Thoughts on a New Year


Did I ever share this with you? Don gave this piece, made by a local artist, for my birthday.

He knows me very well. Just this morning, he tried to initiate a conversation before I’d had my coffee. He quickly realized his mistake with the words, “We’ll talk later.” Wise man. (I have this hanging on the side of the cupboard by the kitchen window.)

Anyway, happy 2014 and all that. We were reading in bed by 10:00, asleep by 11:00. Yes, what wild partiers we are!

We had a dusting a snow yesterday afternoon, in preparation for the big storm that is going to hit us tomorrow and Friday. I haven’t checked the updated weather forecast, but I’ve heard anywhere from six inches to over a foot of snow is on its way. Oh boy.

Thoughts on the New Year:

I’m not one for choosing a word for the year. There are too many words going on in my head at any given moment and I’m not about to lock on to just one. Doing that would eliminate too many exciting possibilities for the days ahead.

I’m not one for making New Year’s Resolutions. I move forward with the same thought in mind that I had the previous year, and the year before that: to be a better person. That’s it. It I can accomplish that to a small degree, I’m very happy.

I’m also not one to look back with regret or to ruminate about things that have happened or not happened or choices that I’ve made or not made. Whatever choice, I made it. It took me a while but I’ve learned an important truth. I take responsibility for all my choices, good and bad, knowing full well that I shape my life. It’s no one else’s responsibility to make me happy, including Don. It’s my responsibility. Though I try to do my best, I make mistakes often. I’m a work in progress.

Anyway, I refuse to be a victim. I am the author of my life and the lessons I have to learn and re-learn can be painful, but are ultimately freeing and will help me to do that very thing I wrote of earlier: be a better person. And I have much, much more to learn – I need to break some patterns of thought that keep me from moving forward in certain areas of my life. I need to change those thoughts to positive, empowering ones.

It’s a challenge I embrace.

I plan to write more on this subject in the near future. It’s something that’s been on my mind lately.


I was busy doing other things yesterday, so I had no idea that my host, Bluehost, was down for a few hours until Dawn called me in the early evening to tell me. So if you tried to get to the blog and couldn’t, that’s why. It happens with every host at some time or another, including Blogger. It’s back up now and I was probably better off being blissfully ignorant of the whole thing!

I wish for all of you a very Happy New Year, with blessings and joy and love and happiness and everything good for you and yours.

Happy Wednesday.


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  1. Shari says

    Happy New Year Claudia. I look forward to following your blog in 2014. I wish you and your family a great year.

  2. Sylvia says

    Happy New Year, Claudia! This really struck a chord with me: “I need to break some patterns of thought that keep me from moving forward in certain areas of my life.” Here’s to taking steps!

  3. Tina says

    Happy 2014! Noble, Tina and Monsieur Louis wishing you, Don and Madame Scout a Happy New Year! Last night we went for an early (5 pm!) dinner at Tuthill at the Mill. After dinner (6 pm) we drove by the house we tried to buy up the road and lo and behold, on our way there, we passed a certain enchanted cottage, bedecked with tiny white lights, that glistened brightly in the new snow carpet. We could tell that it was a house filled with love. We called out our greetings to the lovely family who lived there. Then home to struggle to stay up until midnight. We watched old movies and I made some party hats for a certain couple to persuade a certain young lady celebrating her birthday on Sunday to wear her party hat. She said she would don it if mom and dad did as well. Now, Missy, the gauntlet has been thrown!
    We made it to midnight and then to 1! We only opened Christmas presents yesterday morning as we decided we wanted to wait until Noble came home. Today is a housecleaning day and various (grownup) chores. Claudia, let us know when we can drop off the party hats of atonement. I go back to work tomorrow so we can drop by today or Saturday. We convey our warm wishes to your family for an adventurous, fulfilling New Year! Fondly, TIna, Noble and Louis

    • Claudia says

      It’s nice to think of you just down the road having a lovely meal! Can’t wait to see you both later this afternoon. Love to you and Noble and Louis! Happy New Year!

  4. Carolyn says

    Happy New Year Claudia! Your thoughts on the New Year resonate with me. Aside from my yearly goal of losing weight, my thoughts are very much like yours. Your reflective piece is a good reminder to all of us.

  5. Donnamae says

    I’m of the mind…keep looking forward, and learn from the past….whether that be good lessons, or a what NOT to do lesson. So, thanks for NOT doing a year in review post. I am intrigued by that phrase…break some patterns of thought….should make for some interesting conversation. I’m wishing you and Don much happiness…many laughs…and lots of fulfilling work! 😉

  6. says

    I learned something new about you today, I had no idea you needed your coffee before conversation. LOL I actually made it past midnight last night but watched nothing on the ball dropping or any such thing. I am quite the party girl too. LOL

    • Claudia says

      Oh yes, don’t even TRY to talk to me before my coffee, Dawn!

      Happy New Year, my friend. xo

  7. says

    Ah, yes, those pesky thought patterns. I remind myself, every now and again, that I do have responsibility for my own life, my own happiness and growth. I’ve got the whole “independent” thing nailed, but am still figuring out where relationships with others fit into a life well lived.

  8. says

    You know, I think that’s it in a nutshell, to break thought patterns, we all have, to move forward this year and all years to come. I have over come some of those, but certainly have some more to work on. I have always had to be a people pleaser in my home life and work life. As I have gotten older, I still strive for good relationships, but am now very comfortable saying no to things that I know I don’t want to do. It has been very freeing and made me a much happier person.

    • Claudia says

      You sound very much like me. And Don. Both of us were people pleasers, but have come to understand that saying no and eliminating toxic relationships is a positive thing to do. Happy New Year, my friend!

  9. Janet in Rochester says

    My college roommate was the same way, though oddly enough she didn’t take coffee OR tea in the morning. You just couldn’t talk to her for an hour or two every am. I bet we probably all have our “unapproachable” times. Personally, I don’t like being interrupted when I’m reading. Yeah – the snow. Hope you’re stocked up & won’t have to go out. I’m wondering how much we’ll get here in Rochester. Right now it does sound like New England and the Valley will get more but the one thing one should never bet on in the Northeast is weather. Have a warm and toasty New Year’s Day!

    • Claudia says

      I keep hearing all sorts of predicition – the latest is 8 to 10 inches. We’ll see. Happy New Year, Janet!

  10. Nancy Blue Moon says

    Happy New Year Claudia, Don & pretty Miss Scout..I look forward to another year of my daily visits with all of you..expecting 2-4 inches here..Stay safe and warm!

  11. says

    My “word” the past couple of years has been gratitude. Being grateful each day for the freedom, and ability, to make those right or wrong decisions that make me, ME! Happy New Year Claudia.

  12. says

    I always enjoy your words of wisdom, Claudia. I don’t really have a word for the new year either. One of the lovely things about growing older is accepting ourselves and our weaknesses and moving on. I feel like I’ve gained so much wisdom as I’ve grown older and the spiritual things mean so much more to me now, I hope to always keep growing and learning , as well as becoming a more active participant in the world we live in, especially involving social causes. I hope you don’t get as much snow as they are predicting. I would be happy with a little dusting of snow here. Wishing you the best in 2014!

    • Lea says

      You always inspire me Claudia with your words. Thank you. My husband and I were
      both “no talkie before coffee” people so can totally relate.

      Wish you, Don and Scout a very Happy and Healthy 2014 with an overdose of prosperity
      thrown into the mix.

  13. Deb says

    I so enjoyed reading your thoughts on the new year – especially “I refuse to be a victim”. AMEN sister! I so love that! I think I recall reading about this in one of your previous posts and it resonated with me then too. I grew up with my mom always regretting something that did or did not happen. Now that she is in her mid-80s, it has grown 100x worse. And now that I’m older and wiser, I can see it so plainly – and I too CHOOSE to not be like that – to not be a victim of decisions/indecisions of the past! I will also continue to strive harder to try to live THIS day – not worry about tomorrow – not regret or lament yesterday. When I focus on the present – and all that it has to offer – I find myself a much happier person.

    Thanks as always Claudia for your daily posting – and your inspiration! Here’s to an adventurous 2014!

  14. says

    Good thoughts! I’ve been struggling with a ‘word’ for this year and reading this made me realize I don’t have to choose just one and so I’m not! Whew, that felt good. As a blogger I sometimes put silly expectations on myself. I’m going to just let this year see me grow as a person and continue to simplify my life.
    You just helped me! Big thanks!

  15. says

    Happy new year, my friend. I am looking forward to a bright new year with lots of possibilities. Enjoy your snow. xo Laura

  16. Kelly says

    So Claudia, I like your new morning friend, does she have a name? She reminds me of a friend’s aunt Ethel .

  17. says

    I love reading what you write and thank you for sharing here. Happy New Year to you and Don and Scout. Many blessings for 2014. Please remind us when Don will be on PBS. I don’t want to miss it and have been “coaching” my family about it! Ha

  18. Sandy says

    Happy New Year to you, Don and Scout. This post was very well-written and my sentiments as well. No resolutions, just trying to be my best self and forgiving myself when I falter. The best lesson that I’ve learned over the years is to not embrace victim mode. How freeing! Letting go and moving forward. Sometimes I get emotionally stuck (dealing with health challenges and having to retire) but I’m moving forward and embracing today. Looking forward to reading your blog this year.

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