Friday, December 30, 2011


Calvin and Hobbes Dec 30 1995

The end of the year already! This one went by in a blur, with no real standout moments. In past years, I’ve had a graduation, a milestone birthday, a retirement, a baby niece, or some other life event to mark the digits in my memory. 2011 was a year of many strange illnesses, as well as financial and employment struggles, for both me and my loved ones. Nothing terribly traumatic, but nothing I need to remember, either.

It is nice to look forward to the turning over of a new year, even though January 1 is an arbitrary selection of a day distinguished only by the calendar we happen to use. On that day, we all take a deep breath (or a handful of aspirin, depending on the previous Eve), and plunge back into life. My deep breath will be expelled with the wish that we will all be much healthier in the coming year. If you haven’t got your health, you haven’t got anything.

Calvin and Hobbes Jan 2 1995

I, like Calvin, am from the no-New Year’s resolution tribe. I make changes as I see fit throughout the year, and don’t see the point in forcing myself to do something when I’m not ready, just because it’s a particular day of the year. Especially in January, which in my experience is a gloomy time when you need all the emotional crutches you can find. I quit smoking (28 years ago) in April, because it was just time to do it. I chose to leave an unhealthy relationship and make a better life (16 years ago) in June, because I suddenly had the strength to do it then. I vowed to restrict my compulsive spending (3 months ago) in October, because my financial situation was weighing very heavily on me. In all of these cases, it was very fortunate that I didn’t wait until January to make a change.

That’s not to say that I don’t slip and backslide and fall into bad habits again, just as many people do with their lists of resolutions made on January 1! If I had a nickel for every exercise program I’ve started and then abandoned...

I would love to know whether you make resolutions and whether you’ve had success with them.

Well, whether you are a New Year’s resolution person or not, I wish you a safe and happy New Year’s Eve and a wonderful 2012.



  1. Completely agree with you. New Year Resolutions are contrived.

  2. I don't make resolutions. There's some rebellious part of me that doesn't want to start the New Year focused on what's wrong with me that needs fixing. I think I tend to do that too much, anyway! If I start the new year with any kind of goal, at all, it's usually just to pay attention and enjoy life more. Happy New Year!

  3. Wonderful post, Katrina, and well-fortified with my favorite cartoon! I shy away from formal resolutions too, and try to follow my Big Two: love more and learn more. Well, three: more fun too, as time gets shorter : >

  4. I do make resolutions; I love the idea of a fresh start in a new year! But I completely agree with you about not waiting for an arbitrary date on a calender to make a change; all of my important life changes have happened at other times as well. The resolutions I made are really re-commitments to ongoing concepts. And my goals for the new year were defined in my 101 In 1001 list that I wrote in October; the arrival of a new year was simply a good time to review it and dive further in.
    Happy 2012, friend! xo