New Year Reset

Happy 2015, you crazy Women and Words devotees! I, for one, am very glad 2014 is over and done with. There were a number of highs, and a number of lows, and I’m hoping the new year brings a less bumpy road for all who’ve faced down whatever challenges cropped up throughout the last 365 plus a few days.

The pomp and circumstance of the new year usually makes me feel like I’ve got a clean slate to play with. A clean slate that is ready to be all futzed up with the craziness that is life. As one year fades and another begins, I usually try create some kind of order out of the typical chaos that is my life. Doing so usually helps me sort out my mental house, and man, my mental house always needs sorting! So tonight I spent six hours with my lovely wife working on the tornado that was our bedroom. It wasn’t as if we had a whole lot of messy mess, just stuff everywhere. Okay. It WAS a messy mess.

On my side of the room a year’s worth books had somehow piled up all around a small bookshelf next to my nightstand. I should probably admit it wasn’t just one stack of books that reached from the ground and topped out three-and-a-half feet above the top of the bookshelf, there were three. And, it wasn’t as if the bookshelf wasn’t already full. Thus, it took me a good number of hours to sort through what I wanted to keep, what I wanted to put some place else, and what, God help me, I needed to get rid of. That’s painful. But necessary. One day, I swear, I will find time to read each and everyone of those books, even if I have to live to be 123.

What kind of rituals do you have that help you christen the new year? Do you get rid of things, straighten up your office, your bedroom, your computer, your house? Do you feel a need to bring some kind of harmony into your space? I’m definitely anticipating the coming year in a good way, and I hope each and everyone of you has a fantastic, peace and love filled year as well.



  1. I don’t have a good New Year’s ritual,so I will be eager to see the comments. I did order a pile o’ books from a favorite lesfic bookseller who had a print book sale right before Christmas (1/2 off no less on selected titles be still my heart!) and got a FEW books to take me into the new year. I was impressed by Rachel Spangler’s New Year’s blog about her goals for the year and I believe I may follow that format for the first six months. After that, I will be in the GCLS’ Writers Academy and don’t have any idea what to expect, so will hold off scheduling too many non-writing activities per month. Thanks for sharing your idea, perhaps i will clean out my bedroom/office. Or perhaps I will wait to see what your other readers come up with!


    • Wow, Onamarae! You some great things coming up! Rachel Spangler has some really good ideas, for sure. Congrats on the Writer’s Academy! You’re going to learn a ton. It will be interesting to see what other folks have to say on this, too.

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  2. I’m one of those people who gets kinda freaky if I have “too much stuff” in general. So I pretty much purge stuff any time of the year. In terms of the new year, I start organizing my tax stuff January/February. I also have a vague idea of schedules and what I’m going to do in terms of writing and publishing for the year. But I don’t think of the new year as “OMG TIME TO REALLY START DOING SHIT!” because technically, the measure of time is irrelevant. The only reason we have an idea about a “new year” is because we — people — invented a calendar and then started hanging all kinds of expectations on that, making it significant when ultimately, it isn’t. January is just part of the great cycle of seasons. Though it does help to stay organized in these 12-month increments. Heh.


    • i actually tend to measure more in the 6 months categories and since my birthday is in Dec., that nicely ties one up, and as you mentioned, I have to start getting tax stuff ready in Jan, that begins another one!


    • Andi, very very true! Agreed on the tax thing, we have a date with our tax guy in Feb and we are nowhere near ready. Anxietyyyyyyyy! Well, not yet. Probably about a week before the appointment will be a crazed, cranky rush to get stuff together. I hate the fact I work well under pressure 🙂 And I wish I could get by with less stuff. Betty likes to hang onto things “just in case” so I periodically clear a few things out while she’s away. Don’t tell on me!


  3. Oh, Jessie, The stacks of books – you only had 3?! 🙂 – sounds familiar to me! I switched to a Kindle a couple of years ago and have since been doing a great deal of ‘book sorting.’

    Some are easy to get rid of (the mainstream mystery, entertainment reading – John Grisham, Edna Buchanan, Carl Hiassen – they just get donated to the first place I pass, the local library, Women’s Resource thrift shop, St. Vincent DePaul … But I have quite a number (ha! about 1,500-2,000) of others that are more difficult to decide what to do with – for one, a collection of women’s lit and lesbian fiction and non-fiction. I may just need to “get over” thinking that it would be nice to give then, intact/as a set to [blank/where?].

    A third group is a bunch of art/craft/woodworking/how-to books – not all of which I am ready to let go of … but most of them (hey, I’m getting older and need to start thinking about who is going to have to clean out this mess!) …

    Actually, now that I write it out like this, there is another group – a collection of genealogy books … whew … I’m not sure I am happy that you invited comments on this, Jessie! Sometimes ignorance or sticking one’s head in the sand fells better! 🙂

    Anyway, about that “collection of women’s lit and lesbian fiction and non-fiction” … I would be open to ideas if anyone has any thoughts about them …


    • Lynn, I don’t know where you live, but I donate to my local LGBT community center and they have a lovely lending library now. When they get “too many” copies of a particular book they give it away which is also fine by me. That makes me feel better about that chances of someone getting to enjoy it again than just my local community run used bookstore, even though we have lesbian couples in the neighborhood.


      • I too always seem to spend the first week of the new year cleaning up the piles of books around the house. Last year I thinned the herd and donated close to 800 lesbian books to the LGBT center. I have a harder time trying to find a home for all the other books I accumulate. I live in the capital city of a southern state and there is nowhere to trade in used books. I used to live in the Midwest and there were close to 20 used book stores around my area. I have been thinking about installing one of those “lending libraries” outside my house. It is a place where neighbors can take a book, enjoy it, and either return it or replace it with a different one.

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    • Lynn, wow! You do have a few books to sort out! I wish I could embrace the ebook movement more. I think it’s a really cool way to have your collection, but not have your home overrun. I have a few ebooks, but it’s just not the same as holding a book, paging back to favorite parts, and feeling the solidness of words in my hand. As far as collections, I’m with Ona, in giving books I sorted out just last night to our local LGBT organization, the Quatrefoil Library. They are a non-profit lending library and archiver of Minnesota LGBT history. I don’t know where you live, but maybe there’s something similar? I totally agree with the head in the sand thing…that’s SO much easier! Good luck!


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