aka, running a 5K before they disappear in November).

-Susan
kellyrfineman
Dec. 27th, 2012 03:33 pm (UTC)
I love those sorts of lists, too. Some days, when I feel really unsettled, I sit down and write a completely uncategorized one of all the things that are taking up space in my head - kind of like a "morning pages" idea, only bastardized, pretty much. I write down every possible thing I can think of, which usually settles my brain a bit. And sometimes I go back and create more organized, manageable lists from it. Eventually, I revisit those lists, and take great pleasure in crossing things off!
patty1943
Dec. 27th, 2012 03:05 am (UTC)
I'm getting together with friends and we are going to list what we want to leave behind in the old year (old attitudes and actions like people pleasing, lethargy, being afraid to try new things) read them to each other and then crumple the up and toss. Then we'll write out and share what we want to take into the new year with us (compassion, loving kindness, new attitudes, willingness to try new things, etc.) read it to each other and keep the list. I will also try to figure out what I want to focus on this next year in the form of writing. This last year I let everything and anything get in the way.
kellyrfineman
Dec. 27th, 2012 03:34 pm (UTC)
I think that sounds like a lovely ritual!
bogwitch64
Dec. 27th, 2012 03:47 am (UTC)
I typically don't do resolutions. This year, I am glad to say bye-bye to 2013. There has been a lot of good stuff, but there has been waaaay too much bad. I'm not sorry to see the tail end of it vanish over the horizon.
kellyrfineman
Dec. 27th, 2012 03:35 pm (UTC)
I am sorry you've had such a rough year, Terri. I am hoping that 2013 will be a good one. At the very least, it'll be the year that my younger daughter graduates high school and leaves for college. *prepares for happy dancing*
boreal_owl
Dec. 27th, 2012 06:46 pm (UTC)
My only resolution is, "Never again make a resolution."
kellyrfineman
Dec. 28th, 2012 07:38 pm (UTC)
Makes it easy to keep, I bet!
(Deleted comment)
kellyrfineman
Dec. 28th, 2012 07:39 pm (UTC)
Me too. Plus, the days are starting to get longer - something I'm sure you appreciate, since you are a spring/summer kind of girl.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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