63 thoughts on “Happiness is a Fresh Slate

  1. Focusing on achievable things: making things with my photographs, visiting more friends, exploring local places with my camera, sorting out my workroom, and developing my gardens, especially the allotment.

  2. I have deadlines this year (3 books under contract) after a couple years without them, and I LOVE deadlines (or, more accurately, meeting them makes me happy, and they keep me focused until then). And I’m going to be a great-aunt in the spring, then the first kid is due for that generation of the family. Also looking forward to seeing some friends this summer when I make my every-other-year trek to New Haven for a clinical trial followup. Oh, and quilting, which makes me happy. I have much quilting lined up for the year, some with deadlines (baby quilts, auction quilts), some just for fun.

    1. Yale New Haven? Hope it’s a productive trip. Don’t forget to pick up some pizza from Pepe’s!

      1. Yes! There’s a center specializing in my rare disorder at Yale, so that’s where a lot of research is done. And everyone there is just fabulous. I get a small stipend for meals, so I splurge (at least when I’m not eating hospital food on days when I’m there at meal time). I usually spend it at The Hornet’s Nest in Branford (just outside New Haven), because there’s no really good deli anywhere near me, so it’s not worth eating locally when it’s so unhealthy, but when I go to CT (closest I get to NY City), i indulge my once-every-two-ears exception to not eating deli meats.

  3. I will get back to painting, again, after several years off. I will journal more, as that really helps me focus. I will keep reading fantastic books, and writing my fun book. I’m going to do Dry January this year. I stopped fasting two days a week last year, because it was messing with my health, and I did not have a drink on those days, so this might be another way to reap those benefits. It’s a habit, but can be a crutch. Even my one drink a day sometimes seems like a way to avoid bad news, at times. I tell myself it will help me relax. The bad news isn’t going away, and may get even worse, this year. Time to deal with it. I will reach the age of 78 in a few days, and I have seen my grandchildren growing up, which makes me very happy. The older ones are becoming responsible adults, soon, and the younger ones are getting past the difficult early years. My sons have found their own fullness of life, which really makes me happy.

  4. Not really an answer to your question but something fun…a local news station grabbed me as I was passing by Meghan Markle’s former house rental, which has been featured in the Netflix doc, to ask me…did I empathize with her? That is an odd question and why it had to be asked in front of her house I do not know. Anyway, the reporter ended the interview by exclaiming: “And now your street is on the map!” I realized afterward I should have said: “It always was! Because I live here!” Of course I lacked that in-the-moment presence of mind. Oh well.

    1. So, do you empathize with her? I don’t think that I have a strong opinion either way. I mean, I would like to have empathy for all humans, but I kind of assume that she will be just fine.

      1. I just thought it was a shame she left a milieu she was successful in, to enter the Royal family, an environment people in the Royal family have trouble navigating

        1. I like Harry and Meghan on Netflix.
          They are also hosting a show called Live To Lead on Netflix. They’re not on it much.
          So far we have seen an interview with RBG that was good.
          And Greta Thornburg, also good, we cried.
          I do empathize with them. I think they are going to do great things that they couldn’t have done under the thumb of the monarchy.
          And I’m glad Harry loves her too much to let her be the monarchy’s choice of where to place the blame for everything.

          She seems to love him also and they seem happy together

      2. The thing I’ve liked most about Meghan was her description of the conversation she had with a friend who suggested she meet Harry to possibly go on a date. Her first question to the friend was “What is he like? Is he kind?” and also a few other questions, none of which sounded either self-centered or publicity-seeking. Beyond that, I don’t know much about her, but I tend to like her, and I really like Harry’s forthrightness and honesty. William comes across (to me, anyway) as a mental prisoner of the whole Royalty Firm. Good, in a way, but not very genuine.

      3. I do empathize with her. Perhaps not heartily because I do find she over dramatizes things a tad because….actress. But I’m sure she never foresaw this s**tstorm and that is wince-worthy. Even the whole “mixed race” which is used frequently in the doc to refer to her – that’s not how she refers to herself. She calls herself African American or a woman of colour. I finally realized that “mixed race” is used as code to mean someone who has a black parent but looks like she is white. So, in itself mixed race is a racist term. I for sure don’t envy her.

  5. One of my favorite things I did last year was to start pursuing publication credits.
    I had some success with my poetry although that’s not my ultimate goal.
    And I got the one novel I have finished out to a couple of possible publishers. On 12/29. Which amuses me because that was a goal for 2022 and I did it with 2 whole days to spare.
    I think continuing in this pursuit.
    My best to all in 2023

  6. I have chosen a watchword for the year: Wonder. The noun, “A feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.”

    It makes me happy to think about ways I might experience wonder this year.

  7. I let other people’s moods/comments/attitudes get to me more than I want to. The other day I thought “What if I have nothing to prove?” which caused a sudden relaxation of shoulders I didn’t even know I had tensed. I am REALLY hoping to carry this attitude through the year – “You think X? How’s that going for you?” instead of hearing so many things as something I need to deal with/fix/be responsible for in some undefined way.

    Happy 2023 to all – may we all be surprised by how delightful it turns our to be!

    1. What a lovely framing! That’s an issue I’ve struggled with for years, and I think I will adopt your framing. Thank you!

  8. I have no idea what is going to happen this year, but I do know that I have 43 more opportunities to write down dates that end in 1/23, which is the most fun there has been with dates since 1/21/21 was done and gone.

    Enjoy the small things, is what I say.

  9. I have a new granddaughter, my first grandchild, born just before Christmas. My happiness this year is guaranteed! Well, that and all the author/book recommendations that I get here 🙂

    Happy New Year!

  10. Follow through. My plan for the year is to actually follow through and complete projects and not just wander off in the middle. That will make me happy.

  11. Started off happy with a sunrise photo excursion and then our first hike, plus spotted my first bird (a bald eagle). Discovered I’d never gotten out the charger for my Canon camera since moving here so we found it and now it’s charged and ready for use in 2023. Happiness is picking our hobbies up again after being steamrollered by life.

  12. Started off happy with a weather-related perfect excuse to do nothing but write, which has resulted over the past two days in nearly 8000 words of new fiction. And I still have another day left of my holiday weekend. 🙂

    Happy 2023!

  13. DH, DS and I are planning a trip to Mexico in late January. Since we often have snow until April, I’m looking forward to the sunshine and warm temps.

    I’m going to experiment with making sourdough bread and growing lettuce on my windowsill over the next couple of months. Spring brings gardening season and I’ll return to my part-time job on a flower farm.

  14. I’m working on intentions, one of which is to treat myself kindly. And to adopt @JenniferNinnifer’s optimistic and openended framing of the possibilities if I don’t have anything to prove.

  15. A new book by Jenny featuring Dillie with Davy and the Goodnights…
    Any new book by Jenny

    1. The Goodnights and the Dempseys are the best ever. The Fortunes are pretty damn good too.

  16. A few years ago, somebody told me to relax and think “nobody’s going to die because of this”. It sounds weird but actually, it takes a lot of stress out of things. I have made this my mantra for every year since then. It applies to most of the stuff in my life (I don’t tend to drive recklessly or pick up unknown mushrooms anyway).

  17. Over the weekend from one year to the next I had a negative to a positive (not necessarily in that order) moment. I’ll explain. For a couple of years, I’ve been checking the library for a dvd of a movie my son saw and liked. It’s Greyhound with Tom Hanks. In my son’s navy days, he was on a destroyer. It wasn’t even on the market. In October I noticed the great Commonwealth network had three copies in the western part of the state and I put in an order. I also called one of the libraries when I saw it was available but only for walk ins. No luck there but the conversation I had with the librarian, Robin, in early December (who was a great help) told me e-bay has it for sale. So, I ordered it. It came in Saturday’s mail. This morning when I opened my e-mail there was a notice from the Commonwealth network that they were unable to fulfill my order in the time requested and cancelled it. Karma!

    1. Apple TV+ has Greyhound, if you sign up for the free trial, you could probably watch it, just cancel the trial, before it goes to subscription

  18. I am kind of floaty and ambivalent so far this year. Usually I have a list and things to do… But I don’t seem to have the energy. I blame the day job. It was a long month of extra hours, fairly physically demanding days and more stress than I care for. Hopefully I snap out of it soon.

    One goal I do have for this year is to take better pictures for my Etsy shop, as I think that may positively impact sales. I guess I need to approach it as an art of it’s own, rather than another task to work through.

    1. I think you’re right (about pix being key to sales). I was thinking about selling stuff on Etsy at one point, and read a bunch of advice on selling on Etsy, and most of the articles had “get really good at photographing your stuff.” But I knew that I really, REALLY hated photographing my stuff, and that I wasn’t willing to get better at it, so trying to sell on Etsy would just make me miserable, and I could be making quilts instead of being miserable. But for anyone who likes the photography, it really does seem to be one of the main keys to success.

  19. Cleaning up a few projects that have been sitting around and going to try to get to any others that crop up instead of leaving them until the end of the year.

    Seriously, I don’t think I’ll do anything much differently then I did last year. Just keep up with stuff and try to relax more.

    Happy Introvets Day!

  20. Ah-OO-ga, ah-OO-ga – Surface, surface, surface! (I may have heard that announcement ’bout a hundred times over my naval career.)

    I, my daughter, four grandchildren, and two dogs now reside in a new (old) abode. The corner of the basement known as The Owner’s Suite measures approximately 27 feet by 12 feet. In metric terms, I think that’s about half a hectare. It bulges out into the rest of the basement by 4 by 12.

    I’m not building a wall, yet. I have four panels of 80-inch privacy curtains that I’m hanging from near the ceiling. The rest of the boundary is essentially those bookcases someone recommended (and I already owned.)

    The remainder of the basement is workshop, laundry area with deep sink, and Air Handling Unit corner. The AHU corner will see a lot of boxes stored therein.

    Good things: There are 4.5 bedrooms. Everybody has a place to sleep.

    Bad things: There is no acoustical insulation between any of the rooms or floors. Everybody hears everything… more or less.

    Good things: The main floor is comfortably warm without making the top floor overheat. There is individually controlled zone heating. Select your comfort zone (but don’t complain that anyone else’s zone is too hot or cold.)

    Meh things: The basement runs 67.6 degrees Farmenhigher (what, you want me to trust the chellspecker?) My heater runs 24/7 and Amazon says they delivered the spares I ordered, but I haven’t seen hide nor hare. The thing is, I’ve gotten two fabulous nights of sleep. I think the sound of the dehumidifier and the sump pump lulls me to sleep.

    Good: The range and the dishwasher are brandy-spankin’ new. Of course, the dotter wanted black and these are white. Some Things Must Be Endured.

    Bad. A survey of the basement identified a grand total of six (6) electrical outlets, plus the dedicated dryer 220VAC line. One outlet is in the workshop. One outlet is for the machine of washing. One outlet is under the stairs and my refrigerator hogs that one. Three outlets are within the boundaries of The Owner’s Suite. That’s three (3). Harken ye back, Arghers, to a discussion of the paucity of electrical outlets in ye olde Mancave. Horizontal surface is no longer a limiting factor. For now, there are no gardens.

    Good: There are slots available in the circuit breaker box. More outlets mounted on the surface of the cinder block walls is possible. Not cheap. Possible.

    Bad: There are no restroom facilities in the basement. The dotter is out-grossed by the very thought of a honey-jar or me micturating in the privacy of my dwelling and carrying it upstairs when there is sufficient collected to make the trip worthwhile (or as earlier, when I was going to the bathroom upstairs anyway to perform solid waste removal.) I agree that pooping in a chamber pot is not on. In any case, I just don’t tell her.

    Good: Plumbers install bathrooms. Not cheaply.

    I hope reading my tale of Home Moanership has lightened your day by allowing you to say, “At least I’m not that poor bastid!”

    Happy New Year.

    1. Moved! Yay! All these things can be fixed with money, as you know Bob. Just keep having money.

      1. “Just keep having money.” From your lips…

        No names, but my movers were lousy and expensive. I’d love to be able to say, “At least they got the job done.” But we’ve made three trips for things they left or decided weren’t within the scope of the contract. No more whining. What doesn’t give me joy must be disposed of.

        Iexpect to sleep well again tonight. 🙂

          1. Nine hours sleep, three nights in a row. I’ve been sleeping well all year!

            The worst part of waking up is setting my feet on the cold cement floor. I have a rug that needs to be unrolled, but I need more rugs. I wear socks and house slippers. Walking on concrete floors will destroy your feet. I have a pair of Dr Scholl’s cushion insert shoes and the cushion inserts sold separately. It will be all right.

          2. Gary — We’ve acquired useful rugs and remnants from places like Ocean City Job Lot. The great thing about smaller rugs is that they’re useful as paths (such as from bedside to bathroom — as soon as you get that bathroom!) and they can be rearranged to fit circumstances (such as mud season or when I had knee surgery and all smaller than full room rugs had to be removed for awhile).

    2. Spare Heaters. Found hid and hare – three of them, and I thought I bought two. The third one dates back a ways and I just never opened the box.

        1. I love myself; I think I’m grand.
          I watch a movie and hold my hand.
          I’m seen with me all over the place
          But if I get fresh, I slap my face!

          I thank myself for the pressie. Me too.

    3. Here’s a radical notion: do you have space and conditions to plant an actual GARDEN in your new place? Years ago, when I moved back to the East Coast from an apartment in San Francisco, I found to my delight that you could grow things outside and they would get both water and light all on their own, without me to have to provide it as a luxury amenity. It was huge fun.

      1. But… to grow things outside I would have to leave the owner’s suite and go (shudder) outside. The entire purpose of growing things inside is to be inside. Well, not the entire purpose, but one of the most important.

        I suspect the neighbors might not appreciate the scantily clad born again indoor gardener outside.

  21. Nice, spacious, lights up well, maybe get some underlay between the floor and the rug, since the cement floor is going to be cold, underlay on the other floors may also help with muffling noise from footfall as well. If you’re cold, since it is quite a big room, you could maybe rig up a kind of four poster bed, (hang heavy curtains around the bed) to reduce the area you have to heat at night, like people keeping warm in olden time

    1. I’ve been advised to use cork as an underlay in my concrete-floored kitchen. It’s supposed to be a good insulator.

  22. I have an infrared temperature detector. Neat toy. I walked around the basement “shooting” the walls at various heights and the floors all over. The most common temperature was 67+/-0.5 Above ground the temps rose to ~72. The floor was 67 also. I often feel cold, but that could probably be alleviated by pointing the dehumidifier’s exhaust somewhere other than at my back.

    I like the idea of cork under flooring.
    I dislike the cost of cork and flooring.

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