What’s New?

As the New Year settles in I’ve been noticing various trends for newness or openness. ‘New Year New You’ has become ‘New Year Same You’ (much less stressful). I like this idea. January is dark enough without adding resolutions and impossible-to-achieve goals. But lists are fun; they involve pens and nice stationery and make you feel busy and important.

So here’s my New Year list. Hope it’s helpful.

1. Identify your favourite things (cats, books, trees, for instance) and spend more time with them

2. Swing wildly between complete sobriety and clumsy tipsiness. Everything in moderation, remember

3. Say no to events that involve PEOPLE 

4. Then feel a bit lonely and regret it

5. Wear whatever you want

6. Then feel a bit self-conscious and regret it

7. Find a cause that you believe in and devote yourself to it - reward from the effort expended is sweet indeed

8. Tell the people in your life that you love them (if you do, that is, otherwise just continue to tolerate them and throw the odd eye roll in their direction)

9. Move around as much as you can - stretch, dance, twist. Your body will thank you

10. Write down secret things. The letter to someone who hurt you (don’t send it, obviously), the journal of deep thoughts, the list of hopes and dreams

11. Read as much poetry as you can handle. But approach with caution: it will magically work its way into the darkest sections of your heart and open doors you thought were long-closed.

12. Find someone to look up to. Think ‘when I grow up I want to be like insert name’

13. Listen to music. But that’s all. Close your eyes and just listen. But see number 11 above and approach with caution (your heart may not be ready to hear)

14. Sit by the fire and congratulate yourself on your many years of acquired wisdom

A poetry reading to end the year

John O’Donohue has become our official 2020 poet – he has so much to say about life, faith, doubt and had more than his fair share of wisdom. He has been my guide for this year of years. This is a reading of ‘At the End of the Year’ from To Bless the Space Between Us (2008).

Wishing you and yours a blessed New Year filled, most of all, with hope. 2021 – we’re counting on you!