On the Eighth Day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Eight Maids a Milking

Happy New Year dear friends!

New Year’s Day – the Eighth Day of Christmas – has finally arrived here in Brisbane, Australia with beautiful sunshine and a soft breeze blowing in from the south. Birds are twittering as I write and cicadas are buzzing away in the background indicating a warm day in the sub-tropics.

I have seen this day looming with both anticipation and dread.

Anticipation because I love the start of a New Year which presents me with a clean slate on which to write a whole new chapter of my life.

Dread because it is exactly a year today since my family sat at my sister’s bedside as her life slowly ebbed away and she passed over to a new life: one without us in it.

And yet …

… somehow the anticipation and the dread have been far more low key than I thought they would be! It feels good that the day has arrived – finally – and been faced.

During this last twelve month period, I have come to terms with my sister’s death. I feel as if she remains with me somehow. Not in a spooky way, but just a feeling of warmth that, as the eldest child of the family, she keeps a protective eye over all of us … a bit like she did in life really.

I like THIS resolution!

I like THIS resolution!

Also, during this last twelve months, I have continued to write on my blog on a very regular basis and I think my blog has evolved and changed since I accomplished my 366-day writing challenge in 2012. I do hope I have grown as a writer. I certainly have more followers than I did a year ago but I’m not sure what this means!

What I do know is this: in 2014 I hope to earn some money from my writing. That, dear friends, is Resolution #1

Also, a resolution I made at the beginning of last year (2013) has come to fruition: not to read the end of any books prematurely, which was a very bad habit of mine. Regular readers of my blog will know about this and about the challenge that a Book Club member gave me then to desist from reading the end when I was only at the beginning!

And I am happy to announce that I did it! Not one single book did I cheat on by reading the end first … oh but it was harder than I thought it would be … and it taught me patience and perseverance. Mission Accomplished #1

Now, about my need to lose weight by the end of the year … 10 kilos in fact … and get fit.

To lose weight dear ones, is Resolution #2

Yes indeed, it has been a very interesting year and not without other accomplishments. For instance, I completed my Diploma of Publishing and Editing in July 2013 and ticked another goal off my list.

I cannot believe I actually completed it … after a two year interval due to some iffy health issues.  Mission Accomplished #2

And now for my final New Year’s Resolution for 2014.

I want to be kinder to people folks. But I want to be kinder IN MY THOUGHTS! Normally it is about disciplining one’s speech, but I want to learn to take the step before the speech and learn to discipline my THOUGHTS!! Oh, what goes on in this head of mine at times is not even worth discussing.

So there! I want to have nicer thoughts toward others: Resolution #3

Do I think this will happen overnight? No I do not! However, I want to at least  KNOW when I am being awful in my thinking and stop it. I want to care enough NOT to do it. I can handle failing at doing it … as long as I know how to say “Sorry God, I’ve failed again” and get up and start again. That will be enough to commence with right now.

And my final accomplishment: I edited my first book in 2013 … a dream of mine which my son helped me to achieve in giving me the opportunity to edit a book put out by his gym.  Mission Accomplished #3

So there you have it! Today is a nothing day for Geoff and me. We were out last night celebrating with our in-law friends Pat and David and it was very nice. Our adult children were out too and I have no doubt are recovering today from a late night also. It will be a nothing day for them too.

Time to just BE … mull a little on New Year Resolutions and look back on the year that was. Time to be kind to ourselves if there were things we did not accomplish for various reasons. And yes, there were things I wish I had done better too, but I can’t sit and cry over them today. I can only go on and try to do better this coming year.

In closing, I want to tell you about the newsletter I get from a blog I follow: www.marcandangel.com that helps me stay on track with my thinking; so today I will leave you with some of their wisdom on New Year Resolutions – I hope this helps you as much as it helped me. I was going to shorten this but I think it is perfect just the way it is:

“1.  Begin. – Remember the feeling you get from taking the first step is far better than the feeling you get from sitting around thinking about it.  So get up and get moving.  Take the first step this year – just one small step forward.  The greatest miracle of your success will not be that you finished, it will be that you had the courage to begin.  (from the “Goals and Success” chapter of our book)

2.  Work hard on the essential. – Don’t be busy, be productive.  Don’t track your time, track your results.  Put first things first and get them done.  And don’t expect your goal to be easy; it’s supposed to be hard.  If it wasn’t hard you would already have it completed, and so would everyone else.  The hard part is what makes it worthwhile.  In life there are no shortcuts to any place worth going.  (from the “Productivity” chapter of our book)

3.  Stay true to your path. – A successful life is one that is lived through understanding and pursuing one’s own path, not chasing after the dreams of others.  You have to do what’s right for you; no one else walks in your shoes.  Keep moving forward, beyond the negative rhetoric echoing from the peanut gallery.  Do what you have to do, for you.  Live a life you are proud of.  And the moment you realize you’re not, find the strength to start over again on a new path.  (from the “Happiness” chapter of our book)

4.  Nurture your self-confidence. – You have everything you need within you to become the best possible version of YOU.  Believe that you CAN.  Believe that you’re capable of pushing harder and farther than you have before.  Believe that you’re young enough, old enough, smart enough and strong enough to achieve your goals.  Don’t let false beliefs stop you from moving beyond yourself.  And certainly don’t get sidetracked by the people around you who are not on track.  (from the “Self-Love” chapter of our book)

5.  Be sincerely kind to those around you. – Kindness in words creates positivity.  Kindness in thinking creates confidence.  Kindness in giving creates love.  Through kindness you have the ability to make a profound difference in every life you touch, including your own.  When you guide someone who is lost and confused, when you hold someone who is sad and grieving, when you hug someone who has lost all their hope, you too will feel yourself healing and growing stronger.  Remember, the vast majority of positive changes come about in someone’s life simply because one other person cares for them, believes in them, and motivates them.  So be that other person when you can.  (from the “Relationships” chapter of our book)