It’s A New Year. Now What?

It’s a New Year. You’ll have to excuse my lack of enthusiasm. I used all my confetti when I actually found bakers yeast at the grocery store.

Like many others, I kind of built up 2021 as being a magical demarcation in time, that line in the sand where the bad cannot cross. I invested in a beautiful new planner a few months ago. And when I say invested, I mean it. The thing cost me $50. It is a tome, weighing in at maybe more than my mini dachshund, but it prayerfully walks me through my goals for the coming year. I was scared of it delaying gratification, so that I put off opening it for several weeks after it arrived. Can I really meet goals that I set? Maybe? YES, I CAN! And what better time for new goals than the new year, am I right?

But what I didn’t see coming? I no longer have any goals. I was set to make a plan to pay off the house, build my Ebay business, submit more writing to various publications and competitions, hatch more Spider Tortoises. After spending nearly a week in the hospital following my husband’s emergency surgery, after a cancer diagnosis, a lot of stuff has slid off my goal list. It’s hard to get stoked about building a business. I have bigger fish to fry. Or maybe smaller fish.

Now my lovely, $50 planner seems as big as a Bible and just as esoteric. Things are a little overwhelming right now, and I’m not even sure how to begin. It’s hard to think about building a business when it’s hard to even get out of bed. But it feels like defacing a fine book to put in the milestones that are actually achievable. But let’s get real. For right now, I need to dial it back a notch if I’m not going to be curled up in the corner sucking my thumb. And forget about looking at a whole year. Seriously, one day at a time is about all I can deal with.

Instead of giant goals that threaten to smother me in my sleep, I’m making some smaller, daily goals. Yep, I’m lowering the bar, but the bar is adjustable for a reason. I’m not looking to do a Fosbury flop to break a world record. I just want to get OVER it.

  • Take a shower
  • Make necessary appointments
  • Print out paperwork for necessary appointments
  • Fill out paperwork for necessary appointments
  • Eat at least one real meal
  • Do a load of laundry
  • Put on clean clothes (WOOT! I can cross this one off! Today, anyway)
  • Pick up kid from school
  • Read something. Anything. The back of a cereal box? Count it! The ingredients list? You got it!
  • Watch twelve episodes of Pawn Stars
  • Avoid politics. I keep thinking that I just need to hang on until the 20th, and the nightmare will be over. Watching the GOP misbehave does me no favors.

I think sometimes we set up ourselves to fail when we put so much weight on the new year. It can be a blank slate, but really, so can tomorrow. What’s important is not that we’re moving forward. Even treading water beats moving backward. Sometimes standing still is progress. I will hold my ground. I might even decide to put on something other than sweatpants. Not today, though. I’ve done enough.

I did go out today and bought Lumen a new bed.
And now her goal is to get it back from Penny!

Does the new year feel different than the old one for you? What are your plans and dreams for 2021?

For the record, I am fine. Just really, really tired. This is going to be a blip on our radar. Even the surgeon said “Eh, you’re strong and fit. You’ll be fine.” I’m just tired. And cranky.

10 thoughts on “It’s A New Year. Now What?

  1. Lovely writing here. I hope all goes well with you and hubby. Been there! I kept a personal journal for the 2.5 years that we dealt with cancer. It was a good way to let off steam, and it has given me much fodder for a memoir. Don’t be hard on yourself. The big scary tome can wait. Good luck.

  2. I’m so sorry you’re dealing with cancer! I’m sending you all the best vibes. Like Joan said, the planner can wait, or, as you said, you can log what’s most important to you right now. Sometimes it’s nice to let the seemingly trivial parts of our day have the limelight. ❤️

  3. Oh honey. Please be gentle with yourself. It’s all such a lot, such a very very lot. ❤

    Congrats on today's clean outfit!! Maybe drink a glass of water, too.

  4. I read something recently that described completing small goals as “building a ladder”. It seems unimportant, but it’s a step up, and therefore a win. If only big things are successes then bad days feel even worse. I hope things keep going well with your husband and until things are back on an even keel, embrace the wins 🙂

  5. Totally with you. Hey, I only shower about every three days. Who, pray tell, cares anyway? My husband has Parkinson’s and I’m raising a 14-year-old granddaughter (I’m nearly 76) who has more than the usual teen issues. One. day. at. a. time. At least, as another commenter remarked: we have the Senate!

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