If your calendar year got off to a rough start, I invite you to begin again. The Lunar, or Chinese, New Year began Friday evening. The celebration continues for an entire week.
Unfortunately, this year, the corona virus has caused the cancellation of the large gatherings in China usually associated with the holiday. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/new-year-celebrations-muted-china-coronavirus-spreads-4-continents-n1122736 On the other hand, the holiday has been extended in some areas due to factory closings.
I hope my Chinese coworkers stay safe and healthy during this trying time. On the lighter side: https://www.vice.com/en_asia/article/m7qb7a/coronavirus-chinese-netizens-share-entertainment-stuck-home-bored
As part of my intentional new year, I plan to be more mindful in my reading. I have fallen into the habit of reading what hits the top of my TBR (To Be Read) pile. These aren't necessarily books I've deliberately chosen. Maybe I pull something off a shelf at home because I forgot to go to the library or load a new book to the Kindle.
Here's what I'm finishing from 2019:
Dead Men's Morris by Gladys Mitchell - a classic in the style of Agatha Christie, but edgier
Top of the 2020 TBR pile:
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens - a gift from my father, but I am interested in reading the book
This Tender Land - William Kent Krueger - I loved his novel Ordinary Grace
Chronicles of Crime by R. T. Lawton - short story collection
I would like to read at least one American history book, keep up with my subscription to Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, and read more classic mysteries.
How do you decide what to read? What's on your TBR list for 2020?
The New Year is a convenient illusion millions choose to adopt. There are other traditions for measuring the earth's passage around the sun. For example, Chinese New Year (January 25) and Rosh Hashana (September 18).
There are benefits to observing hitting the cosmic reset button. New Year Resolutions encourage people to cast off bad habits, and to adopt a healthier more prosperous lifestyle.
Sometimes life gets off track due to outside circumstances, not our own laziness.
A word keeps popping into my mind. Intentional. I don't want to look back on another year where I have been dragged from activity to appointment to obligation as an unwilling participant. I want to live mindfully and deliberately. What do you do when life refuses to cooperate with your careful plans, and comes at you like a freight train in a narrow tunnel?
As if in response to my intention, this is how our New Year began:
Neither I nor my husband was interested in staying up until midnight. We watched a Russian science fiction movie, then retired early. We wanted to start the year fresh and rested. In that light state of having just fallen asleep, both of us awakened abruptly to loud noise. Banging and yelling.
A glowing orb floated by our window. We peeked out the curtain, but it was gone. We ran out on the deck in our pajamas. I wondered whether I was seeing a UFO - proof of alien visitation. But no.
Our neighbor and his teen daughter were hastily hooking up a watering hose. The noises were the sounds of city-wide celebration, and of our neighbors trying to prevent a fire. The orb was a paper lantern with a votive candle. It had escaped. The lantern had drifted past our window, then into another neighbor's tree.
It was now midnight, so we watched the fireworks on top of Pikes Peak. The votive slowly extinguished. No fire started. That's good, because there was no way water from that hose could reach that glowing orb.
Our New Year did not begin the way we planned. Here we are, a week into the year, and I am still struggling to make life go the direction I want. The day job and family keep interfering. Yet I need both in my life.
There are things I can control: my exercise program, my free time activities, and my writing. I'm marking a calendar when I accomplish my personal goals. Even if it's only 15 minutes a day, I am finding time to do the things I need to do for me. The calendar helps reinforce my progress.
I wish you a New Year in which you fulfill your intentionally crafted plans for a healthier future.
Subscribe to this blog: