The Obligatory New Year’s Post 2023 Edition

It’s always fun to look back at last January, to reread my list of “revolutions” and see how I did accomplishing them. As usual, it was a very mixed, and very light, bag. Here’s how I scored:

  • Read the Riverside Shakespeare, cover to cover: Nope. Only made it through four plays: The Comedy of Errors, The Taming of the Shrew, Two Gentlemen of Verona, and Love’s Labor Lost. I’ll continue my pursuit of a full Shakespeare reading this year, but at this rate you’ll hear from me in 2025 about how far I’ve gotten. Midsummer is next.

  • Make it through a year of intermittent fasting, no exceptions: no dinner, eating window between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., until I’m back to where I want to be: Well, I did lose 40 pounds, but it wasn’t by fasting. I found an eating program that made sense to me and stuck to it from April through December, with short breaks for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve and Day. Read about how that turned out under “Farewell Festive Flab” on my Round Not Pound page.

  • One cleaning or organizing task a day, and a thorough swabdown of one level of the house each weekend: Oh, puhleez. You knew I couldn’t live up to this one. I did adopt a “clean it when you notice it” method that has me doing little things a few times a day, instead of trying to take on a huge, full room swabdown every weekend. It’s working OK.

    But I will give myself a happy face sticker for finally cleaning up, if not out, my garage. It’s organized, navigable, and the stuff I meant to sell on Facebook or eBay is cleaned up and ready, if I ever get around to posting the pictures I took and setting a price.

    Today I put a new vacuum cleaner through its paces and was very happy with the results, although based on the number of times I had to empty it and the amount of filth it collected, I guess I should have been appalled. But that’s now literally dust in the wind (or the trash, more accurately), so I’m going to take that point and look forward.

  • Finish writing my novel: Nope. I think I’m on Chapter 2. Rah.

  • Keep two fuchsia alive indoors until spring (2nd year in a row): DID IT. After a spring and summer hanging outdoors, they’re now safely back inside and still alive, waiting for spring. TA-DA!!

  • Find a trustworthy companion for Angelic Daughter, and bust her out of this house to release her from boredom and frustration as soon as it’s safe, and finalize a plan for how she’ll live without me and who will take care of her when I’m gone (on vacation, I hope!): DID IT! Well, the companion part, anyway. Still working on the other part.

    And to be fair, it was some miracle of divine intervention that did it. Posted a flyer in a local coffee shop expecting crickets in response, but got a call from a person who fit my description of “the ideal candidate” perfectly. Given that agencies who serve people with disabilities and families trying to care for their disabled loved ones are facing a crisis level shortage of willing helpers, this was truly a miracle. No other explanation.

  • Find a group of people who love what I love and make some new friends, in person: Nope, but mynudge word” for this year (in lieu of a bunch of unattainable resolutions) is “build.” Build better and more fulfilling lives for Angelic Daughter and me, regardless of the occasionally hilarious backfire involving a red dress.

    Had a nice meet up with a high school classmate and his wife yesterday, and as we were adjourning, another classmate walked in, and just some conversation with people who shared some history with me was so energizing and refreshing that I’m psyched to keep trying to find my tribe and get out there more.

  • Perform random acts of kindness more regularly: well, sorta kinda. Nowhere as “regularly” as I aspired to, but I’ll give myself some points for being kinder when waiting in checkout lines, more forgiving of drivers who are clearly having a bad day, making five dozen cookies for my church’s turn to provide dinner (Christmas dinner) for unhoused people, and, now that my mask is off most of the time, trying to smile more. Baby steps.

  • Don’t die: I’m still here. I AM STILL HERE!

  • Live each moment gratefully, joyfully, as sustainably as I can, with kindness, and without fear: I did the best I could, which is really as much as you can ask of anyone given the stupendous stress, existential dread, uncertainty, and ongoing political shitshow we’re all still mostly trapped in.

Which leads me back to a post called “When Doing Enough Is Enough” that I put up just days after I published the ambitious list above that I only partially achieved. That post quoted a minister who urged readers to give themselves permission to have low expectations, so they could find joy in the littlest of things. Sounds like a good plan for this year, too, if you put a hopeful face on it.

And in a weird way, I am hopeful for this year. I’m starting to think there just might be a light at the end of this tunnel, and that the unexpected, and most welcome, appearance of two high school classmates from way back when portends a chance to reconnect, reach out, and find more human interaction that takes place in person, and not on a screen.

Wishing you joy in low expectations and the delightful surprise of surpassing them, hope that gives you new energy, and the right dose of divine intervention just when you need it most, I remain,

Your back-on-the-regimen-to-lose-the-final-40-faster-than-I-did-the-first, tired, but hopeful,


Image by ❄️♡💛♡❄️ Julita ❄️♡💛♡❄️ from Pixabay

4 thoughts on “The Obligatory New Year’s Post 2023 Edition

  1. According to the Chinese horoscope, 2023 is in the sign of the Rabbit . This means Hope and generally longevity, peace, and prosperity. May it be so. Mr. Google says I was born in the year of the rabbit. “People born in a year of the Rabbit are called “Rabbits” and are believed to be vigilant, witty, quick-minded, and ingenious.” I don’t know about the accuracy of that description of my character traits so I can’t be sure of the how much this year is headed towards Hope, Peace, Longevity or Prosperity, But since rabbits are also known to be prolific reproducers, let’s hope those bunnies get to work and help us all to take steps towards reaching our healthier, more loving selves to generate prosperity for all. And finding a companion for Angel Daughter? I know first hand that is indeed a miracle and that you both are blessed and off to a great start for this New year.


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