I set out today to wish you a Happy New Year, but apparently I’m too late. The statute of limitations on wishing someone a Happy New Year is January 7th (according to Larry David.)
(Sidebar: I’m usually late to just about everything. But lucky for me, since I married a Latin, he always gets blamed when we show up late to an event. As much as he tries to convince people it’s ME, no one believes it.)
So today, even though I’m late, I’m here to wish you a Happy New Year and to share with you a writing exercise I like to do every January (although not on the 1st, of course.)
I gave up making resolutions a long time ago when I realized I break the same ones every year (lose 10 pounds and stop biting my nails.) Then I gravitated to the idea of choosing a word for the year, but that stressed me out since there are soooo many to choose from. A Sophie’s choice nightmare.
So the last few years I decided to have a word choose ME! I look at an inspirational word search and I write down the first three or four words that pop out at me. Then I do a little journaling to discover why those particular words chose me. What are they trying to tell me about the new year?
(The word search I used is at the end of this post — give it a try!)
I did this exercise a few times this past week—first by myself, and then with my writing groups. Interestingly enough, one word consistently showed up each time.
That word was LOVE.
The first thing that came to mind was…
“If you can’t be with the one you love, honey, love the one you’re with.”
So I started writing, and I quickly realized that’s bullshit! At this age and stage in my life, I am no longer interested in “love the one you’re with.” I want to be with the one(s) I LOVE… people, places, and how I spend my time.
Sorry Mr. Stills, if you want to settle, that’s on you. I’m done settling. 2023 will be the year I commit to not settling.
My therapist said it best: “Rebecca, the years of living frivolously are gone.” Her comment wasn’t meant to stress me out —like chop chop get shit done! But rather, be mindful of how you spend your time, and live a life that you truly love.
That’s why this year, in 2023, my husband and I have decided to move to a place we both truly love, Newport, Rhode Island.
And I am committed to spending time with those I truly love: my husband, children, grandchildren, family, and friends.
And I am committed to self-care practices that I truly love: yoga, meditation, walking the Cliff Walk, reading, and writing.
And I am committed to doing the work that I truly love: helping women find and write their life stories.
So today, on January 8th (with all due respect to Larry David) I am wishing you a very Happy New Year.
I hope you spend it with the people you love, in the places you love, and doing the things that you truly love.