Happiness is a New Start

I don’t know about your 2018, but mine could have been better. Could have been worse, of course, but in general, it was a tense slog. And now we’re down to the last two days, and I’m thinking, “Bring on 2019.”

I do realize that things are not going to miraculously turn around on Tuesday, but there is something about putting up a new calendar (that’s a pretty blatant turning point). I am not making resolutions–screw resolutions–but I am thinking about fresh starts, looking at the things that are constant in my life and thinking about them in new ways. The fact that they’re constants doesn’t mean they never change, it just means that they’re part of me, and I shouldn’t take any of them for grated.

So here’s looking at the things we love and do and need with fresh eyes in a fresh new year. In fact, here’s to the new year, may it be not quite so interesting and filled with a lot more joy.

Happiness to you 2019, Argh People.

48 thoughts on “Happiness is a New Start

  1. Yes, I don’t really do resolutions unless it’s something I really want to do anyways. I did decide when the kids started their holiday break I was going to do no more social media and online news while they were home (b/c I just feel better focused and calmer w/out it) and I feel so much better I’m mulling about taking it into the new year. Maybe not to that extreme, but some way to be more moderate in my screen/news/social media consumption.

    Here’s to fresh starts. Nothing but good times ahead 😉

  2. Wishing all Arghinkers all the very best for 2019 – hoping for good times ahead!

    I’m not making resolutions – but I have plans and hopes.

    Main hope – that Brexit collapses and we end up remaining in the EU
    First plan – try to shed the deep, throbbing hurt and anger I feel about the manipulation and fraud that led to the Brexit vote in 2016 – I know I am still seething and it’s not good for me.

    Other plans – I’m very happy in my current job and would like to stay in it, but I’m also applying for a couple of other jobs that would take the family back to Brussels where my mother lives. I feel sanguine and philosophical about this: if it is meant to be, I’ll get to the stage where I am asked for interview and perhaps given a decent offer. If and when it gets to that point, I sit down with DH and Minion 2 and we discuss our options.

    And finally – writing. Hopes: I’m all over the place with this one. I have about 5 different stories running round my head and I can’t make up my mind which I should focus on…I’ve got Scrivener docs for all of them up and running…but this year, I want to get back to the 500 words a day that I managed for most of last year until the autumn came and blind-sided me somewhat.

  3. I’m not making any resolutions to do new things. I’m going to return to doing the things that worked for me before.

    I used to listen to the radio and dance a LOT and I stopped. I didn’t even know that I’d stopped. But when I started the good drugs, it came back. It turned out that it was was how I’d kept myself fit for years.

    I used to go for yoga classes and I stopped. That needs to start right up again because it makes me happy. Truly happy in such a way that I’m mentally protected from the tough times at work.

    I used to play with my dog every, single day. As he got older and I got depressed, it happened less. The new boy needs a lot of love, and frankly, so do I.

    And finally, learning. I used to choose something to learn to improve myself every year and I used to see it through the year. It was never an incomplete resolution. I stopped when I lost my optimism. I have made a choice for 2019. It will make me feel good about my mind again.

    I’m very happy today because I visited family yesterday and played with the toddlers. Today I visited my other cousins and played with their dogs. Happiness is good relationships.

  4. I’ve just realized I’m going to park my fiction project for another year: first, I want to make myself a beautiful, inspiring and welcoming home; and try and get more enjoyable freelance work. Make myself a stable foundation on which to play and enjoy life.

    This feels good. Happy 2019 everyone – and thanks for all the friendship and inspiration in 2018.

  5. Tossed the 2018 calendar and replaced with 2019. Wrote appointments on appropriate dates with added notes to self. Next checked freezer for any baked goods in hiding. No luck, there is just a smidge of stollen left along with a slice of pie. I’m done baking. Good news though my husband found our granddaughter’s cell phone in car and met our son at halfway point to return it. Put away a few more Xmas items. Just taking my time. Oh so ready for a new year. Auld Lang syne. Arghers!

  6. I don’t make resolutions, but I do use Leonie Dawson’s workbook to, among other things, make a list of 100 goals for the year. I usually average about 70 on the list, so one of my goals this year is to make it all the way to 100. 🙂 It’s hard, trust me!

    2018 whapped me with a couple of biggies that took up a lot of emotional space, so I’m hoping 2019 will be a little gentler in that regard, or barring that, that I’m better at riding the wave.

    Other than that, looking to retire from the day job and move to Portugal in about 2 years, so DH and I need to start a *serious* amount of downsizing. Going to have to take that one bird by bird.

    Happy New Year, Arghers! Wishing all of us everything good and creative and wonderful in 2019.

  7. I am ready for 2019 to be different. Not sure how, or what it will look like, but I am holding myself open for new, good things.

    In the meantime, reading and eating cookies for 2 and a half more days! Sending relaxed, happy energies to all.

  8. Not quite so interesting and more joy sounds just right to me. Some parts of this year were good, but those bits mostly got overwhelmed by the loss after loss after loss. So I’m hoping not to lose anyone (feline or human) who is important to me in 2019, for the country to be less insane and for me to be less angry and frightened about that and everything else. I want to rediscover my creative mojo…see part A.

    Happy new year, Arghers, and thanks for being part of the more joy.

  9. Happy New Year, dear Arghers. It has been a treat being part of this group for the last twelve months or so, and I have discovered some really good books through it. Like most others here, I don’t make resolutions, but I do like the idea a friend of mine has, of finding a couple of words that form a sort of theme for the coming year. Intentions rather than resolutions. I’m not sure what my words are yet, but ‘brave’ is probably one of them. And ‘swim’.

  10. Not resolutions, I don’t do those either, but plans. I plan to sit in front of my mood light more. I need to do that daily until at least March. This should keep me from falling deeper into the black hole of my mind in winter.

    The other is to ride my exercise bike more. This is for physical and mental health. Gotta take better care of my heart and my mind.

    I’m thinking I might go back to work for a couple of more years. The Big D is approaching (why do these things take so long?) and I’m worried about health insurance and dog food. I don’t mind eating rice and beans, but the dogs need proper nutrition.

    I used to have such big plans when a new year rolled around, now I just hope for fewer catastrophes. I’m becoming a crotchety old woman. I’m telling you, winter is not good for me.

  11. My goals for 2019 include releasing two more books and getting the fourth one written. Spending time with my grandkids before they’re grown and gone. And freeing the awesome dog I know resides inside Kai, my rescued Aussie. Thanks to whoever suggested reading The Other End of the Leash.. It helped me deal with him in those first few weeks and made me much more optimistic about his future. We start obedience classes on Thursday.

  12. I actually enjoy New Year more than Christmas nowadays. I love the idea of a fresh start. May or may not stay up to actually mark the turn of midnight, we’ll see how it goes.

    Aims for 2019? Sounds counterintuitive, but to be blunter and less polite. Specifically re a couple of my in-laws who are tending to take the mick at present. I was raised to be polite, but I’ve discovered that is actually not always the best practice with some people, so I need to try and dial back a bit. My mental health would benefit from less bitten-tongue seething and more speaking my mind. Though I have said this before and just fallen back into old habits, so effort will be required.

    Otherwise my aims are to read more, quilt more, see my friends more, eat good food, and enjoy life. 🙂

    Happy New Year and a great 2019 to all!

    1. Relatives who are rude sometimes think of themselves as the kind of honest person who tells it like it is. When you retaliate, you are a thankless, awful person. What a good friend would do when someone said something that was unkind, rude or insulting would say “I am sure that you did not meant that the way it came out. It sounded like you were being (unkind/rude/insulting) and I know you too well to believe you meant it that way.”

      They then had the option of living up to her good opinion or they could insist they meant what they said and she would say “I am sorry to hear that. I think you are a better person than that.” All without being ugly in return so she could keep her good opinion of herself.

    2. Just wanted to say I understand, Frances. I’ve regretted not speaking up much more than I’ve ever regretted speaking up.

      Sadly, some issues aren’t effectively addressed with gentle nudges to try to convince someone to be good. Some people want to dominate or manipulate. I have a family member who if I *weren’t* to speak bluntly to him about his behavior, I would lose some self-respect, because I have grown up seeing him decimate family members, including children, with deliberate cruelty and the adults didn’t call him out on it because of a desire to be polite. It simply gave him room to be cruel for years.

      Having a good opinion of oneself is complex. I don’t think a person can boil their behavior down to one simple rule to maintain it. Sometimes it’s smart to be quiet, and sometimes, it’s just easy. I’m trying to learn to differentiate the two myself, and I’m trying to learn from all the times I regretted not speaking up. This personal growth thing is not for the faint-hearted.

      Every situation is different. You know yours better than any of us do, and I wish you all the strength in the world in dealing with it whichever way you think best.

  13. Happiness back at you, Jenny–and to all Arghers.

    Over the last couple years I have slowly improved my time management. This year I’m considering a more radical schedule change, building on all I’ve learned.

    As Calvin would say to Hobbes, further bulletins as events warrant.

  14. I’m gearing up for our annual New Year’s Eve Party, which would be a lot more fun if I felt well. And I sent out a summary of the political wins of 2018 to my Indivisible group which cheered me up a lot. While we certainly had some huge loses (Kavanaugh) we actually had an impressive number of wins given that that Republicans nominally controlled House Senate and the Presidency and that the President is…who and what he is.

    So my resolution is to keep up my resistance work. And my plan is to keep gardening…

  15. Happy New Year, Argh People!

    This morning happiness was a warm puppy on my lap because baby, it’s cold outside! We had 5-6 inches of snow last night and lots of wind so there was crazy drifting and I had to go shovel so Tall Boy could get in the house. I really appreciated how cuddly and willing to be a lap warmer Fred is. Nothing like 90+ pounds of lap dog to keep you warm.

    After a huge backlog and rush at work before/over Christmas, things are dead and I can’t say I’m sad about it.

    I’ve started making some plans for the new year. There are a few things I’d like to build upon. I have some furniture that needs repairs and painting and I’d like to see if I could sell a few pieces, some sewing to do and new projects to attempt.

    I’m not a big social-media user but I could cut back even more, especially news sources. I really don’t need to read that much news.

  16. Happy New Year Arghers!

    I hope to knock off two major goals on New Year’s Day: hitting ‘publish’ on both the Big Summer Novel and the NaNoWriMo Novel. They are loaded, I have only to finish the description on BSN and I don’t think I shall do that tonight because I want to do just a little more administrivia, and then … stop and read something somebody else wrote.

    Have spent a massive amount of time this weekend brainstorming and researching and writing for the next novel. Funny, I thought I was going to write the other one first, but apparently this one has jumped the queue.

    Resolutions: fie upon them.


    First, to commit an hour per weekend day to cleaning up my poor neglected garden. (This is a sneak goal. Experience informs me that if I get out there, I will end up putting more than an hour in.) My neighbors will thank me, and in a couple of months it should look respectable. Escape hatch: if it’s over 80 degrees, I’m not stepping outside. The plants can fend for themselves. I will water them, but they are on their own in the Great Weed Fight.

    Second, to keep plugging away on the marketing and take steps toward getting an agent. This series will not sell itself.

  17. I’m ready for January. I’ve attended three funerals so far this month and the fourth one is Friday. Ugh.

    My plans for next year include a trip to Tunesia to visit family and a trip to see sperm whales to celebrate getting to my 50th birthday.
    I am also going to work on being happy. Work is stressful, home is stressful and I don’t do stress well.

  18. I’d say, “Yay! I made it through another year,” but there are twenty-three hours left. We all know what happens when someone says, “What could go wrong?”

    It’s been nearly twenty years since I made the resolution never to make another resolution for the new year. If I can amass the willpower to keep a resolution, January 1 has no magic to improve the odds.

    So let me just wish you all the best for another year, without waiting until some midnight somewhere.

  19. I bought a beautiful white, swirly, victorian style metal bed frame today. It will involve rearranging my whole studio apartment (currently I have a murphy bed that rolls back into the wall) and I’m a little worried that I’m losing floor space and it will make the apartment feel crowded. But I’m so excited to have a bed that stays out all day, and doesn’t roll, and that I can tuck up right against the window so I can wake up to more fresh air in the summer and daylight in the winter. I’ve decided that as much as I love being able to put the bed away when company come over, my space should be for me first, and company second. And I think for 2019 that means a big beautiful fluffy white bed by a window.

    1. Don’t know if this would be a step back, but I’ve lived with a spare single bed in my living area for the past couple of years: I cover it with a bedspread and put big cushions at the head and along the wall side, to make it into a sofa. But I’m not using it every day, which doubtless changes things. Sounds like yours will make a good chaise longue for you during the day, at least – it’s always lovely to sit by a window.

    2. So, don’t ask me why, but I totally read that as a new metal bird house. Took me half the comment to clue in. I was busy fantasizing you with a fancy cute new SMALL thingie, but less useful lol Congrats on a new bed, I think you made the right choice!

  20. For 2019 I have goals, rather than resolutions. I need to intersperse creativity with cleaning and organization, so I can tackle a small corner of stacked up “things”, and tame it, then reward myself with quilting or other creative outlets.

    I’m also feeling the need to visit family, now that they’ve all “gone to Texas”, pretty much literally. Hopefully, I’ll get there for the bluebonnets, because they make me happy and I’d love my husband to see them.

    Happy New Year to you all!

  21. My daughter came up with our family’s 2019 goal three weeks ago.

    After two years of various medical nastiness (Breast cancer for me, starting 2/3/2017 followed by completely torn quadriceps in March of this year requiring surgery and months of recuperation followed by discovering – via a bike accident and cat scan – that my husband has/had major artery issues – they are routed wrong and causing an embolism – the fix for this is TWO rather scary procedures, the first to re-route an artery, which happened almost 5 weeks ago; the second to be fix the embolism to be scheduled real-soon-now).

    Once my husband’s second procedure is complete, no one is allowed to go to the hospital UNLESS it is because a new baby is being born! (No, she’s not pregnant – yet).

    I can totally get behind that goal! So thankful for decent medical insurance and a reasonable proximity to Yale New-Haven Hospital where one of the best doctors in the world in treating my husband’s condition is based.

  22. Happy New Year (at Midnight) Everyone

    This year try not to let the grind get me down.

    Need to sleep more and take care of myself

    Everyone else take care too

  23. Happy New Years to you!!
    I wanted to say that Maybe Next Time is my absolutely favorite book to listen to, and your information on Haunting Alice has me on pins and needles!! I love the way I get to laugh out loud at some of the scenes, characters and comments!! Thank you for your very fun/good books

      1. Seems like the moment to chime in and say Agnes and the Hitman was and remains one of the best, most delightfully subversive and satisfying romance novels I’ve ever read. You rock.

  24. Goals I hope to achieve in 2019 which is going to be w-a-y better than this old 2018. Please!

    My word for 2019 – endeavour. It is a word my favourite mentor used all the time. Thanks to my dear Molly who passed away many years ago, but, this word is my reminder of a truly wonderful woman. I can try to do better and succeed.

    Cheers for a terrific year with NO bad health surprizes, financial losses, etc, etc, etc.

  25. Never been much for resolutions. I’ll just settle for the hope that 2019 will be a better year. This is not to say that there haven’t been any positive things with this one, but unfortunately there’s been too much negative stuff going on. And it’s not over yet, so let’s just say we’ll start at the bottom and aim for the stars!

    I also hope I’ll find out how to dream and have ambitions again. Because this feeling of being a no-good nom-dreamer without ambitions is kinda depressing. I used to have loads of dreams and ideas. Where did they all go?

    I’d like to thank all of you wonderful ladies (possible male ladies included) for all cheers, support, Twitter-likes, Argh-hearts and general awesomeness this year. Your kind words have often cheered me up when I felt down and I’ve taken a lot of your advice and peptalks to heart. I’ve also got so many new book recommendations from the Good Book Thursday I’ll have enough to read the coming 20 years. The question is just where to start…

    Good luck with Nick and Nita, Jenny! I’m looking forward to reading it next year. AT least THAT will be one good thing with 2019. 🙂

    I’d like to wish all of you wonderful Cherry-Arghers a happy, healthy, fulfilling, inspiring new year with loads of love, hugs, books and animal cuddling! <3 May all your dreams and wishes come true.

  26. A recommendation – and a warning for Argh authors.

    Roi Solberg’s “Spirit of Archetypes: Cards of Spiritual Guidance” is, for me, a fun way to tap the Girls in the Basement, pulling a daily card. NB: The commentary is heavily tilted toward encouraging the pursuit of your dreams.

    But the Amazon price was almost $2,000! Apparently that could mean the account is compromised (search “amazon price money laundering”). So, authors, check your Amazon listings.

    And if you’re interested in the deck, you can purchase it via PayPal through the author’s website, which is just Roi Solberg plus the dot com.

    1. It could just mean it is out of print and therefore hard to find. My first Llewellyn book shows up at $600+ on Amazon, which is absurd. (My own reissued version with a new cover is just fine.)

  27. Happy New Year to all.

    Kindness, compassion, forgiveness. That’s my new year mantra. It’s also my meditation anchor.

    As the dh says by way of John Kabat Zinn, “You cant control the ocean but you can learn to surf the waves.”

    Sidenote: He said it one morning in the chaos of lunch boxes, homework, papers, busses, etc and I walked up to him and said lovingly, “I will throat punch you the next time you say that to me in the midst of madness.”

    Kindness, compassion, forgiveness. Saying through gritted teeth is still saying it.

    Good wishes for a new year!

  28. Happy New Year everyone! I am in Berlin with my husband and kids for the holiday. (We lived here for ten years when the girls were little and this is our first time back as a family.) People really get into the fireworks here in a big way. We have had fun. My goals for the new year are to be more optimistic, more creative, and to try not to let my imposter syndrome tendencies to gain the upper hand.

  29. Happy New Year, Arghers! And to you, Jenny, for providing the space that gives me a jolt of pleasure every time a post goes up.

    I used to say every year at this time that I would try to be a better person, which gave me a lot of leeway in expectations and execution and seemed to minimize failure. But since we live in troubled times, I think today I will express my hopes: that we will all be happy in our writing, that we all stay healthy, that JaneB finally gets her house (fingers crossed!). And that I will be a better person.

  30. I’m late to the party as usual, but Happy New Year to us all, and may it be better than the last by a very large factor.

    Unlike most here I make resolutions every year with my sisters, and we keep a group cheerleading message going through the year to celebrate our progress towards our goals and all the small victories along the way. Top of the list for me this year (now that my job situation is sorted out and my financial situation is getting there) is to finally finish that first draft I’ve been writing for far too long now.

    Blessings to you all in this fresh start.

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