Monday, January 2, 2012

Thoughts on a New Year

If you have read this blog at any time before, you may have figured out that I love Mark Twain.  Not only is he an exemplary Southern writer, but he also provides so many little snippets of honest wisdom in his letters and other short writings.  As I've been thinking about the New Year over the past week or so, a Mark Twain quote has, once again, summed up my thoughts for me: 

"New Year's Day:  Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions.  Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual."  Mark Twain

As we all know, the road to hell does happen to be paved with good intentions.  This year, I found myself musing more than usual about the reasons that we celebrate New Year's Eve and Day in the way that we do.  I mean, seriously, people refer to New Year's Day as National Hangover Day....I'm confused about how this connects to all those well-intentioned desires to eat better, exercise more, or quit smoking.  

Therefore, I have decided to write, this New Year's, about my favorite things in 2011 instead of my well-intentioned 2012.  I feel like somebody out there should pay homage to last year, instead of saying good riddance and moving on.

In 2011 I: 

  • decided to continue blogging, despite the fact that my reason for blogging technically ended when I graduated college in 2010.  It was a good choice, as it has been an excellent exercise in mind-clearing.
  • chose to be perfectly content with myself no matter what is going on in my life, while still gently pushing myself to be better every day.  I would say this has been a noble cause to follow.
  • learned to manage my time (at least somewhat better than before).
  • started taking yoga and running more regularly.
  • promised myself I would make a sincere effort to complain less about things that everyone complains about, and (kind of) succeeded (a little bit).
  • got hired and started my first "real" teaching job at a wonderful school with fantastic kids and an awesome group of teachers.
  • found a lot of people and things and situations for which I am so, very thankful.
In 2012, more than anything, I think I'd just like to maintain.  No need to set unrealistic expectations.  I think 2011 was a good start to many things.  And, as Mark Twain so kindly reminded me this morning, if I don't make resolutions, I don't have to worry about paving that ill-fated road of good intentions.

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