From the New Year’s Front

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I find it interesting that one single day can trigger so many different opinions.

January 1st doesn’t leave anyone indifferent.

On the blogosphere, people write about the New Year, either with great anticipation or some kind of dread.

The main reason is probably the burden we put on the New Year.

Like New Year’s resolutions.

Don’t you hate that word?

If we look at the list of synonyms, “Decree” comes first. Not far behind I read: “Ruling.”

No wonder we feel some pressure when we hear “Resolution.”

I never gave a thought to New Year’s resolutions until I had my children. It doesn’t mean that I was living without ever making some plans, but I never felt that I had to focus on them on a special day.

Having children changed a little bit my Carpe Diem motto. I still believed in the importance of the moment, but for my children I also tried to provide a meaningful sense to the passing of time.

So when the four of them were old enough, we started a New Year’s Eve family tradition.

That night we would all take a piece of paper and write down our goals or simply dreams for the upcoming year.

They could be small or big, they could be places or people to visit, desserts to bake, books to read, manuscripts to write, a new class to start…

We had the choice to share these dreams aloud. Or not.

As the maman/mom I had the job to slip our six sheets of paper in a large envelope, which I would seal with candle wax and then put away in a drawer until the following New Year’s Eve.

Then I would open the envelope, and everyone could read their last year’s goals, again either aloud or personally. Then I would lit a match and burn these past dreams as a symbol of new beginnings.

For the last two years some of us have or not participated.

As you might guess most of my dreams were related to writing and publishing.

And the pressure to succeed in this field overpowered some more reachable and yet important moments.

So I stopped making such wishes, preferring to reflect on the past year. Not with regret or bitterness but with respect for having been lucky to live through 365 days.

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Since all WordPress bloggers have received a 2014 review, I will leave you with my little numbers.

My most visited post in 2014 received 133 comments, nothing big in comparison to some bloggers. The same post was liked 212 times. Again, no big deal for some of you.

More than these numbers and being Freshly Pressed I like that people from 120 countries have visited me in 2014. Thank you!

I also like to see that several of my popular posts were written way before 2014.

Finally one stat is particularly important to me, since I face an internal dilemma about one specific manuscript.

Should I translate it in French now that I have written it in English?

Looks like the answer is right here: Most of my readers live in the USA. Thank you, my American fellows!

And thanks to you, my dear French and British readers who are my second and third more frequent readers.

 

2014 was probably, for you too, a mix of stats, a succession of unremarkable days, and a handful of unforgettable sunrises and sunsets, a beautiful reason to rise up day after day.

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So as you get ready to enter 2015, I wish for you to be kind to yourself. Don’t make unrealistic goals that will ultimately crush you. Instead remember of the most meaningful moments you’ve lived in 2014. They will bring a smile to your heart and make people around you smile in return. We all know the power of a real smile.

That’s my goal for 2015.

 

Happy New Year, everyone, and enjoy the trail!

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Comments

  1. Good post Evelyne – Happy 2015 to you and yours…
    SPIKE

  2. I have greatly enjoyed you this year and hope to enjoy your writing and photography in the years to come. I don’t make resolutions. That would imply I have some kind of control over my life. I just try very hard to survive and keep my sense of humor intact. Happy New Year!!

    • I have also enjoyed your posts a lot, Marilyn, and you’re so prolific that I have a hard time to catch up. I know that you forgive me! Yeah, resolutions started to make me feel under stress. I still have goals but I didn’t want to establish them on a certain day. Happy 2015!

  3. Evelyne, congratulations of a great blogging year. Here’s wishing you get everything you want in 2015. Happy New Year.

  4. What a. Great tradition and what a great attitude. I have a New Year’s post planned that is somewhat anti-resolution…I am not a fan. I feel very good looking back on my writing but the best part was establishing new and building upon existing relationships. I truly enjoy your blog and your friendship. Happy New Year Evelyne!

    • My children looked forward to this tradition for many years. After two years without resolutions, they’ve decided to return to this childhood custom. They are so young that their list will be impressive but also inspiring, I’m sure. And I’m glad that something I started for them has stayed with them. I’ve enjoyed many blogs this year, yours is one of them. Happy New Year to you and your family, Dan!

  5. Happy New Year Evelyne and I hope 2015 is a very creative one for you. I always used to look forward to New Year – there was that whole sense of anticipation – but it was always something of an anti-climax. Now we quietly mark the turn of the year at home but I now work on a different cycle – my goals are emerging from the dreams of the last few weeks, ready to be ‘planted’ on Candlemas – so I don’t feel the pressure of resolutions, just polished dreams 🙂

    • Happy New Year to you, Andrea. When I found your blog I fell for the nature/people relationship, one I also believe in. So I like your approach and take on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. I also wish you a creative year. You are on a good start with several publications to encourage you to pursue your writing journey.

  6. You too, Evelyne. As usual, your post made me think. I too am tending to look back (in the vein of forgiveness) in order to move forward. Setting unrealistic, crushing goals is tempting, as that has been my modus operandi for a long time, but, like you, I prefer to set more manageable, uplifting hopes.

    Love,
    Elizabeth

    • Since you are working on a memoir, you know the power of the past. It shouldn’t stop us to go on but I like to reflect on the meaningful moments that I lived so I cherish them. I am fairly disciplined per nature and this perhaps why resolutions started to be too much as I already plan enough. I wish you a peaceful end of the year and a beautiful start for 2015.

  7. Beverly Broughton says:

    I agree with you, Evelyne…change your paths or aspirations when you feel the need for clarity or vigor for a certain project…miss you, but am enthralled with your blog…love to you and yours.
    Bev

  8. Kindness, meaningful moments, and smiles…what more could a person want for 2015 (except sales! 🙂 ) Happy New Year!!

  9. I’m glad I found your blog 🙂 You seem liked you’ve had a very interesting life– living in places I either already love or would love to go! I’ve been to CA many times and enjoy it very much. I have never been to France, although the wife and I are planning a trip for 2016. Oddly enough, I’ve never been to Maine either. I’d love to visit the coast of Maine– I hear it’s beautiful.

    • Thank you for visiting me, David. Sometimes I envy people who have made a life at the same place for roots bring constance to a life. But I also know that this kind of life wasn’t made for me and I appreciate the opportunites that I got to discover different places. If you go to France, do not hesitate to ask me about tips. And Maine is really a gorgeous state. I wish you happy travels in 2015.

  10. Nice post in readiness for the new year tomorrow. All the best Evelyne, it’s been a pleasure reading your blog this year. Happy New Year to you from Australia🎉

  11. Behind the Story says:

    Beautiful sentiments! Most years I’ve tried too hard. I’ve written a list of resolutions encompassing every aspect of my life and then wondered twelve months later why I haven’t accomplished all of them. Perhaps this year instead I’ll reflect on the past year with gratitude.

    • I still love the anticipation of a new start, but as my children are moving away from the family nest, I find necessary to reflect on the past 365 days in order to bring sense to the following 365. It has been a great blogging year for me because I’ve met so many interesting and kind people. You are one of them, Nicki. Thank you and Happy New Year!

  12. excellent post, comme d’hab’, chère Evelyne… btw, I love NYC! 🙂 après Houston, TX, notre fille et son beloved US hubby passent qqs jours à NYC et dans le NJ avec ses close relatives… 🙂
    * * *
    mille merci-thanx for your kind wishes dropped @ my playground… I convey you & your loved ones my very best for 2015: health, joy, serenity and love… ❤ amicales pensées et à+! Mélanie

    • Merci, Mélanie. Je ne peux pas toujours te rendre visite car tu es si prolifique que le temps me manque! Mais j’aime ton approche sur la vie et je te remercie pour ta French touch qui me rappelle mon beau pays. J’adore NYC aussi. Presque autant que Paris. Happy 2015 à toi et aux tiens!

  13. Love these pictures Eveylyne, and the post. Happy new year😊

  14. As always, your perspective uplifting. Thank you 🙂

  15. What a wonderful tradition with your children … maybe one day they will continue it with their own. Ah, will be curious to learn if you one day decide to translate your books into French. I was at a writers’ conference where this was an (interesting) topic of conversation by European writers writing in English who then translate their books into their mother tongue. Wishing you a wonderful start to 2015!

    • The kids want to do it again tonight! Translation is always on my mind. I’m not sure that it’s possible to translate our own work. When I write I either do it in French or in English and I never translate. I’m sure you see what I mean since you also speak Italian. Will you write on the topic on your blog? See you in 2015, Kimberly. Best to you and your family.

  16. I love that family tradition of yours, a very positive spin on the pressure we put on ourselves. Good to see you on my blog again. Happy new year to you and family!

  17. Nice to see you again, too, jazzytower. After the publication of my new novel I was too busy to keep up with too many blogs. I love NYC so your photos are always nice for me. See you soon in 2015. Meanwhile enjoy the end of 2014.

  18. What a great tradition, I really love that. I gave up setting resolutions a long time ago, as you say, it is too easy to set unrealistic dreams only to stand by and watch them get crushed. So much better to look back, be thankful for all the blessings in our lives and then take those blessings and look to the future…one step at a time. And this Brit is so glad to have met you Evelyne, I look forward very much to sharing our writing journey in 2015 and would like to thank you for being such a lovely friend and encouragement. Happy New Year 🙂

  19. Thank you, Sherri, for another kind visit. 2014 was a godd year for me and my blog as I got to meet really generous, fun and kind bloggers. You are one of them, and I’m looking to reading you in 2015. Best wishes to you.

  20. I love this for so many reasons. I’m going to have to share that tradition. I don’t really do the New Years Resolution thing either. I’m constantly making and shifting my goals, but when I have kids, I think it’s a wonderful idea to get them into the habit of dreaming and making goals.

  21. It’s funny how we feel the need to create our own family rituals when we are parents. This New Year tradition stayed with us for many years. When my kids were little it was wonderful to see their young faces all focused as we went through the ceremonial. Now that they are all in college they still write down their dreams and plans for the New Year and like to share them with their parents and siblings. See you soon, Katie, and Happy New Year!

  22. Your stats look wildly impressive to me!! And what a lovely tradition – I also like to think of New Year Resolutions as dreams and plans rather than rules… that way I have some leeway if I abandon them 😉

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