Now What?

Happy New Year!!! The greetings and cheers ring out as millions watch the ball in New York Times square drop. In living rooms, family rooms, homes, apartments across this nation we counted down the last 20 seconds of 2007, then raised our glasses to ring in the new year, 2008. It is a New Year, symbolizing new opportunities to reach our goals, start over in our endeavors to find the paths we may have strayed from in the previous year…or years.

For me, on this second day of 2008, the year already seems old. The transition for me was seamless, so seamless in fact, I wonder if in fact it will be a “new” year. After all, winter is still here at its coldest. All my old bills still stare at me from their pile on my desk. The problems and issues and struggles I faced in 2007 are still with me though I yearn for a New Year where these struggles are gone and my life is easy…or if not easy, then easier than it is now. I suspect that many after the celebrating is over feel as I do, that a bigger, deeper gap exists than we left the old year with. What is to be done about that deep empty feeling of “now what” that seeps in after the busy-ness and celebrating of the holidays. Now what?

Well, for one thing, the brief break in the routine schedule does provide me with time to clean out the old clutter. De-cluttering is a great stress reducer and, for me, a great spirit lifter. I feel as though I am symbolically cleaning out the garbage of my life when I go through the piles that tend to accumulate. As I clean I ponder my goals, hopes for the future, plans for the next week, month, year. This year, I am starting a new life after some very significant and in many ways unhappy changes to my world. The changes were truly necessary to my survival and are positive and healthy steps for me, but even good changes often leave us in the place where we look around at the new world we are in and wonder, “Where have I landed and will I like it here?” I have no choice. I must make the best of it. So, I begin, one small step at a time.

I cannot change my financial picture today. I cannot change the winter into summer. I cannot change much of my life, overnight. I can begin the journey though and the first step is to get myself and my home organized so that our days are more peaceful, less hectic and even though things are not perfect in all areas, there is peace and tranquility, good friends and happier memories. And so, with that, I encourage all who might be feeling the “post holiday doldrums” to find one thing they can work on to improve their personal situation. Something small but significant. And if you can’t find anything small and significant, find anything at all. Clean that overstuffed closet. Clear out that junk drawer in the kitchen. Dust!!!! For me, tonight, after I finish this blog, I am going to clean my desk and the credenza I want to get rid of. It is such a small thing, but when I am finished my life will be in better shape because I will know where the papers and documents I need to deal with are instantly. I will probably also find the scissors my children moved from their place and didn’t return. I might even, if I’m lucky, find that pack of double A batteries I purchased in November that suddenly disappeared. Hmmm? Did my son abscond with them for his Gameboy Advance?

After the cleansing process is finished I will be in a much better place to take stock of this new world I’ve landed in and this year which awaits. I will then be better able to determine my course and chart a path toward my goals, aspirations and, yes, I still have them and believe in them, my dreams.

Welcome, 2008! Happy New Year to all!

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