Thursday, January 2, 2020

Thoughts on a new year

Happy New Year! 

Things have finally settled down here at Casa de Sparrow. Illnesses seem to be on the wane (ours and Marco's), guests have cleared out and gone home, the Christmas decorations are packed away for another year, and everything is getting back to some semblance of normalcy. What a relief! The holidays are exhausting for me, and this one was particularly stressful.

I still have until Monday to rest, relax, and recover from it all. I'm so grateful for that. 

What are your plans/hopes/goals for this new year and decade? I don't care about making resolutions but the beginning of January seems to be a good time to take stock and to think about where you'd like to be 12 months from now. Yesterday I was giving this all some thought as I cooked our lucky New Year's Day meal:

Fried pork chops: good luck, looking forward (pork).

Hoppin' John: abundance, prosperity, coins (rice and black eyed peas).

Greens: money (leafy winter greens). I had the traditional collards, but I had to do green beans for my greens-hating husband, which is what you see in this photo. It's the intention that counts!

Vinegar (on the greens): good health, life, weathering changes.

Cornbread: Gold and riches. The rich color and round shape makes the reason pretty obvious.

As I approach my 45th birthday in March, I've decided that this year needs to be about making myself (my happiness and well-being) more of a priority. I tend to defer to others, to worry about their comfort and happiness more than my own, to be a people-pleaser. I want to treat myself more like....a friend. To take it easier on myself and not be so quick to give, give, give to others. To speak up more about what I need, even if it's uncomfortable. Those are my goals for 2020.

How about you?


  1. Those sound like worthwhile goals. I'm not so great at a few of those things, myself. I have some travel goals (Brazil, which keeps getting deferred year after year) but otherwise, my goals are just to stay happy and healthy and keep those around me the same, to the best of my ability! (Which kind of goes back to worrying about the happiness and comfort of others, I suppose!)

    1. Very worthy goals, Steve! (You do a lot of wonderful traveling!)

  2. My main goals are to:-
    1) Make an e-book of my edited poetry.
    2) Create an oil painting of Stanage Edge.
    3) Assassinate Boris Johnson.

    1. Well, damn, YP! Those are wonderful goals but #3 is a tad ambitious, isn't it?!

    2. I have bought a cannon. My plan should work.

  3. Your goals are good ones. Mine are similar. Below is a link to a song about putting others first before yourself, which isn't always the best thing to do.
    Best wishes for a happy 2020.

    1. Thank you for the link and the good wishes! Happy 2020 to you as well!

  4. It's nice to get back to normal isn't it. You've set yourself some good goals there.

  5. YAYZ for a return to health!

    and your goal is doable and NOT selfish. you have to love/care for yourself first before you can give to others. it took me many years to learn that.

    we had pork ribs & sauerkraut yesterday.

    1. I find myself being far nicer to others than I am to myself. I need to find a better balance.

  6. My goal is to stay ALIVE !
    Glad to hear you both and Marko are feeling better !
    Let's all and I mean ALL have a better New Year.

  7. I guess my goals are always too vague. They mostly center around Try To Do Better.
    Yeah. That's pretty vague
    I like your goals. I have a feeling you do need to speak up for yourself more. It's fine to be a giving person but at some point, there is nothing left to give.

    1. I really, really do need to speak up for myself more. I feel burnt out with other peoples' needs sometimes.

  8. What you say about your lucky meal is most interesting - I had no idea that some food/dishes have such special meanings.
    Good to know everyone is on the mend and you still have a bit of time left to relax before work starts again. As I am getting older and both work and my private life (mainly because of my long-distance relationship) are not showing any signs of becoming less busy, I try to make the most of any chance I get to catch some rest.
    By the way, I love that you say you want to treat yourself more like a friend!

    1. I'm finding as I get older that I need more and more time to recharge after a lot of socializing. And at the end of a typical workday, too, because I have so much contact with so many other people.
      Hope your new year is off to a good start!

  9. I want to ride 2500 miles on my bike. boy, will my legs be sylin'

    1. Good god, Dave...that's a lot of miles! Good for you!

  10. I think it is possible to give a lot but still draw your own boundaries strongly. I treat myself as a friend but also give out, it's a question of where your motivations come from. If you want to give it's good. If you feel obliged, thats when you end up resentful.

    Happy New Year, Jennifer

    1. I just need a better balance, of looking out for my own needs. Other people aren't going to do it for me.

  11. re Your final para; that's called 'being a woman', always thinking of others before themselves. I can understand your desires, but I do rather like this feminine trait.

    1. I mainly just need to take care of myself a little bit better. Happy New Year!

  12. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t celebrate the END of this holiday season.

  13. You must be happy, to make others happy,

  14. We had black eyed peas too.
    May 2020 be a prosperous year for you all.
    I have lot of resolutions - so for Day #5 I am doing good.

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