Happiness is a New Year

I love a new year. I get two, the one in January and the one in September (new school year) and I always feel so hopeful. This year will be different! Everything will be new! And it usually is, just not in the way I’d intended. That’s okay, change is good! New experiences build character! (I really feel I have enough character at this point, but I’m sure I can polish the edifice I’ve already built.). Nothing but good times ahead!

Happy New Year, Argh People, with an emphasis on the “happy.”

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61 thoughts on “Happiness is a New Year

  1. Happy New Year to all! This is our last quiet weekend for a while before all those life and child commitments pick up again. I was going to go for run, but it is really windy outside. I can make myself run in the cold and in the dark and even the rain if I really have to, but I don’t do strong wind. Instead I am cozy polishing another chapter of a big fanfiction project. I am in that part of writing where I’m kind of obsessed and wish my family was taking a brief trip to the moon until I was done and finding the right balance between striking while the iron is hot and not letting the rest of my life go to hell in handbasket is challenging.
    My teaching session starts tomorrow and I have a much smaller class which should make my life much easier!

    1. Ooh, I love that “wish my family would go to the moon.” I love my family, but jf they went to the moon, they’d have lots of fun and I would be able to do so many things! Definitely a win-win.

  2. After reading your post, a(nd all the comments) about a life plan, what I really took away from it was to pay attention to what is important to me. It is so easy to get distracted by the bull, including my own.

    Happiness, and paying attention to all the little happies, is so important to me. One of the many reasons I love the Argh community.

    Wishing millions of large, small, tiny, sparkly, peaceful, flamboyant, comforting, satisfying, etc. happies to all.

  3. Happy New Year. My return to work after 3 weeks off due to illness was challenging – not in a good place there and need to figure out how to make it work for me, at least in the short term. However, I made some cards yesterday which makes me happy. As will making soup and walking my dog. One day at a time.

  4. I’m so very happy (and relieved) that my newly-diagnosed diabetic cat started eating again on New Year’s Day, so he must consider new years a reason for happiness too. He’s even romping a bit, playing with toys. He’s still only eating about half of what he was eating before, but that’s at least twice what he’d been eating for the previous two weeks or so.

    Beyond that, I replaced my glitchy 9-yo computer (almost as old as my cat!) and it’s all set up with my files and preferences. And a brand new copy of WordPerfect in acknowledgment of the fact that sometimes change is not good, and it’s important to know when it’s good and when it’s bad. WP is the infinitely superior word processing software, so I’m clinging to it as long as I possibly can. I had to work on a Ms Word project recently (with tables, argh), and I swear I spent more time fixing the formatting that Word imposed on it than I did with the fairly major substantive edits.

    1. Oh gosh, I SO agree with you about MS word. A horrible program, but so damn prolific that I have no choice but to use it at work. The days when I could work with WordPerfect were like a golden time, by contrast.

  5. Happy New Year and Happy Leap Year. Looking far ahead, Xmas and New Year will be on Friday. So none of that 2 weeks seems like 4 weeks feeling.

  6. Happy New Year!

    Out of solidarity with my husband, who’s got terrible eczema, I’m doing the Whole30 diet (very restrictive, basically an elimination diet, intended to last 30 days veggie you reintroduce banned foods) & I hate it less than I expected to, so that’s kind of a win? (No grains, dairy, shot, legumes, added sugars, sweeteners, alcohol, or fun.) We’ll see if it survives my return to the classroom tomorrow for a new set of challenges! (I expect my resolve to be challenged by both the students and my snack drawer.) So that’s brand new!

    So far I’ve learned that I’m much more used to constantly thinking about what I’m eating/going to eat next than my husband is (I have allergies and food restrictions; he does not). But he’s catching up!

    I’m also looking forward to my new paper planner–I splurged on a Moleskein & fancy pens, since I used my $3 planner diligently last year. Here’s hoping I like the spendy one at least was well as the cheapo!

    And I entered the NYC Midnight Short Story Contest, so I’m REALLY looking forward to doing some writing with an enforced boundary, haha.

  7. It’s Twelfth Night, so I’m enjoying my tree for the last time and have been preparing for the real start of the new year by cleaning, changing sheets, ironing, and planting the fancy amaryllis I was given for Christmas. The plumber’s due at 9 tomorrow morning to fit my new boiler, and I’m also planning to get a lot of editing done this week. (Plus swiftly undecorate as soon as I get up.)

    The solstice has worked: it was still light after four today, so the days are noticeably longer.

    I’ve been getting on with clearing the garden and allotment, slowly; and at the same time getting clearer on my plans for them – which makes me really happy. I’m going to leave room for a greenhouse on the allotment, and hope to save up for that and for converting my garden shed into a summerhouse.

    I feel I’ve got a wonderful base and exciting plans. Plenty of hope for this new year.

    1. Thank you for mentioning Twelfth Night (so I don’t have to.) Christmas decorations are down, here. Actually, the dotter downed hers yesterday – I waited til today to unplug the tree atop the fridge. I’d wanted to say something clever about the Twefth Day of Christmas and drummers and such, but research (such as it was, and what there was of it) reminded me of Shakespeare in Love, a favorite movie.

      Happy New Year! All my years are disasters on the way to calamity via catastrophe. Strangely enough, all turns out (happy and) well. How? I don’t know – it’s a mystery.

    1. When I lived in Minneapolis, I used to say that spring started on May 15 and summer on June 1.

  8. Yay & happy new year to all!

    Am celebrating this year by branching out into audiobooks for my mystery series. I realized I was listening to more audio books myself so should offer them to readers as well. My holiday novella is now officially out and soon more audios will follow.

    It’s been super fun putting them together and the woman performing my books is just fab. As the series is set in Montreal, there are many francophone characters as well as anglophone ones, not to mention it’s a mystery so lots of bit characters in each story, but she’s a very talented actor and performs them all so so well. Feel lucky to have connected with her. Definitely an exciting project for me for this year. Plus a nice happy:)

    1. Finding a good narrator is indeed a blessing! I’m always using names in my books, which are common in my area (heavily Portuguese community) and forgetting that I need to explain how to pronounce them, because it’s sort of like having to explain how to pronounce my own name (Jones), since these names are as common around here, some even more so, than Jones!

      1. So agree, Gin! I’m very lucky. My narrator is perfect for my series and the loveliest person as well.

        Plus, the process involved in working together really reinvigorates my writing. Also makes me approach it a bit differently in some ways because some of her voices for particular characters who appear in different scenes in existing books inspire me to want to put them in shared scenes and interact in future stories. So fun!

        I may have some Audible review copies left over, so if anyone’s interested in a free listen just pop me a note. This story is a light novella and not a real case mystery, though, and is quite heavy on the French influence:)

  9. Happy New Year. May it be full of joy.

    Leaving for Santa Barbara in the morning to meet up with eldest son and wife and dog. Going to watch Marlowe for two days while they go to Anaheim with her brother and family. Hey, doggie sitting in California, great way to start the new year.

    Cleaning up after the glitter and slime fest, granddaughters came for three days, mommy was very sick with flu and bronchitis, daddy working. There is a reason slime is banned in many homes. No rules Grampy just likes to indulge. Even so, a very happy three days.

  10. Interesting. With us, our calendar year is the start of the school year. We go back for the new school year on 15 January.

    In a multicultural country, there are many New Years so I quite happily celebrate, given a chance.

    I can’t wait to wish Merry Christmas on Tuesday. It’s like reading a time travel novel, I don’t exactly understand it but I generally don’t let it get in the way of a ripping good tale.

    I may remove myself to the “Explain it like I’m 5” subreddit one day, though. Just because.

  11. And don’t forget, we also get to celebrate the Chinese New Year around January 25th!! It’s The Year of the Rat.

      1. 1951, year of the rabbit, another rodent. It explains so much. Do little things bother me? Gnaw. Who’s my favorite Diskworld character? Carrot. Whelp, got things to do. I’d better hop to it.

      2. I love rats <3

        We had pet rats for years, and if it weren't for the endless vet bills and heartbreakingly short lifespans (and the even more heartbreaking way they grieve when they lose a friend), we'd still have them. Treated well, they are sweet, sociable, kissy little things, with about ten thousand times the personality you'd expect from someone that size. Incredibly naughty, of course, because insatiable curiosity and a need to nibble EVERYTHING can be a little trying at times! But also hilarious, and bossy, and extraordinarily loving.

        All our rats were rescues, so they came from drastically different backgrounds/experiences. Each one had its own quite distinct personality, although with some shared tendencies toward empathy, obsessive cleanliness, and kleptomania. I trained all of ours to come when called, so they could spend the evenings out of their cage. Not that it was usually hard to locate them — during free time, they'd spend an hour or so romping about, demanding ear rubs, wrestling/playing (did you know rats giggle when they're tickled?), and stealing everything that wasn't nailed down, then pile inside my sweatshirt, cover me with kisses, and fall snoringly asleep.

        Could be worth reconsidering — a rat is a lovely thing to be 😉

        1. I had lots of rats as a kid — I adore them. They were smart and funny and quite affectionate. They really do bond with you and, unlike many other rodents, they will return to their cages of their own free will. Like you said, the only sad thing is that they have such short lives — you just get really attached and they’re gone. It’s bad enough with dogs and cats but with rats, oh, just blink a couple of times and they are gone.

          My hubby won’t let me have rats. So, with retirement looming, I am planning on volunteer as a “small animal gentler” at the local animal shelter, so I can go in and play with the rescues (rats need a lot of attention and snuggles).

  12. Happy New Year. Can we have Summer now, please? There is a nasty draft in here and my woodstove chimney is whistling which is making me nuts. However, I’m writing and sewing new clothes. I like those things.

    I’m still missing my big yellow dog, but my heart is hurting less and if I don’t look I still feel him lying near me. Bittersweet. The little dogs are doing their best to keep me busy and annoy the crap out of me when they aren’t cuddling me or each other. I’m doing okay and glad for a new start and that 2020 is so fun to type.

  13. We keep the tree and decorations up until . . . well, until we HAVE to take everything down. (The kids put the tree up a couple of days before Christmas.) I like having the bright lights around during the dark, dreary months of January and February.

    Happy New Year to All!

    1. One box of decorations has a note where we write the date of downing. Latest was January 19. We’ll see what happens this year – with a tinsel tree, there’s no motivation to get it out on the curb.

  14. Happy New Year!

    I am off to a roaring start with my January. Paid work has been slow so I’ve been doing chores and I’ve plowed my way through a massive list over the last few days.

    I’m starting back with aqua fit twice a week for the next while until my knee is stronger. I’ll be walking in the deep end while class is going on in the shallow side since I know there’s no way it would last an entire hour of one of Julie’s workouts.

    One of the chores I had was to shorten Paul’s coverall sleeves. I trimmed and hemmed them to where he told me and they were too short. He took full responsibility for that, fortunately he does not work for a fashion house, and the next day I sewed the cuffs back on. I am happy to report they are now the perfect length. My sewing machine has gotten quite the workout and I’ve learned many new things.

  15. I went to see my friend the furniture saleswoman today fully intending to buy myself a new couch. The store where she works is having a humongous sale and I had my card in hand, ready to look at fabric samples all afternoon. But I couldn’t find a shape that fit me so I never got around to the fun part- drooling over fabrics. Evidently, when I lost 2 inches it all came out of my legs, not my back. They didn’t have a model that fit both.
    On the up side, I saved a lot of money. On the down side, I still have a very uneven couch with holes in it.
    My friend Ted is a genius at finding new ways to use furniture, but since he moved out of town 11 years ago I doubt if his contacts are very current. Unless I ask his friends who own an antique furniture store……I bet they know a good upholsterer. The one who did my couch (and a lot of furniture for Ted) is no longer listed.

  16. I roasted a chicken today. One of my List of 100 for 2020 is perfecting my roast chicken. Ina Garten’s recipe took me straight to the top – hard to see how I get better from here!

    And mid-afternoon, the thought suddenly popped into my head: “I don’t have to go to work tomorrow!” #retirementlife Talk about happy….

    1. Thomas Keller’s is really good, too. And incredibly easy. I think it has three ingredients: chicken, salt, and pepper.

  17. Twelfth Night seems an odd time to mention it, but the Internet was fading in and out so consistently on Thursday that I didn’t add the comment then: I was surprised to find myself reading something called EVERY WOMAN FOR HERSELF, which I thought would be a mild tale and which turned out to be Screwball Romantic Comedy. I haven’t read any SRCs this funny since Jennie stopped writing them. The author is a Tricia Ashley, who seems to have written mostly Christmas romance, and since the last chapter is set on Christmas Eve, this may be one, too. If it isn’t Too Late to take on a Christmas story in January, you might want to try this.

  18. In my town, the junior fire brigade will collect christmas trees on the 2nd Saturday of January, asking for donations at the same time. I regard it as a win-win situation – getting rid of the tree while also supporting our volunteer firemen (small towns like ours cannot provide a complete paid fire brigade). The local enterprises will let the “tree-pushers” borrow their trucks, and the Red Cross prepares the customary pea soup for lunch to feed the hungry helpers. In the evening, the trees are burned in a big bonfire. They are able to raise about 12,000 Euros that way every year. Definitely a reason to be happy.

    1. I treasure our volunteer fire and ambulance departments. The tree collection sounds like a great community event as well as a terrific money raiser.

      A propos of nothing — I finally mailed out holiday cards. I’m relieved to get them off my conscience.

    2. I should pass this on to our fire department, now all paid! but always in need of money for equipment. (Twenty-odd years ago they were all volunteer; quite the transition. And we have paid EMTs now, too.) The town population is about a thousand, but the county surrounding it–the services are all united now–is about twenty thousand.

  19. Happy New Year, everyone–it almost feels more appropriate to say it on this first Monday back to real life than on January 1. I’ve got deadlines breathing down my neck already with book 4 in the FIBW series due on March 16 and several editing gigs staring at me with even earlier due dates–like Friday. Ack! All in all, I’m looking forward to settling into our new house and starting swimming at the new gym and just living a less confused and chaotic life than last year. Hold a good thought that I can actually do that–I’ll report in. 😉

  20. Happy New Year! Today I drove myself to work in my own car (with a manual transmission). It was a great feeling to be able to get myself out and about.

  21. Happy New Year, all! Maybe someone already mentioned this, but I read a warning not to abbreviate the new year, ’cause numbers could be added to the end to change the year. FWIW.

    1. I read that also and have been trying to figure out why it would be important (Dentist again today so I am fixating on silly). Yes you could change the year but why would anyone?

      If I am given a check, I am going to cash that sucker immediately: I am not going to change the date and hang onto it for a year or two – and supposedly checks are only good for a few months although most banks don’t pay a lot of attention to that.

      And you could change the date on a contract or a will, I suppose. But on a contract somewhere in it, the date is probably typed or spelled out.

      What it could be good for is a plot device. Somebody drops dead and happens to have sent a check the day they died and the recipient wants to cash it but is afraid it won’t be honored so they change the date to an earlier year. Or a will disinheriting someone is found so the date is changed to a year prior to the previous will where the heir was not disinherited. None of this makes a lot of sense.

      1. Urban Legend in the making — checks age out and banks normally won’t process them after 90 days / 120 days / 180 days, take your pick. I liked the archeological version, where you must be sure to add “BCE” after the date so that your checks aren’t predated by more than 2000 years.

  22. Happy New Year to all! I’ve resumed going to the gym after more than a six week absence due to bronchitis, then an unexpected trip to Australia, plus Mum passing on Christmas day. A lot of comfort foods eaten during those couple of months. It will take a bit of work to shed the pounds.
    I’ve begun to sort through drawers and cupboards in readiness for moving into my mini house (daughter has built me an ADU at front of her home) and I can’t believe how much I’ve accumulated since moving here three+ years ago. Also shredding old papers and sometimes reading some. Amazing how much (related to writing) that I had. Feeling good with my retirement and no more hunching over a computer. Once I get settled in the new place I’ll perhaps look for some volunteer position.

      1. Thanks ladies. No matter how we think we’re prepared we never are. Not even with her being 96. She went quickly which was a blessing. It was all she’d ever hoped for.

  23. I got so excited about writing 2020 on a piece of mail that I accidentally made it 2200, and that was a scary moment, staring at it trying to figure out what was not quite right…

  24. Happy new year! I’m too tired to add something clever; all my wit has gone into making ball bearings interesting.

  25. Hello, first timer here. If my coonhound will kindly stop barking at me to feed him, I will continue. Nope, not going to happen. I happened upon this Jennifer Crusie stuff by accident. Pretty sure I am related to her. I am a beginner writer, taking classes at the library, but I’ve been writing (and not publishing anything ever) forever. Taking it more seriously this past year. So I believe Jenny’s grandmother was a sister of my grandfather Carl Headapohl. I am getting her books now to read. You people are all so cute and funny. Better go feed Leon before he literally starves to death.

    1. Oh, wow, another Headapohl? Hey, cousin, welcome to Argh.
      My grandmother was Leona and my great aunt Clara Headapohl if that helps. Love the name Clara.

      1. My grandfather was Carl Headapohl. Leona was his sister. I loved visiting great Aunt Clara, retired school teacher. Carl and Ida Telljohn Headapohl adopted my mom Nancy when she was four years old. If I ever get far enough along and be lucky enough to maybe have a book published, I was considering a pen name and combine two of my great grandmothers’ names..so my “pen” first name will be CallieAnna. Callie was the nickname of Caroline Dillman Headapohl, wife of John Lewis Headapohl and parents of Leona, Carl, Clara and several others. I dabble a lot in genealogy. It is soo cool to meet you! Still undecided on “pen” last name, got two other great grandmas but don’t like the names of Morris or Diegel.

    2. Welcome! It’s a great community, lots of writing (both craft and the process) expertise here, and lots of random fun stuff too!

  26. My spouse and I finished the worksheet the lawyer gave us for our wills.
    It was a goal for 2019. We had last updated when our eldest was 1. Probably overdue. Going down the list; Guardians? check (though youngest is 17), executor? check.
    Who due you want to inherit if your spouse and children are already dead. WTH. I was dragged kicking and screaming to contemplate my own mortality but now my entire family is gone. Wow. I am going to eat Christmas cookies now.

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