New Year, New Me? If Only!

It would be nice if the change of a year meant shedding the bad habits and forgetting insecurities.  If only the New Year eradicated unfulfilled promises, repeated mistakes or realizations that the same shortcomings of years past are still woven into the tapestry of my ‘self’.

I am in awe of the people who commit to making January 1st the beginning of change.  For instance, I know a lot of people have resolved to write more.  How do I know this?  My email “In” box told me so!  I don’t know how long I can keep up, but I’ll give it my best 🙂  I secretly wish I could be excited for the calendar change so I could finally lose that extra fifteen pounds or do the 90 minutes of exercise each week that my doctor kindly reminds me about at each visit.

One year is always linked to the next...
One year is always linked to the next…

I don’t do resolutions, mainly because any commitment I make under the influence of holiday sweets is bound to fail once I come off the sugar high.

Bad for teeth, hips and resolutions
Bad for teeth, hips and resolutions

I do, however, participate in moments of reflection (as I do throughout the year.)  As it turns out, there have been some things on my mind that I need to set free.  (My mind has limited real estate, so this space is desperately needed for other things.)

  • Recently, I did a writing prompt response about guilt.  I feel guilt over silly things – like not having enough time to view all the blogs of people who ‘like’ my posts, or to subscribe back to everyone who subscribes to my blog.  I’ve seen a few comments on other sites indicating that reciprocation is expected, but I hope it’s not really like that.  To me, this is like giving someone a gift and expecting one back in return.   I do appreciate every person who subscribes to my blog – and I visit every one of them…but I sincerely apologize if I have offended any subscriber by not subscribing back.
  • I want to believe I don’t care what others think, but as I prepare to hit ‘publish’ on this post, I have some fear the point above will drive others away.  I want to have faith that my spirit will come through in my writing, and that my spirit doesn’t stand on a mountain top screaming, “I’m a jerk!”
  • I struggle with insecurity.  If I could believe in myself as much as my mom believes in me, I’d be cocky and annoying surely have confidence that I’m following the path God intended.

The last couple of months have left my belly over-stuffed with food that should have killed me by now, but my spirit is starving for something of substance.  I recognize that when I slow down and make time for God, my shortcomings shrink.  My guilt dissolves into peace, I accept that my imperfect self is good enough, and I feel the power of God’s grace reminding me that if I place my trust in Him, He won’t let me stray.

For by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8)

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1)

May this New Year lead you to your peaceful place.
May this New Year lead you to your peaceful place.

34 thoughts on “New Year, New Me? If Only!

  1. cuhome January 6, 2013 / 12:55 AM

    And you’re just as fine as all the rest of us… it’s comforting to share that we’re all in this same, very crowded boat. It is comforting to realize that we’re all just human beings, making our way the best we can. And in knowing that, I see that we share more similarities than we have differences. We writers write because that’s how we figure out who we are, and how we connect to each other. And you do that with such grace, Janna! That is one of the reasons that I love reading your stuff–because you let me know that I am human, just like you… and that’s perfectly– well — human. 🙂 Nice post! Thank you!

    • jannatwrites January 6, 2013 / 10:46 PM

      I appreciate you reading my posts, Janet. Yes, our boat is crowded. It can be cramped, but it’s better than going it alone with no one to relate to. Glad you stopped by. I hope your new year is off to a good start 🙂

  2. Samir January 6, 2013 / 1:49 AM

    “I don’t do resolutions, mainly because any commitment I make under the influence of holiday sweets is bound to fail once I come off the sugar high.” – LOL

    • jannatwrites January 6, 2013 / 10:47 PM

      It’s true, Samir! I can’t make any major decisions for at least two more weeks (chocolate covered cherries will surely be gone by them.) Thanks for reading 🙂

  3. knotrune January 6, 2013 / 3:36 AM

    Well that explains why people still keep subscribing to my blog even though I’ve not written any posts for months! I certainly don’t expect it when I comment 🙂 I don’t even expect a reply to my comment, although it is nice if I have asked a question (which I haven’t here so don’t feel obliged to reply :D).

    • jannatwrites January 6, 2013 / 10:49 PM

      It has been a while since you’ve written, Knotrune. I hope you are doing well (I figured you might be tied up with other creative endeavors- maybe crocheted :)) I don’t feel obligated to reply, but I do like to respond to each comment.

  4. Catherine Johnson January 6, 2013 / 3:48 AM

    I read a great post saying that reciprocation is meaningless you should only follow blogs you really like. I was too embedded in reciprocation at the time but just analyse those you delete straight away when time is short and that’s at least your core.

    • jannatwrites January 6, 2013 / 10:54 PM

      I agree, Catherine. I do still subscribe, but it takes me much longer to reach the decision.

      I do have a few that I only read when time allows. I prefer posts that are emailed in their entirety – I’m more likely to read them than if I have to click a link to read more on the blog site. (And if I’m reading on my lunch break at work, I can’t click the link to read more because the firewall blocks blog sites and, as an added bonus, sends an email to the administrator about the site we tried to unsuccessfully visit).

  5. nrhatch January 6, 2013 / 8:13 AM

    Worry not, Janna. There’s “reciprocity” and then there’s “reciprocity.” We can reciprocate by responding to comments, visiting other blogs, or even thanking our readers.

    Because of my computer woes, I unsubscribed from 80 blogs. Once I got my computer up and running again, I resubscribed to 20. I will add others back more S~L~O~W~L~Y than I did in the past.

    I have 600 subscribers to SLTW, many/most of those subscribers have blogs of their own. If I subscribed to 600 blogs, I would explode, or implode, or cease to exist in the real world.

    How would that benefit anyone? (Don’t answer that! That’s a rhetorical question!) :mrgreen:

    • jannatwrites January 6, 2013 / 10:58 PM

      Yikes! I think I need to get a new computer, Nancy 😀 I’m glad I made the cut when you resubscribed!

      I’m subscribed to 68 blogs right now. Thankfully, some don’t post regularly. I’m slow to subscribe now, but I’m more likely to subscribe to those who regularly visit my blog AND have content that I’ve liked after several visits to their blog.

      Darn. I was all set to answer your rhetorical question 😆 (kidding, of course)

  6. suzicate January 6, 2013 / 10:07 AM

    Taking time for God nourishes us and allows us to nourish others. Guilt isn’t good for anyone, but I understand as I’ve been there myself.

    • jannatwrites January 6, 2013 / 11:02 PM

      Guilt is horribly destructive, Suzicate. Since the holidays and the kids’ winter break are both done, I can settle into my own schedule.

  7. Debbie January 6, 2013 / 10:35 AM

    I can totally relate, Janna. I don’t usually do resolutions, either, but I decided to tackle some this year because I feel a need for change — and publicly admitting my shortcomings, I think, will give me the kick-in-the-rear I desperately need to make that happen! None of us has all the time we’d like for “reciprocity” in Blog-world. We do the best we can. If blogging becomes a chore and an aggravation, it’s time to re-think why we’re doing it, don’t you agree?

    • jannatwrites January 6, 2013 / 11:05 PM

      I hope the public declaration does get you moving in the right direction, Debbie. That was awfully brave of you! I agree that once blogging becomes a chore we have to decide if it’s something we really want to do. Luckily, I don’t see it that way, but I do have to get a handle on the time suck it has become. I mean, set a timer and once the time is up, the computer is off. (I was supposed to be in bed an hour ago…not the best way to start the week :))

  8. pattisj January 6, 2013 / 10:47 AM

    You have found a treasure, Janna, the pearl of great price.

    • jannatwrites January 6, 2013 / 11:07 PM

      Better hold onto it then, Patti 🙂 I hope you had a nice weekend…glad you stopped by!

  9. diannegray January 6, 2013 / 2:22 PM

    I regularly visit posts and comment on other blogs and these people have never come over to my blog, but that doesn’t worry me at all. I visit them because I really like what they do and there is no expectation that they’ll visit, let-alone follow me.

    I haven’t really had a chance to make resolutions yet – but I do know one thing, I’m never going on a road trip with the dogs again 😉

    • jannatwrites January 6, 2013 / 11:09 PM

      Well those people don’t know what they are missing, Dianne! I know I read several of your posts after you left comments here. They were all great so I finally subscribed. Glad I did…your posts always make me think or laugh (or both at the same time, which is really hard 🙂 )

      I think the no road trips with dogs is an excellent resolution! (Especially after reading that post you wrote about that.)

    • jannatwrites January 6, 2013 / 11:19 PM

      Thanks for the encouragement, Paula. I want my writing to convey hope, so I’m glad that comes through. I read your resolutions and had to laugh at the cookies (Oreos are so yummy, it doesn’t matter anyway.) I think my mom can relate to that one – they always have Oreos in their pantry and the kids can find them in five seconds flat. I also need to get rid of stuff that I’m obviously not going to use – this goes for crafting, clothing, shoes, etc. This is crazy – but not making my bed is the one thing I have no guilt over. Yay for me 🙂

  10. Widdershins January 6, 2013 / 3:00 PM

    New Year’s Resolutions? … Bah! Humbug! … but other than that, I think we writers live by New Week’s Resolutions, even Daily ones. 😀

    • jannatwrites January 6, 2013 / 11:21 PM

      So writers do micro-resolutions? Hadn’t thought about that, Widdershins. Fun idea!

    • jannatwrites January 6, 2013 / 11:23 PM

      That’s Midgley Bridge outside of Sedona/Oak Creek Canyon. I’m picky with cordial cherries – the center has to be liquid, not creme. Thanks for stopping by, Sandi!

  11. Tessa January 6, 2013 / 6:57 PM

    I read you because I enjoy reading what you write, not for reciprocation. I have seen those blogs stating they expected to be followed in return. We shouldn’t be guilted into it. My resolution is to stop making resolutions I know I have no intention of doing.

    • jannatwrites January 6, 2013 / 11:28 PM

      I’ve been subscribed to out of reciprocation (that was the person’s policy) but I suspect my posts aren’t read. Honestly, I care more about the comments and interaction than the number of subscribers. I have no goal for number of subscribers or anything like that.

      I like your resolution. Many years ago, I did resolutions. It was always the same one: exercise an hour a week. Never did do it. Finally, I got to where I didn’t bother.

      Thanks for stopping by, Tessa. I enjoyed your comment!

      • Tessa January 15, 2013 / 11:21 AM

        So much easier without resolutions. I am sure that you are right about the posts not getting read on those reciprocating blog exchanges.

  12. Imelda January 7, 2013 / 7:43 PM

    Hooray for us who do not do resolutions! I don’t have any because they last only a few days for me. 🙂 Like you, I feel guilty about not being able to visit the blogs of those who visited my page and took the time to like or comment. I try to catch up but just can’t.

    I agree with you – thinking of God at all times is better than any resolution we can impose upon ourselves to make ourselves better. When we think of God all the time, somehow our lives get better because it finds its higher calling in God.

    • jannatwrites January 7, 2013 / 10:53 PM

      I think catching up is a myth, Imelda! I’m already past bedtime and have 22 posts I haven’t read. They’ll have to wait til tomorrow. God is a comfort and I want to make myself make time for Him this year.

  13. C.S. Severe January 8, 2013 / 3:32 PM

    You most definitely are not a jerk and I enjoy reading your posts. 🙂 With the new year we are barraged with tons of images, messages, and declarations of being a new person, accomplishing this and that, and so many other goals that it can be overwhelming. I think the best thing is to have a quiet time with ourselves and reflect on what matters to us most and why and what we believe is standing in the way of our dreams. In all this, I find rest and peace in God as I make sense of my place here on earth and where I will go. 🙂

    • jannatwrites January 8, 2013 / 10:44 PM

      Thanks, so much for confirming my non-jerk status, C.S. Severe. You’re so right about the barrage of information. Sometimes we just have to turn off the noise to find our way. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing how you find your peace 🙂

  14. philosophermouseofthehedge January 8, 2013 / 7:35 PM

    I love your reason for not making resolutions…(long story about chocolate covered cherries…hmmm, maybe for Valentines Day,…as you say – they aren’t all equal.)
    Hope your new year is going well
    Lovely ending with that picture and new year’s wish – nice pairing there.

  15. pattyabr January 8, 2013 / 10:23 PM

    I wish I could make a resolution that I felt strongly about. I am trying to get back into work and not get overwhelmed after being off for two weeks. We’ll see how that goes. Happy New Year

    • jannatwrites January 8, 2013 / 10:46 PM

      When you’re ready to tackle something new, I think the desire will be there, Patty. I hope you adjust to work…two weeks off would make it hard to go back!

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