Thank Goodness, It’s the New Year: Getting a Theme

family photo

My family

So, how were your holidays? What did you do? Are you living in a place where your children STILL HAVEN’T GONE BACK TO SCHOOL? Hopefully tomorrow, they will be back in the saddle, and you will, too, with whatever you’re doing. I have never been so happy to be getting back into a routine in my entire life.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays–and as a Sandwich Generationer, I believe we made several important memories this past season, including a grandparent/grandchild visit to Our Lady of the Snows “Way of Lights,” where the kiddos rode a camel (only $6 a piece for a 2 minute camel ride–what a bargain! 😉 ); a terrific “Dill” family Christmas at my parents’ house with my cousins and the 9-month old twins, while my hubby stayed at home and writhed in bed with the flu; and going to the movies on New Year’s Day (where we did not sit in front of anyone) to see Frozen, which was awesome! But as a writer or anyone with a home business knows, you get either NOTHING or VERY LITTLE done with all this holiday excitement. Then just when we think life is about to get back to normal–the Christmas tree is down, thank you notes are written, laundry is done for school clothes, grandparents are scheduled to babysit–the North Pole comes to the Midwest. Everything came to a halt–no mail–not even Fed Ex.

Anyway, enough complaining–after being in my house from Saturday at 1:30 pm CST to Tuesday morning 9:30 am (with an energetic 3-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boxer) because of a foot of snow and subzero temperatures–all right I’m still complaining, I’m thrilled to be sitting in Panera Bread writing this post and trying to think of something full of wisdom to say.

Making memories!

Making memories!

Here’s what I’ve come up with: Routine gets old. We start to hate our work, find other reasons to do anything else, eat food we are not supposed to, drink things we shouldn’t because we are tired of routine. (Okay, I am confessing to you here–but I hope you are nodding along with me.) We might even start to snap at or appreciate a little less the wonderful people in our lives: the grandparents that babysit for free and remind you it is snowing and to stay inside, the husband who shoveled the snow but tracked his boots all over the clean floor, the three-year-old who is hysterical and cute but STILL NOT POTTY TRAINED, the 13-year-old who is so gentle with his sister but broke the TV–okay, okay, you can see I have had quite an adventure the last two weeks.

The holidays make you appreciate these people again–you have fun, you buy them gifts, you create special memories, and then the best part–you are once again thankful for your routine and for them because you had the holidays to let loose. I think we need Christmas in July for the very same reason (but no July Christmas cards–that would be the death of me).

A lot of people have said this year they are not making resolutions–they are making themes. A theme can be something like: Get Creative, Get To Work, Be Thankful. I’m on board with this (although I also have resolutions to lose weight, get more sleep, finish my YA novel, and look for an agent), and I have a theme–I finally came up with it right now–BE APPRECIATIVE–every single day.


  • The holiday season is fun but, I have to admit, it’s great to get back to a regular pace. The weather here is frightful, also, and I hope it will warm up a bit.
    I like the idea of a theme more than specific goals.
    “Be appreciative” is such a positive phrase for 2014! Have a good one! :)

    • Thanks, Patricia. Yes, aren’t you in Canada or close to it? I think we are babies here in St. Louis, but our problem is that on December 20, it was literally 70 degrees! And then on Monday, January 6, the high was negative 3 with a foot of snow. We can’t get used to anything. On Friday, it’s going to be 53–goodbye snow, hello mud! My dog will have a ball. Thanks for stopping by. I am appreciative of your comment (LOL) and I will try to appreciate the mud my dog plays in.

      • Yes, here in Canada, about an hour from Toronto, it has been cold; however, the weekend forecast is for temps above freezing. Yeah!

  • I am glad to be back in a routine of sorts. For me having my house quiet again is the most important thing. Two weeks of adult children as well as their tiny tots, and three dogs, is a lot of celebrating. And cooking. And cooking. And cooking. And did I mention cooking.

    • No doubt, Holly–I started Weight Watchers again to get rid of the holiday weight–well actually the entire 2013 weight, and I have been cooking, cooking, cooking (which I don’t even like to do really) and I realized why the other day–with it comes CLEANING. CLEANING. CLEANING. Okay, with my new theme, I have to find a reason to appreciate cleaning. This theme is going to challenge me. I guess it is nice to have a clean kitchen and a full belly when you are done with the whole process. :)

  • Yes, I too am suffering from the snow and other things getting me off track on my schedule. My boy child still hasn’t gone back to school. I am also dog sitting for the week. It is very hard to stay on track. But you are right, having a theme for the new year is great idea, and “BE APPRECIATIVE” sounds like a great one for 2014.

    • Dog sitting would take a lot of time, too .Dogs are very needy! :) Good luck, Ann.

  • Oh yes, I always crave and appreciate my quiet routine after the fun and chaos of the holidays. This year was especially off for me, but still fun. I love New Years– embracing the potential and giving my routine a hug. :) Love that family picture, by the way. So sweet.

  • An energy healer that I follow, Carol Tuttle, mentioned that we’re always so preoccupied with “doing” and “having” that we forget that we are human BEINGS. So I really want to focus on being. Being free. Being relaxed. Being joyful. Being loving and loved. So BEING will be my theme for 2014.

    • That’s awesome, Spirit Lady. Thanks for sharing!

  • KB’s expression in the above picture is priceless! :)

  • Yes, Cinda, she gets VERY excited about things. :)

  • Amen to almost everything you’ve said! I rarely get as much done over the holidays as I think I will. The run off or leftovers are work-in-progress for January (which is also tax-time, Lord have mercy!) Thanks for the reminder that routine and letting loose are both necessary. (My daughter is 18, so don’t get me started on the joys of parenting!)

So, what do you think?