Well, one of the reasons why I personally use this time of year to make changes in my life is that I have the time now. I feel very fortunate to work in academia, where I have off from Christmas to New Year's without burning any vacation days. I don't know why, but when I take vacation days from work, I always feel pressure to be "doing something." I should take a trip somewhere. If I take a vacation day and stay at home and vacuum, I get depressed because I feel I've "wasted" the day. While I haven't vacuumed this week (today might be the day, though), I have been sorting through old papers, putting up bookshelves, taking the dog on long walks, and relaxing.
So it's been wonderful to have this time off to re-organize myself. I still have to go through some old magazines and catalogs lying around and make the bold decision to put them in the recycling. I'm telling myself that this is all a part of "living simply," but it's hard! My other half wants to start doing stained glass projects in our spacious basement, so we cleared out boxes and boxes of things that we ended up taking to Salvation Army. We've been in our house for 4 and half years, and I guess if there are items we never used -- or even unpacked -- in that time, they might be more useful to someone else. At least that's how I consoled myself over giving up the ski boots, which I have not worn in probably 10 years now.
My new year's resolutions are probably boringly familiar:
- Spend more time with family and friends
- Eat healthier foods
- Get more exercise
- Put more money into my savings
But I'll add some others, too:
- Stay calm in the face of insidious lying politicians -- of any party
- Reduce the amount of material I add to the landfill
- Hold the door open for the person behind me, without getting upset if they don't say "thank you"
- Plant more flowers this spring
- Take nothing in life for granted
I would be interested to hear about your new year's resolutions if you feel like sharing. It looks to be a busy year ahead. In the words of Bette Davis, "Fasten your seat belts, we're in for a bumpy ride ..."