By Trudie Mitschang
I just got my 2011 day planner and as I flipped through its fresh, blank pages, I thought about what it means to wipe the slate clean and start a new year. At midnight this Friday, the ball in Times Square will drop and people across the country will shout “Happy New Year!” I will be snug in my bed when this moment passes, but when I wake up on Saturday morning, my husband and I have determined to spend some time talking about our goals and plans for 2011. Soon, my empty day planner will be bursting with meetings, vacations, doctor’s appointments and school events. The minutiae of my life will once again take on a life of its own. But what will determine whether or not it is a “happy” new year?
At 50, I am more cynical about these things. I no longer believe you can determine to have a “happy” year; some things simply are beyond our control. But I do think it is possible to choose to be happy - or at least content - moment by moment, day by day. As I look at the white spaces on my calendar, I imagine writing down activities guaranteed to bring a smile: coffee with a best friend; a weekend away with my husband; a Saturday set aside to lounge, nap and read; an afternoon at the beach.
Undoubtedly, there are many things I can’t plan for or anticipate. Illness or financial setbacks may strike. Opportunity may knock. Life is full of surprises! As we began last year, for example, this blog did not even exist. Yet as I look back, one of the things I will count as a great accomplishment is being able to contribute to this forum and getting to know so many of our IG Living readers through your comments and posts. All of you inspire me in more ways than you know.
As you look back, how will you view 2010? Was it a good year? A challenging one? Chances are it was both. No matter, it’s time to say goodbye to the past and look ahead. How will your 2011 day planner take shape? Will you set aside time for the things and people that bring happiness into your life?
I love this quote from Edith Lovejoy Pierce:
"We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day."
Have a wonderful holiday weekend. And a Happy New Year!