New Year’s Resolutions

Hampstead is a major setting in The Mission, the sequel to The Witness.

Is it too late for a New Year’s resolution? My to-do list for the end of last year was so long that it spilled over into the new year. Add another activity to my schedule? No way! Hence I didn’t greet the new year with plans to make changes in my life. Now, however, it is near the end of January, and I am able to look back on the first month of the new year and see what needs changing.

First, I want to clear away clutter. Are your surroundings – and your mind – filled with things that have somehow piled up? Mine are, so I resolve to organize my environment, but more important, I resolve to consider issues in my mind that need “spring cleaning,” and I’m not going to wait until spring to do it. For example, bitterness, resentment, the holding of grudges. These need to go. It isn’t sufficient, however, just to remove the deadwood from my life; I need to replace it with something. That leads to resolution number two.

We are encouraged from childhood to use our time constructively, and it is important to be productive. However, I resolve to step away from the labor mill on a regular basis and do something just for the fun of it, just because it makes me relax, just because it makes me laugh. I call it my “fun resolution,” and I fully intend to adhere to it.

Third, I want to stop, look, and listen. I want to stop the “busy-ness” for a moment. I want to set aside my to do lists and recapture the feeling of wonder that babies and children have, their fascination with things large and small. I want to remind myself that much of life – perhaps all – is a miracle. I want to recognize the part that family and friends play in making my life wonderful. How? By looking and listening for the approach of joy. If I don’t look, I may miss it, but if I do look, I am confident that I will find it. Sometimes joy comes as a heartbeat, but other times it fills every pore.

If I clear away the clutter, I will make room in my mind and my spirit for something better. First, the experience of fun. Then, building on that positive continuum, encounters with joy.

Am I going to lose weight? Exercise regularly? Eat more healthy food? Yes, of course, I make these resolutions every year, this year included. But for 2014 I am looking for more. I resolve to step off the grid and live this year more fully. Will you join me?

BTW For those who enjoyed my crime/suspense novel, The Witness, here’s a brief update on the next book in the trilogy, The Mission. I have had several additional readers provide feedback. I’m considering their suggestions and hope to have a final manuscript ready for a publisher in the spring.


Viaduct Bridge in Hampstead Heath was one of Jenny’s favorite spots to visit in The Mission.
Viaduct Bridge in Hampstead Heath was one of Jenny’s favorite spots to visit in The Mission.

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