Well, Thank God, That’s Over

2020 is done, put a fork in it.

I do not do resolutions, my family inflicted enough guilt to last me forever, I don’t need to outsource it, but I’m heavily into hope and optimism, so I am CERTAIN that 2021 is going to be exciting and different and GOOD.

Nothing but good times ahead.

Just wanted to put that out there.

56 thoughts on “Well, Thank God, That’s Over

  1. Once upon a time, about 10 years ago, I made a new year’s resolution and, astonishingly, kept it, and it was life changing*. So I have boundless optimism in the face of all more recent evidence, that it could happen again. So in 2021 I will learn to do a handstand! Sleep more! Be a better, calmer, kinder mum! Work more efficiently! It’ll be great!

    On the other hand, there’s Oliver Burkeman and this gem that I read every January 1st…

    “I trust we’re all in agreement that “New Year, New You” is preposterous and bad. But it’s preposterous and bad, I’d argue, for some interesting reasons…These all result from one rarely mentioned truth: that by definition, the only person who could successfully bring this New You into being is that feckless, lazy, overcommitted, weak-willed, Twitter-addicted, crisps-munching good-for-nothing called Old You. And Old You is the last person you ought to trust when it comes to designing a New You.”


    Of course, this year is the year. New me, here I come 😎

    *I took up running. From a standing start. In December I couldn’t run to the letterbox (seriously, I couldn’t run 5 mins, and had never been sporty) and the following May I ran a half marathon. I’m positively evangelical about running.

    1. PS Happy New Year everyone!

      “Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, “It will be happier.””
      -Alfred Lord Tennyson

      1. I did Couch to 5k this year (and the past 4 years – it’s become a summer tradition because I’m not running outside in the winter in Michigan). It was the first year that I truly ran a 5K. give it go and if you’re like me, you may need to do a week more than once, especially, week 4.

        1. I’m doing None To Run instead. It’s similar but starts off easier and goes more gradually. You end up at the same place though.

  2. No resolutions for me either but as we say in French « un nouveau départ », a new start.

  3. Sometimes I do New Year’s Resolutions, sometimes I don’t. Lots of times I do like the new start, new routine, but usually I’ll just wait for the first of the month and go.

    I try to frame it in a way that it is either enjoyable (I will take more bubble baths, that was a fun one) or something that isn’t a black/white pass/fail type thing.

    One I’ve really worked on the last couple of years is – checking my posture a few times a day to make sure I’m not hunching. It took me years of yoga to realize how slouchy I was in my regular life. Before the pandemic I would do it at red lights and stop signs. Just take a deep breath, roll my shoulders back and down. Another deep breath. Now I’m not driving as much, so I have to be a little more mindful of it. It’s the kind of thing where you can have a redo every day (multiple times a day if you want!) without beating yourself up, which is my kind of resolution. I also like the idea of eating more slowly and taking the time to really enjoy my food.

    This year, I’m holding off on any resolutions b/c so much of 2021 is still unknown. I do believe it will be better, but the specifics of what our “new normal” will seem fuzzy to me. And what will be realistic to do at what times.

    I’m more trying to stick to what I’ve figured out what has worked with during the pandemic times (an exercise routine, really diving deep into language learning), not beat myself up about what didn’t work (many things), and be in the right mind frame to be open to new things without having any specific expectations in mind. For myself and for the world. . .

  4. This morning I’m listing (in my mind) the 2020 changes I want to keep in 2021: (1) exercising, (2) taking walks, (3) losing weight by consciously but not neurotically reducing portion sizes and amounts of sugar, fats, carbs, (4) reading, (5) focusing on my research/writing.

    Of course, 2020 ended in a diminution of all those activities. Fortunately, my husband and daughter don’t want a big New Year’s Day meal, and I bought tons of veggies yesterday, so I can start increasing my good habits today. (I’m only hopeful — no guarantees.)

    1. I gather this is called stacking and is what “experts” recommend as a way to build habits—build on one you have already.
      So I’m going to try to build on my new 2020 behaviors by 1) walk or get on the elliptical after work before dinner during “commute time “ 2) be grateful for one thing every day 3) get my papers organized (I had to bring the office home so I am half way there in getting them organized) and 4) stop snacking on sweets—so much easier when I don’t have them in the house and am not popping in coffee shops or having business lunches .

  5. New Year’s resolutions didn’t really work for me this year, but mini habits have, just stuff to get started. Setting the bar so low, it’s easier to do something then not. Knitting is one of things that help get me started so I’ll knit a few stitches every day… I’ll read a page a day… then use the momentum to move forward hopefully

  6. The things I need to improve can be aided by getting up early enough, nothing drastic, just 7 a.m. in the winter. That leaves time for solo yoga and meditation before other people are awake. Those habits will lead to feeling better, calmer, stronger, which may lead to some productivity improvement professionally, fighting depression, and enjoying life more. So, I’m focusing on getting out of bed at 7 a.m.

  7. I usually do goals, not resolutions. Last year turned out to be: merely survive. But of course, I didn’t know that in January. Still, nailed it!

    I’m not sure about this year. Maybe try and regain my usual cautious optimism, which took a big hit.

    In the meanwhile, I love love love this song. It always makes me smile, and want to dance. So thanks for starting 2021 off with it, Jenny.

  8. I am resolved. I have tons of goals and hopes for this year. But before that, this post reminds me of something that Adrienne from Yoga with Adrienne said. Hope is a muscle. I don’t know which video it was, but it resonated so much with me that I wrote it down.

    This year has been so hard on my heart. I am rather despairing for our culture and the overall goodness of people and their ability to be kind/rational/better.

    But hope is a muscle and I have been neglecting mine. So I am going to excersize it, dammit. I’m going to fill up my empty glass and go from there. Best wishes to you all for this year.

  9. Every January 1 I take the time to read W. S. Merwin’s Words from a Totem Animal, particularly the last lines:

    Send me out into another life
    lord because this one is growing faint
    I do not think it goes all the way

  10. Last week I thought of a really great resolution/goal. It was going to be the best thing at least in my family I’ve ever done. I was going to be known throughout the family as the person who — dammit, I forgot what it was.

  11. I have been setting goals for the past 3 years instead of resolutions. I try for 8-10 goals overall that affect different life domains. It’s based on Michael Hyatt’s “Your Best Year Ever” book/course. While I wouldn’t say I’ve actually experienced my best year ever, it does help with focus. Of the full set of goals, 1-3 are attached to each quarter of the year. I intended to work on 2021 goals yesterday, but was an irresponsible lump on the couch instead. (I finished watching Bridgerton and 2 episodes of Holiday Bake Off.) So, before I go back to work on Monday, I will do my 2020 year in review and then look forward to what I hope to achieve in 2021.

    Happy New Year to all Arghers!

  12. I have a few things I use for the New Year.

    1. Batman slapping Robin meme adapted for Robin saying, ” New Year, New Me.”

    2. Calvin and Hobbes with Calvin saying, “I’m fine just the way I am, why should I change.”

    3. Oliver Queen from Arrow TV show with, “My old approach wasn’t enough. I had to become someone else. I had to become something else.”

    I’ll post them on my IG @SarahV_Yoga,I don’t want to get stuck in moderation here… because I found the right one for 2021.

    Allanah, I love Oliver Burkeman and refer to his older columns often.

    I don’t resolve to do anything anymore. I look to see if what I want to do is within my purpose and vision and I carry on. I’m always working on self-improvement so 1 January is somewhat arbitrary. I do what I need to, when I need to. If I don’t achieve it, I try again or try something different.

    2020 was good because I qualified as a yoga teacher even if I couldn’t do much with it. Balance.

  13. Well, I now know what I will use to fill the place where I usually leave White Christmas on my inbox. I usually leave it out in plain sight so I can click on it whenever I need a hit of cheer and in January put it away until next year. This will fill that space beautifully.

  14. Get up by 7 am, study and get to doing what I want/need to do. My last paycheque was Dec 24/2020. Slightly scary. But…God, it’s onward and upward and goods times ahead.

  15. Thank you for the video. I have fallen into pessimism and cynicism (I was an optimist when I was younger, really) and this song gave me tingles, so I must obviously watch it often, at least once a week, to remind me.

    Lupe: thanks for the quote. I just made a small poster to put up in my room to remind me. Actually, I wrote “Hope is a muscle. Exercise it.” and I put a sunflower below the text. This should remind me to practice hope.

    Nothing but good times ahead.

  16. Happy New Year, good riddance 2020! I’m trying to keep the good things from last year like curbside pickup and wearing a mask because turns out that really helps asthma/allergies, especially when doing yardwork or cleaning. But mostly 2020 was notable for being all work and no play so here’s to being less dull in 2021.

  17. I’ll go with ‘stay alive and get vaccinated’. Also must hold to the ‘stay home’ part of the pandemic advice. The last couple of weeks have been easy, but errands and appointments are going to pick-up as January goes on.

    Otherwise, I stopped doing resolutions or even goal years ago. This year will be more of the same-pushing my political agenda on my elected representatives.

    Happy New Year, everyone!!!

  18. I don’t do resolutions, but I have the goal of playing my ukelele every day in Feb like I did last year. I was really happy in February…

  19. Happy New Year everyone!

    I don’t like New Year’s resolutions. Instead, I’m keeping on with my resolution from a few months ago of eating better and losing weight. Not doing too badly so far, even through the very sugar-orientated holidays.

    Other than that, everything I want to do is easier with enough sleep. So I’m going to share Maine Betty’s approach, but focus on getting to bed by 11.

    And I’m aiming to remember Arnold Bennett’s great point:

    The chief beauty about time
    is that you cannot waste it in advance.
    The next year, the next day, the next hour are lying ready for you,
    as perfect, as unspoiled,
    as if you had never wasted or misapplied
    a single moment in all your life.
    You can turn over a new leaf every hour
    if you choose.

    1. Oh, that quote from Arnold Bennett is perfect. I’m going to copy it and post it somewhere I will see it every day. Thank you!

  20. It’s 2021, and in my area, it’s the year that Brood X of the 17-year periodic cicadas comes back. Sometime in May, we’ll begin to see the pale newborns hanging on twigs and shrubbery near the ground, waiting for their brand new wings to dry and spread out. By mid-May, there will be a singing chorus everywhere, and love will be in the air. By mid-June, females will be laying eggs in narrow branches of trees, which will detach and fall to the ground, where the new little ones will hatch out and start digging their way down into the paradise of roots. Trees will be pruned nicely, tiny corpses of exhausted adults will feed the hordes of delighted birds, and there will be general fertilization of all the places they have been hanging out. It’s miraculous and I love it — and this will be the fourth time I’ve experienced it. Wonderful things ahead!

    1. I remember that sound in the woods in Virginia, I think it was 1970? It was spooky and cool. Hollow cicada shells were attached to the leaves. It was an event!

      1. I remember it so well. The MD sec of agriculture held a press conference where he demonstrated they were edible and the kids in my daughters middle school started bringing them to school to eat. Leading to the principal making an announcement that got in the Washington Post (many reporter kids in our school).

        Then the French teacher decided to serve them in French class to show off French cuisine, and suddenly many kids decided they kept kosher—cicadas are not kosher.

        Some memories never die.

    2. I have vivid memories of the 1970 Brood X emergence, but I’ve missed it the past couple of cycles. I cannot wait for that deafening sound and the big clumsy cicadas flying at you and those amazing red eyes…

  21. Love that song. 🙂

    To the extent that I have a resolution or a goal, it is ‘keep going.’ Keep doing my yoga, my barre exercises, my pushups. Keep writing. Keep feeding the birds. Keep emailing and texting the people I can’t see in person.

    Today I have been an entertainment consumer and decided to start logging the movies I watch as well as the books I read. Today I re-read one of mine. Its sequel is completely written but I have to re-write because it takes place in 2020 and real life threw some hurdles in front of my plotline. So now I remember where I was starting, I know what really happened in 2020, and I can go back to that WIP.

    Then I watched a documentary called ‘The Fabulous Ice Age,’ about traveling figure-skating shows (fun!); then a movie called ‘Were The World Mine,’ a high-school-set fantasy involving an unhappy gay boy and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It has some really well-staged scenes involving the play, a couple of nice songs, and a happy ending. Yay! (Now I really need to read that play.)

    Plus, a song on the soundtrack led me to the album ‘Hotel Amour’ by Meow Meow & Thomas Lauderdale, which I am listening to right now and totes adore. If you like Pink Martini, you will like it.

    Happy New Year!

  22. Dear Jenny, and all cherries,

    Happy 2021! Let’s make this year a really good one.

    I haven’t been here for ages, and it hasn’t because I didn’t want to hang out with all of you because dang, I did. I just haven’t had the energy. Pretty darn long story short: Specialists have tried to “fix my sleeping issues”, and it has backfired. I barely have energy to get out of bed, my body is rebelling, I have concentration- and memory problems and you name it.

    I hope I will manage to be here more often, for I really enjoy everything you write, Jenny, and to be in such fine company as all cherries here. But if not, I have now at least managed to let you know that I am alive, and I miss you all.

    Cheers to a year of joy, fulfillment, prosperity, health, satisfaction, creativity, love, good food, hugs, hugs, and more hugs.

    Much love,

    P.s. Jenny, I saw the post about Milton… I am so sorry for your loss. Sending you my warmest, biggest COVID-safe cyberhugs.

    1. We missed you, Shass. A lot. Please take care off yourself. We’ll be here when you get yourself back to health. Happy New Year!

    2. I was only thinking of you yesterday, Shass, and wondering how you were doing. Thanks for letting us know. I really hope you get your energy back soon!

    3. We miss you , Shass and hope the New Year brings you hope, health, love and joy. In the mean time, try chocolate and cartoons. They provided great comfort when I had no energy or concentration after pneumonia.

  23. Saturday, January 2, 2021. Like most of the year it represented, I threw out my 2020 calendar. Now I’m using the calendar that AARP sent me, which started in October 2020 and runs through 2021. One of the mouse pads I bought last year is a 2021 calendar as well. That’s at home.

    I should have worn a skirt to work last night, while I did my assigned secretarial work. (I’m a Stationary Engineering Technician.) I prepared monthly, quarterly and annual DEQ* reports, and perpetual inventory sheets for the new year. I’ll need to print blank logs and records tonight. My current and previous bosses are incapable of doing their own paperwork. (I exaggerate. Slightly. Very slightly.)

    My fasting sugar is up. If I averaged December, it’d be around 132. Too much bread/carbs, and I knew it while I blissfully chewed them. A fair share was hot dog buns wrapped around Johnsonville Jalapeno and Cheddar Brats, which I cannot resist. There may have been a few hamburger buns with cheeseburgers ensconced within. Too many carbs. Too much sugar.

    I’m going back to reading. I have DeMarce and Crusie open on different platforms. The Crusie Collection is at the beginning of the fifth book, Faking It. Never mind, I’m getting ready for work. I’ll read there, between secretarial assignments.

    *Virginia Department of Environmental Quality

  24. New Year’s resolutions never seem to stick for me–I always forget them before January is out. Goals can be iffy, too. As was aptly demonstrated in 2020, one never knows when you’ll be thrown such a curveball that your goals fly out the window, never to be seen again.

    But I am the Queen of Lists, and I’ve decided to leverage that for 2021. On my dry erase board at home, I now have a to-do list for January. I’m aiming for items that extend out no more than 3 months at a time, and those should be minimal. I want to stick with daily/weekly/monthly lists. That gives me more flexibility, and doesn’t seem so daunting.

    Even with as difficult as 2020 was, I managed to get some big items crossed off, and I’m happier and more content with my life than I’ve been in years. Here’s to a healthier, safer, kinder year to come!

  25. I have a friend who sets intentions, which is less prescriptive than making resolutions. So I intend to make good choices. That should cover everything!

  26. I have decided May will be better. My 2020 will not be over until May. I can’t remember the exact Churchill quote but it seems like this might be the end of the beginning. But I work in an ICU. I am so thankful it hasn’t been as bad as Italy or New York but, wow, I’m tired, and very cautiously optimistic.

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