Kissing the New Year In

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Okay, so the tomorrow part of that quote doesn’t apply anymore, cause now it’s today, but otherwise the sentiment is spot on and goes precisely with what we want to talk about today.

First, a quick recap of yesterday’s little list of tasks:
I didn’t go out much, so there wasn’t a lot of ability to put it to work. My only trip out of the house was to the grocery store at about 3 in the morning.  The only person I encountered was a stock worker.  But rather than my usual “find something to look at, avoid eye contact at all costs” approach to people I smiled at him, and he smiled back.  I would’ve hello’d him but he was pulling a pallet lift full of stuff and moving pretty fast and my instinct was to get out of his way and let him keep moving. But smiles exchanged is a step up in the world for me.  Happy New Year’s have been wished to everyone I’ve spoken to.  Thank you’s have been issued where appropriate.  I didn’t go out (or drink) so no designated driver required.  I did eat a couple strips of bacon, so pork accomplished although I did not find black eyed peas when I went to the grocery store. I suspect I didn’t know where to look for them or they also go by another name.

As for today, the project we want you to start if you’re not already doing it is to keep a journal, and write in it daily.  We really like Eccolo’s Journals and think that journaling is a more relaxing and luxurious bit of “me time” in a pretty journal. with a design that speaks to you, with a dedicated smooth writing pen, but if you don’t have money to throw at it just grab a notebook and a bic pen or even open up a word document on your computer and write in it daily.

I got my first diary when I was a tiny kid who could barely write and have fond memories of my first entries including things like being excited that I rode my bicycle a whole half mile followed by a million exclamation points and a badly drawn bike 🙂  I’ve moved up a little in my journaling standards since then, but really there hasn’t been any point in my life since I learned how to write that I didn’t keep some sort of diary or journal or LiveJournal or personal diary blog or something that chronicled every day of the year.  I think journals are a great gift for kids and teens (as long as you respect their privacy and don’t read them) to get them started off on learning how to get their thoughts and feelings out somewhere that they aren’t bottled up, but it’s never too late to start, and the writing process is a therapeutic one.

We all have feelings and thoughts that we’re scared to share with the world, because we don’t think they’re socially acceptable, or because maybe we’re dreaming “too big” and will be laughed at, or we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings but need to get out emotion and frustration about something they said or did, and a journal is a great place for all of these things.  Private thoughts and feelings can fester in your brain, but putting them down on paper can get them out so they don’t just stay there and grow and torture you, and still keep them private at the same time.  Again, I can’t stress enough how important it is to respect that privacy right of others and NOT read their diaries or journals no matter how curious you are.  Let people have their private thoughts.

It is, however, important to journal on the normal days and the happy days and not just the sad or bad days.  Make it a regular habit so it can be a relief when you need it and not just a negative association.  The happy moments deserve to be chronicled so you can look back on them when they turn out to be important happy moments in the future.  The normal daily monotony deserves to be chronicled.  There are times that you might not know about your worries or concerns or real feelings about daily events until you’re getting them down on paper and having to find words for them, and it’s so much healthier and feels so much better to be able to identify what exactly is going on in your brain and your heart.  Even those things that you know you need to talk about with someone can be easier to talk about once you’ve sorted them out in writing first so you know what matters and what needs to be said and what is driving an emotion and maybe even be able to approach the subject with them from a deescalated point so it doesn’t have to be an explosive conversation.

Studies have also shown that journaling even has positive physical effects. According to James Pennebaker of the University of Texas at Austin, journaling on a regular basis has a positive impact on the strength of immune cells.  It has also been shown to reduce the symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis, and of course, reduces your stress level.  The length of your entries is entirely up to you. You can do a few sentences, or a page, or until you’re out of things to write. But make some time to do it daily before bed.  The nightly ritual will help you transition to being ready for sleep as well, and you’ll sleep better with less worry swirling around in your brain all night.
Today’s List of Tasks:
Clean a Bathroom.  If you have more than one bathroom, for today clean the one your guests would use.  If not, then of course just clean your regular bathroom. Start at the top and work your way down. Dust any light fixtures. Clean dirty finger smudges off the switch plate for the lights. Windex the mirror(s).  Give the countertop a good wipe down and then do the same with the sink and faucet.  Straighten up any cabinets or medicine chests. Dispose of any medications or cosmetics that are past their expiration date. Give the toilet a good scrubbing, inside and out.  Scrub down the shower and bathtub and unclog drains if they need it.  Get rid of any empty shampoo and body wash bottles or toothpaste tubes that you have sitting there waiting to be taken out.  Toss out any dead air fresheners or burned out candles.  Sweep the floor. Take out the trash from the waste basket. Mop the floor. Done!  It all fit in one little paragraph and I promise you can do it!
My house has no good place for a litter-box so mine is in my “guest” bathroom, so if you have a litter-box, wherever it is I’m gonna ask you to clean that today too, because I won’t remember to bring it back up when we move on to other rooms.  And like, keep cleaning it, but do a serious thorough job to kick things off today.
Do Some Cardio. If you have access to an elliptical, hop on it for 10 minutes. Or more if you feel up to it.  If not, New Year’s is a good time to join a gym, they have specials. Planet Fitness is airing commercials for $1 to join and $10 a month.  (I have no affiliation or experience with Planet Fitness, it’s just the commercial I keep seeing, research any gym before you join it.) If gyms aren’t your thing go for a jog.  If you’re not up to that yet, jog in place in your living room for 5 minutes.  Just get up and get some blood and air flowing.
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Month 1, 250 lbs, on the Elliptical
Listen to a subliminal recording or a guided meditation designed to improve your complexion.  When we look better, we feel better, and while we can argue about why it works, it does, so we’ll save the argument of why for a later post.  Even if your skin is already great, going through the meditation is a soothing process, and you can listen to the subliminal recording as you fall asleep, and it’s all just very peaceful and soothing.
And that’s all you need to accomplish for today!  Happy New Year everyone!

A word about music:  We include songs for a reason.  Music helps us deal with the world, helps to soothe the soul, and gives us something else we can focus on when everything is too much.  Listen to the songs we post. Even if you already know them. Listen to them like you don’t. Pay attention to the lyrics. Pay attention to what the instruments are telling you. They all have a message, they all have a purpose, they’re all chosen for a reason.  If you like the song, please support the artist by purchasing the MP3 or Album that features it.

Today’s music can be found on

MP3: Let’s Start The New Year Off Right

Album: Bing Sings The Irving Berlin Songbook

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4 Replies to “Kissing the New Year In”

  1. And a Happy New Year to you as well. Since we went out for Chinese last night, I was able to use Please and Thank You and say Happy New Year several times. Even to the younger man who held the door open for us older folk, hehe. Not sure if I actually ate any pork and did not see any black eyed peas. Only had about a shot glass worth of champagne at the house so I didn’t need a designated driver. As for today’s tasks… I know any journal I write will be found and read by someone who just has to know everything that’s going on, even if explicitly asked not to. The computer is shared and a password protected Word doc would create problems. Every night I go through the days events in my head. I know this is not the same….. I look forward to the rest of todays tasks.

    1. Woohoo! Yay for Chinese food and good manners! And champagne too! What about a private blog that only you knew about and had privacy settings to keep anyone else out of? You can do that on free wordpress. And livejournal is still around, I’m sure you can still do it there. I know what it’s like to have that person that just can’t control their curiosity… but if it’s truly a private one person writing their thoughts I don’t think that’s a bad or disloyal secret to keep. Of course it’s up to you. But I think the writing process is important. Keeping it all in your head can get to feeling toxic. Even just typing it out and then deleting it when you’re done would be healthy.

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