Tag Archives: daily resolutions

The Newness of a New Day by Pat Bertram

champagneI’ve never put emphasis on a new year because it’s an arbitrary date. The calendar numbers change, but that’s all. It’s not even a universal new beginning. The Chinese New Year this year is on February 10, the Jewish New Year is on September 4, the Persian New Year is March 21, the Korean New Year is February 2, the Tibetan New Year begins on March 5, and various communities in the Hindu religion have different dates —March 22, April 13, April 14, April 15, August 17, October 18.

January 1 is not even the beginning of a new seasonal cycle. And it doesn’t begin at the same time for all people. (So when did my New Year begin? At midnight in the city of my birth, or midnight in the city where I am presently residing?) Nor is there any personal demarcation — no black line separates the old from the new. You carry the old year with you because you have the same problems, sadnesses, hopes, fears. In other words, you are still you.

There is a newness to January 1, though, and that is the newness of a new day. Unlike the year, each day truly is a new beginning. You wake up, and for a second everything is untouched — like new-fallen snow — and you almost believe you can be anyone you want to be, do anything you want to do. Then the truth hits you.

Still, there’s hope, so I make daily resolutions instead of yearly ones. I have a list of a dozen do’s and don’ts that I would follow in a perfect world. I’m lucky to do about half of them each day, but it varies. Two days ago I did only a couple. Yesterday I did all but two. Today, of course, I resolve to follow everything on my list. The list includes such things as weight lifting and stretching, walking, writing, blogging, promoting, eating a big salad, drinking lots of water, staying away from sugar and wheat. As I said, in a perfect world . . .

Despite that, I did toast this New Year, more as a symbol of newness than the reality of it. I’ve learned that I have to make something important every day. And toasting the New Year seemed as good as anything to importantize. (Yeah, I know — there’s no such word as importantize, but just for today — this new day — there is.)

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Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.”

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New Year’s Non-Resolutions

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. For the most part, I make nightly resolutions in the belief that each day starts a new year. Every night I resolve that I will exercise, take a walk, eat breakfast, eat lots of vegetables, take my vitamins, don’t stay up late, get up earlier, and spend less time on the Internet, though now I have to resolve to spend more time online — all of a sudden, I’ve been forgetting to log on for days on end. So much for my Internet addiction! And I resolve to write a page a night. For some reason, my addiction to writing also simply disappeared. Usually I keep about two of those resolutions each day — I write my page a day and take a walk, or I write my page a day and eat a big raw vegetable salad. Or write my pate and follow through on one of my numerous other resolutions.

Still, even though New Year’s Day is just another day for me, I do have a New Year’s ritual: I try to do that day what I would like to do every day for the rest of the year in the hopes that whatever I do, I will continue to do. So, in that spirit, yesterday I woke relatively early, lifted a few weights, did a bit of air bicycling, took my food supplements, went for a short walk, ate a lot of vegetables, did a bit of unplanned housecleaning (and I do mean just a bit), wrote my page. Whew! Good thing New Year’s only comes once a year. I’m exhausted!

DAI

Pat Bertram is the author of Daughter Am IMore Deaths Than One and A Spark of Heavenly Fire.

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