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Can You “Bah Humbug” The New Year?

I’m just not feeling it.

I was. But now that it’s here, I’m not.

I don’t know what happened. I’m usually pretty excited about starting a new year with no mistakes in it yet – a chance to wipe the slate and start out fresh.

I gave up New Years Resolutions a number of years ago, in favor of a guiding “word” for the year instead (OLW – or one little word.) Each year I carefully consider what it is I want to do/accomplish/be in the new year, and find a motivating word that I will concentrate on to help me get there.

Some years are more successful than others. Last year’s was a bust.


The idea was that I was going to plow through my pile of unfinished projects, and either complete them, or relegate them to live somewhere else, be it the dump, or a charity.

Well, I ignited alright. I probably started and didn’t finish even more projects than in a normal year. That was NOT the plan.

About midway through the year, I began to get an inkling that I wasn’t making progress, and gave myself permission to start the year over in July. Even THAT didn’t help. As late as September, I was STILL thinking that if I set my mind to it, I could still pull it off. Of course, at that moment I wasn’t considering how much we would be gone the last quarter of the year. Had it not been for my daughter and daughter-in-law getting the tree set up for me, I don’t think I would have even decorated for Christmas, let alone finish a bunch of projects I’m no longer enthused about. I didn’t even finish the ones I WAS enthusiastic about!

But, not only did I get the tree decorated when we returned home from our last trip of the year, I got ALL the decorations up. And it made me feel festive, accomplished, and even excited to have the New Year begin. All I needed to do was to come up with my motivational word for the year, and I’d be ready to hit the floor running on January 1st.

Well, it turned out to be easier said than done.

I flirted with a number of words, all of them designed to tackle those projects once and for all. But none of them seemed adequate. Somewhere in the back of my brain, I thought I’d come up with one earlier in the year, and even written about it. But if I did, I sure couldn’t find it, and it’s lost somewhere in the mass of disconnected wires in my brain.

Since I belong to a “One Little Word” group, I frequently see posts about the progress of others in the group on their words, so I’m always on the lookout for one that resonates. Never came up with one.

Then yesterday at yoga, the instructor talked about contentment, and that sounded like a possibility (although it was a much more beautiful word in Indian.) But at the end of class she talked about making ourselves available to all the possibilities of the new year. Available. Hmmm. I wondered if that could be manipulated in my mind to encompass all the things I wanted for the new year?

I was pretty set on that for the rest of the day, but wanted to sleep on it before committing to it. It IS a year-long commitment after all, and can’t be taken too lightly.

Midnight came and went, I slept fairly well, and woke up more confused than ever.

STILL, I’m just not feeling it. I can’t summon up even the slightest amount of enthusiasm for making any commitments for the year. Not even for the day. I am so tired of disappointing myself. And yet I don’t want to stay where I am. There’s just too much hanging around – too much clutter, too much that needs to be fixed or finished or discarded, too much weight – just too much. So “minimize?” “Reduce?” Not very exciting words. Should I stick with “contentment?” It seems like a “give-up-and-accept-what-is” kinda word.

So I’m back to “available.” Available for the possibilities. Available to change. Available to be of service, to explore, to improve. Grrrrr.

I can see I’m going to need to mull this over some more. Not the way I had hoped to start the New Year. But then again, I usually start out so enthusiastic and manage to disappoint myself. Maybe if I start out with “bah humbug” it’ll have nowhere to go but up. Hmmmmm. Now there’s an idea.

How about you? How’s your year starting out?


About tatterednworn

I am a woman who has committed to living a creative life.

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