Welcome 2013!

The confetti is litter. The hangover is in full swing. The resolutions are already broken. Well, that’s me. How about you? How have you all been these past few weeks? I took a little break while I visited my family in Tennessee. (More on that in this week’s Friday Five.) So I’m anxious to catch up.

Did you make any resolutions for 2013? I’ve given up making resolutions…mostly because I tend to give up any resolutions I make. In 2012 I tried to come up with a theme, an idea from Tammy over at Rowdy Kittens. Simply choose a word or two that captures how you want to move through the world in the next year.

Last January I decided on focus, mostly because I tend to say yes to too many things. I think I’m afraid that if I say no, I’ll disappoint someone or miss an important opportunity. Focus was supposed to remind me to stay centered on what I truly wanted to do: namely anything that took me away from my writing. If it didn’t fit into my already hectic schedule or the offer didn’t excite me from the get-go, I said no. And it worked. Sort of. There were times when I stayed strong, once turning down a freelance editing gig because the extra workload would make me a frazzled mess. There were times when I lost focus, committing to teach two classes despite trying to write and edit and, oh, my day job, and my writing suffered. But focus helped me get up every morning 30 minutes early to write before I go to work and encouraged me not to get distracted with email or Words with Friends or Facebook.

In 2013, I’m going to continue on the same path with the word balance. This short video from Gretchen Rubin at The Happiness Project is what inspired this year’s theme. It seems particularly appropriate to share it with you today, at the start of a new year. The idea resonated with me because, even though I don’t have kids, I could understand the feeling of needing to rush through mundane errands to get to “the next big thing.” How many times have I walked Reggie around the neighborhood wishing he’d stop sniffing at that tree over there because I had Very Important Things To Do!  No longer. These are the moments that make up our lives.

The days are long, but the years are short.

Thanks to all of you who keep coming around and gracing me with your presence. To those of you who are new subscribers: welcome! I’m so glad you joined.

If you’re new around here, or if you missed some of the highlights, check out these popular posts (according to WP):

Christmas lights in Dyker Heights

50 Things that Make Me Smile

Shine: Opening Hearts and Changing Minds (Also visit the SHINE main page)

Wishing you all the best in 2013! 



  1. Happy New Year! I gave my (college) daughter The Happiness Project for Christmas and I want to read it, too. I agree: no more rushing through anything. These are the moments, as you say. I am so very happy to have your blog to read, Jackie, truly one of the highlights of my online reading each week! Thank you, and can’t wait for the Tennessee Friday Five!


    1. Thank you so much, Julia. I’m so happy to connect with you here and know that you’re out there reading my words. That means so much!
      I hope your daughter likes The Happiness Project. I think no matter where you live, age, occupation, etc., there are valuable gems in the book for everyone.


    1. When I was driving back to NYC, I passed the exit to Lexington and thought of you and Sara. How I would have liked to take the exit and drop by to visit for a spell. I’m sure Reggie would have liked meeting Ralph and Lucy too. 🙂


  2. I hope you have a balanced 2013. I look forward to following your adventures. I am most likely going to visit New York this year and will look through your posts. It is one of my favourite cities in the world.


  3. Thank you for that wonderful trigger to my own memories. When my children were younger, I drove them to school. I loved listening to their conversations about the upcoming day. I also cherished the time with them. My youngest child was married in October. But now I get to babysit for my 2 grand-daughters. Happy New Year!


    1. Now that you’ve mentioned it, I think most of my fondest childhood memories involve ordinary things: going to the movies, cooking dinner, playing board games.
      Enjoy babysitting for your granddaughters. Happy New Year to you Judy!


  4. Happy New Year, Jackie! What a beautiful video. This is my whole life’s work at this point – to try to really enjoy the present. I think maybe my word for the year will be “breathe”. I’m not sure yet, but I think it might be a good one for me this year!


    1. Using the word breathe is a great idea, Carla. I had to remind myself of that when I was driving back to NYC from TN as the weather was quite bad and I realized I was holding my breath for long stretches!
      Wishing you a joyous and peaceful 2013! Thank you for this journey. 🙂


  5. Happy New Year. Last night when I took Miles out he sniffed a lamppost for a good two minutes. I let him and smiled the whole time. It’s the little things in life that make us happy. I wish you the best! Give Reggie a hug.


    1. I think Reggie and Miles are two peas in a pod! Nothing makes Reggie happier than to put his nose to the ground and sniff up a storm. I used to wonder what he could be sniffing for so long. It’s just a bare spot on the sidewalk. But then I realized, of course just because I can’t see anything doesn’t mean something isn’t there. 🙂
      I hope Miles got a big squeaky toy for Christmas!


      1. Actually he got a big teddy bear that’s almost the same size as him. They last longer than the squeaky toys. How long does it take Reggie to rip out the squeaker?


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