Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The lull between the holidays

Here at my house, I celebrate Chanukah, and my kids celebrate Christmas. I love years like this, where Chanukah is long done before Christmas arrives, since it means I don't have to mix them together: I put the tree up after the menorah was away. In the future - maybe next year, maybe the one after that - I won't bother with the tree anymore, but with this being M's last year living at home, I deferred to her desire to have the tree up. But truly, I digress.

Chanukah and Christmas are now done, and New Year's Eve and Day are still to come. Lots of folks are starting to prepare their resolutions for 2013. All the news programs, radio stations, papers, magazines, and such are making their lists. Top news stories, best movies, albums or books of the year . . . you know the sort.

Those lists can be so much fun to read - to see which things you agree with, and which you disagree with (or have never heard of, in some cases). They can be extremely challenging to write, and I can tell you right now that I'm not going to bother to try.

For one thing, my list of top ten books might be pretty close to my list of actual books read this year - I've been a bit of a slacker. More about that tomorrow, I think. Same goes for top movies of the year (I've only seen a handful). And apart from some news and occasional sports or cooking shows, I haven't watched TV since I started dating my sweetheart. For another thing, as most long-time readers know, I suck at picking favorites in pretty much any category. I don't like doing it.

So that is not what I'll be doing this week, in this lull between the holidays. Instead, I plan on spending a bit of quiet time thinking back over the year - what was good and what didn't quite work, what I'd like to keep doing in the future or stop doing in the future, and the like. I like using this time to assess where I've been, where I'm going, and where it is I'd like to go in the future (which is, after all, a slightly different thing). And by going, I don't mean it literally, although literal going is also included.

By the time the new year rolls around, I expect to have something like a five-year plan in the works. Perhaps not a formal document, but an idea of what I'd like to do now, what I see myself doing in a year, and what I'd like my life to be like in five years. I don't "do" resolutions, but I do like taking some time to assess/re-assess and to consider.

What about you? Do you take some quiet time to think things through as the new year approaches, or is that something you do at a different time of the year? Do you make resolutions? Have any other new year's traditions?

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