Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sorting Thoughts on a Cold Winter's Day

Brrr!!!!  It sure is cold outside.  What a day to have the trains delayed for a broken rail, but that is exactly how I started my day.  It was barely 20 degrees when I headed out this morning, and when I got to the train station, I discovered that no trains were running into Manhattan.  Now, you never know how long these things will last, so I decided to stick it out for awhile.  I stuck it out, all right...from 7 am to 8:30 am...on an elevated platform.  Talk about being cold.  Finally, they sent all of us on our way and closed the platform...so I headed on home.  Fixed myself a cup of coffee and sat down to watch some television....and as soon as I took a sip, I heard the train pass by.  Then I went through a few "should I or shouldn't I" moments.  I bundled up, started out the door, then unbundled and sat back down.  Did this a few times until I finally figured, "Oh, what the heck!" and I headed back out.  Truth is, I really didn't want to use up a sick day today.  And you know, I made the right decision.  My boss told me not to even bother changing my time sheet, so they didn't even deduct those two hours I was late.

Today I wanted to talk about New Year's Resolutions.  I have a book which I have kept since 1991.  This book is only for my resolutions.  I dug it out the other day and had a look through it...and you know what I found?  I've made pretty much the same resolutions year after year after  year....Stop smoking...Eat healthier....Lose weight....and on and on... and it never works for me.  Take smoking, for example.  At midnight, I will say "no smoking for me in the new year", and then morning rolls around I am lighting up with my coffee.  And, as the years' end rolls round, there is that big letdown that I didn't accomplish anything that I set out to do.  Well, this  year I am going to do something different.  I'm not going to concentrate on what I want to do in the new year; I am going to look at what I have accomplished in the old year.  And this year I have a lot to be proud of..

First on my list is smoking....not to stop smoking, but to acknowledge that this was the year that I finally did STOP.   July 4, 2009 was my Independence Day, and on January 4th, I will have 6 months smoke free.  You don't know how big that one is for me.  It's the first holiday season in 40 years that I haven't smoked.

I completed my Bardic Course and started on my Ovate.  That's another biggie for me.  Finishing things...especially courses...and even more especially, courses that I don't have to pay for...is not easy for me.  I tend to jump in to something, get bored, and that's the end of that...but this was important to me...and I set my mind to completing, and I did it.

I've learned to budget.  I no longer run off to the stores and spend, spend, spend.  And this started long before hubby lost his job.  I was never content to buy one of anything.  If I bought one nail polish, I had to get two more of a different color.  I bought so many things that I didn't need, so many clothes that were never worn.  I wouldn't call it an addiction; it was more like a compulsion.  I often wondered if it stemmed from my teenage years.  I've worked since I was 16 years old and had to give my parents 3/4 of my salary...leaving me with virtually nothing.  I remember going to high school and not having the nice things that the other kids had.  Now I see it as being materialistic, but back then, it was heartbreaking to a kid.  Or, perhaps my compulsive shopping stemmed from my early days here in the city when I was so poor that I would buy a jar of Ragu sauce and a loaf of bread, and that would be breakfast, lunch, and dinner for days.  Whatever the reason, I can honestly say that those days of needless spending are now over.

I've not only found an outlet for my creativity, but I have met some wonderful new friends while doing it.  I am going into the new year feeling blessed.  I thank you all for your gift of friendship.  Aside from love and health, there is nothing greater in the world.


  1. What a day for the trains to break down! It is sooo cold, and you must have been frozen through.

    I'm happy that you decided to stop making Resolutions. Guess that's because I've never been one, to make them myself. And I'm happy for you deciding to count your accomplishments. All of them. But I'm happiest that you say you did quit smoking!!!!!!! Oh my Dear, I'm so happy for that!!!!!

    Happy New Year, early!

  2. Yay for you. Quitting smoking is no easy task. I've watch my brother, and friends battle it for years. Good for you!

    Also, how wonderful that you are completing your courses! It feels so great to finish things that means something to you. I can tell this is going to be another good year for you!

  3. Loved reading this blog entry - you are making great strides in your soul growth. Talking about this with others not helps yourself to see what progress you've made but also gives us inspiration to also make progress in our paths too.


  4. Wow, good for you!!!! I love this attitude and I wish more of us focused on things more in this way. Instead of using the New Year to beat ourselves up about things we haven't done yet, using it to celebrate how far we've come and to strengthen our outlook and resolve for continuing our journeys.

    This was wonderfully inspiring to read. You truly have done a lot in the past year.

  5. This is truly what the end of year should be... looking back over all that has occurred and all that you have accomplished.... we would all start out with a much more positive outlook.... resolutions always seem to give a sense of dread to the endeavor as well as the small voice that whispers you will never make it.... Many times those silly resolutions shadow the much bigger things that we do overcome and resolve each year. Good for you Mary to bring such a positive spin to things.... Have a very blessed new year.... and congrats on ALL the things you did last year...

  6. Those are all terrific accomplishments! 2009 was obviously a year of great personal strength for you!