Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ring in the New!

RHYS BOWEN:The Old Year Passeth!

Don't they seem to go around quickly these days?
Later today I'll be completing my yearly ritual for New Year's Eve. I have a special note book and every year I write down my hopes, plans, dreams and resolutions for the coming year. So the first thing I'll do is to look at last year's list and check off those things I have accomplished and note those that didn't come to pass.

It's interesting looking back over the years and noting how my aspirations have moved from being centered on money and career to more spiritual matters. Friends and peace of mind and good health seem to matter more than making a zillion dollars from my writing (although I have to confess I do want that NYT bestseller before I hang up my pen. And an Edgar would be quite nice too--although I have been nominated which is almost as good)

So my list for this year will go something like this:
Make the most of every day. Don't waste one minute doing things that don't bring joy and satisfaction, unless these things are absolutely necessary, like mopping the floor occasionally.
Try to learn something new every day.
Stay fit and healthy. Maybe take up a new sport?
Treasure my family and friends and make the effort to stay connected with those who are far away.
Treasure my husband and try to be patient with his little failings--too numerous to list here.
Have adventures.
Laugh a lot.
Be silly with my grandchildren.
Never act my age.
Oh, and write a number one best seller!

Do you have lists for the coming year?

HALLIE EPHRON: I hate new year's resolutions. The whole idea of the gives me a toothache. Still, I do make them. Every year, right up there with finishing the damned book is losing weight. One I manage to do; the other not so much. To which I'd add: stop kvetching especially about things I cannot control and chew more slowly.

ROSEMARY HARRIS: Oh dear...I don't. If I did I'd have everything on mine that you have on yours. Perhaps I would pay more attention to the library that my husband and I started in Tanzania. I've left so much of the work to him. He's been amazing since I started writing and I never thank him enough.

And..maybe I'd add some smaller things like..spending less time online!

LUCY BURDETTE: Rhys, I love your list--would love to borrow it for 2012!

JAN BROGAN - I may be the only person on the planet who is making a new year's resolution to exercise LESS. But it's true. And Hallie, I just did a story for Monday's Boston Globe with tips from a wellness coach and psychiatrist on new year's goals, and one key is to make really big new year's "visions" without deadline that you later break down into flexible, manageable goals. So my VISION is to be more productive as a writer.How I attain that is flexible. Hmmm... maybe I'll try exercising LESS. See? Doesn't give quite the same toothache. And so much easier to achieve. Kind of. In a way.

: I'm still laughing over Rhys's resolution to be patient with John's "little failings which are too numerous to mention here." My resolutions:

1. To keep up with swimming at least three times a week (it really is helping my poor knees.)

2. To be better at keeping in touch (this one is my perennial, and I never seem to decrease the amount of time it takes for me to return phone calls and emails.)

3. To spend more quality time with my husband (important as the nest is slowly but surely emptying out) AND

4. To finish the next book!

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: I am banishing fear. Seriously. The whole "life is not a rehearsal" thing. Here, now, I love it. Everything doesn't have to be perfect. I do the best I can, and care, and I'm so grateful.

Jan, I'm with you on the vision idea. I'm already pretty organized, focused, productive. But this year, I am going to envision myself differently . I think 2012 is going to be a year of big change, and I embrace it completely. Exciting, wonderful, new. Bring it on.

And I'll be delighted see what wonderful things happen to us all.

DEBORAH CROMBIE: I make the same resolutions every year. I can prove it. All I have to do is look at my journal. "Write faster. Exercise more. Meditate. Worry less. Take more time to enjoy every day." I manage to do some of all these things, and not enough of any. So I think maybe this year I won't write anything down. Like Hank, I'll just do the best I can, remind myself often that I'm doing the best I can, and wish all our friends and readers and very happy and productive new year!

So a very happy New Year to all our Jungle Red friends. Anyone else want to share their resolutions?


  1. Happy New Year!

    I am going to continue to lose weight. And I don't want to see anyone thinking that I will gain it all back. I can see people thinking that. I can. But I won't. I will not give in to the tricks of the diet devil. I know. I know. But I will not. I have made it from Halloween through Christmas without eating any candy or gaining any weight. I've even lost a few pounds more. My perennial downfall, The Holidays are conquered.

    Happy Happy xo

  2. I don;t beleive that Hank is afraid of anything! And jan already has the body of a goddess so she can probably ease up on the exercising.
    I will follow Candide/Pangloss - build our house, chop our wood and make our garden grow. Any questions?

  3. Go, Reine!

    Rhys's resolution about her husband's failings cracked me up, too. I will instantly adopt that one, er, about my own husband, of course.

    In fact, that list is perfect for me, as well. Except that I took up a new sport last year, English riding, and I resolve to learn to jump this year. Which should be interesting. LOL

    And I am going to spend much less time online this year. That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.

    Happy New Year, to all.

  4. I know I should follow Karen and Hallie and resolve to spend less time online... but I know I still will be addicted to glancing at my Amazon stats and my Facebook page--so another resolution--to accept my failures.

  5. First on my list, that the wishes, dreams and intents come true for each and every Jungle Red! Second, thank you all for this blog. I've learned so much. And the kindness of each has urged me away from my fears connected with writing. Bless you all and thank you!
    Finally, I think I'll just keep everyone's intentions for the New Year in mind. They are all great. But if I can master writing more and eating less (yes, Hallie, I hear ya, we need Jan's visualization technique), I'll be content. In the wisdom of the East, "Thank you, more please!" for all of us.

  6. Reine,

    I have LONG been impressed with what you have been able to accomplish. I know you will keep the weight off; there is no doubt in my mind at all about that. I have lost a lot of weight over the last few years and have heard insensitive comments from people when they heard that I gave away clothes that no longer fit, comments such as "but what are you going to wear when you gain it all back?" Well, I have NOT regained the weight. (So there!) YOU are especially remarkable because you have lost all that weight without being able to do a traditional exercise program as a support in your weight loss! Remind yourself that you are a pretty remarkable lady! In fact, that ought to be your New Year's resolution! (Ahem, if you don't mind my saying so!)

    As for myself, I stopped making resolutions a long time ago. Instead, I have an ongoing To Do list. In the past four months,I have finally accomplished about four long-time things on that list. I'm sorry it took me so long but I know that if they had been resolutions, I would have been really upset with myself for not accomplishing them within a one year framework. For me,it works better to think of those items as "works in progress".

    The main thing I want to change is to remind myself that "every day is a Gift". On my birthday each year I tell myself that "every year" is a gift but I want to be aware of the Gift of each new DAY. So, yeah, I guess that I DO have a resolution this year: I will try to say a mantra on waking up each morning: "Thank you, God, for the Gift of this new day." I hope that this will help me to have a more positive attitude overall.

    Happy New Year from Deb, who continues to be grateful to meet TLC friends here at Jungle Red!

  7. Karen, thanks!

    Deb! You are my cheery-up angel. Thank you!

    I quit WW, because the leader announced that I could not lose weight, because I could not exercise. No one would look at me. No one would talk to me. So I quit and started an old fashioned calorie-counting diet. I saved myself the outlandish WW fees -- that would totally have been worth it, had it helped -- and so far lost 80+ lbs.


  8. So wonderful to hear all these terrific resolutions and non-resolutions...

    GO Reine! Go Deb! Go AnnO! xoxo And Karen, send photos..and be careful!

  9. Remarkable Reine,

    IMO, your former WW leader needs to place a little more weight (sorry;I could NOT help myself!) on will-power! That person had some nerve announcing that you would not be able to lose weight! Good for you for saving your money and finding success the old-fashioned way!

    Have you considered perhaps writing a book for other "wheelies" who would like to lose weight? I KNOW that something that would be inspirational for my "baby" sister. She has gained a lot of weight since moving to a nursing home. The dietitian and the nutritionist have her on a strict low-calorie diet, but she persists in wheeling herself to the candy vending machines every day. BTW: I've been with her at meal times, and the meals are a decent size,while falling within the framework of her low calorie diet. All have agreed to restricting the amount of money she can spend on candy. Unfortunately, a friend has been known to bring her BAGS of it :-(

    Deb (sitting here listening to all my Christmas CDs playing softly in the background)

  10. I haven't made resolutions in years, too disappointing when they get broken!

    I'm with DebR on the "To-Do-List" and love Jan's idea of manageable VISIONS, yess!

    Happy New Year to all!

  11. Deb, you are so wonderful to say those lovely things. Thank you for the vote of confidence.

  12. I resolve to write first and eat healthier in 2012.

    Reine you are now my inspiration since I also can't exercise. Now I just need the thumbs to get better so I can make all that healthy food I need to eat every 2-3 hours for my blood sugar prolbems.

    I wish you all a happy, healthy, and successful new year!

  13. Happy 2012, All. What inspiring resolutions and the not-resolutions too. I've always thought of my new year's declarations to be intentions without a 1-year expiration date. So DebR, I'm on your wavelength. Nevermind I can't exercise, I'm losing weight anyway. Be alive now. Thanks to all of you for the encouraging comments.

    Pat, I hold the vision of wellness for your thumbs! And other creative miracles for your blood sugar management. Thanks for the reminder: Write first! Amen.

  14. Pat and Avi, I love your write first resolutions!

    Reine, I'm in awe of anyone who got through the holidays with no candy and think maybe I should make that my 2012 resolution, especially if I cut down on exercise. As my husband clarified for me, it's not all exercise I need to cut back on, it's tennis.

    Karen, good luck with the jump!

    And Ann, Reine, Deb, Avi, Lynn, Pat, Reine, you are all on our gratitude list for hanging out with us here at JUNGLE RED. Let's all raise our champagne glasses or coffee cups (it's New Year's Day morning as I write) to 2012!

  15. Well, Jan . . . thanks, but I can only think it helps not to live in Harvard Square anymore. Or within rolling distance of the Salem Willows. Or my old place in Marblehead. Not that you can roll in Marblehead, except off a rock. But living out west for awhile helps, because they never heard of maple walnut anything here. Never mind peanutbutter and molasses saltwater taffy or clam rolls. Oh wait. Clam rolls aren't candy. Same effect, though. Like a chop suey sandwich. No. If you're a north shore girl, you almost have to move to Tucson to lose weight.

  16. I think I'm with Hank on letting go of fear and welcoming the awesome change that this new year will bring. And I love Jan's idea of "visions" for the new year.

    Reine, you are my new hero! And your former WW leader was a total asshat (though it sounds as if everyone there was, pretty much).

    I'm making one resolution, though. Write every day. I usually give myself a 1,000 word daily goal. This past year I did a lot of traveling and didn't write every day. I've got a lot of traveling coming up this year to promote the new book (coming closer to pub date all the time *squee*), but I plan to take laptop and/or notebook with me and get up early or stay up late to do my daily stint.

    Happy New Year! Love all my Jungle Reds!

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  18. I only have two resolutions this year. One, pay off my credit cards (I'm a teacher, so that's going to be a challenge!) I hope to do this by bringing my lunch and giving up Starbucks unless I have a gift card. Number two, gulp, is to not buy anymore books until I've read through my enormous TBR pile. Deb and Rhys, I pre-ordered your new books (along with Carola Dunn's new book) BEFORE midnight last night!!

    Reine, you are awesome!! Fight on!!

    Happy New Year, all!