10 Ways to End a Tough Year

I don’t know about you, but my year was kind of tough. Every once in a while, everyone has a bad year—whether it’s economic or tragic. Let’s just say I’ll be very happy to close the books on this one and start over again. Which is why I love New Year’s so much: It’s a fresh start, a chance to start over, a blank page to be filled with new dreams.

But first, this year has to finish with a bang of closure, and here are some thoughts I have on it:

  1. I’m going to build a bonfire and burn stuff. It’s cleansing. I’ll burn some things that deserve to be burned, a few downed branches from the horrible storms, and maybe a few lists of things that I never want to think of again. And it will warm me up!
  2. I’m going to make a list of the good things that happened. There were some. Really, there were. I know of at least two.
  3. I’ll give things away that remind me of the annoying things. Clothes, books, pictures, whatever. No use being reminded all the time of stuff that went wrong.
  4. Although, maybe I will do a commemorative collage…of the good things that is. When I look back on the pictures I took, there are so many little good moments. I’m going to do a craft project (and yes, breathe heavily through my mouth, much to the annoyance of my eldest, while I do it.)
  5. I will forgive the people who made my year especially hard. Yes, even the ones who unfriended me on Facebook. (Can you believe it?!)
  6. I will forgive myself. After all, no one is perfect. Plus, perfection is boring. Perfection is dead to me.
  7. I will laugh about it all. I was THRILLED to see there is a new remake of the Three Stooges coming out. I watched the trailer on the Internet and was appalled at it. I also laughed hysterically. You’ve got to love a movie where men dress as nuns and oh, how I missed that ringing sound when a Stooge gets hit in the head with a hammer. Sick, I know. But that show shaped me.
  8. I will make a list of everything I learned. Including not to hit people on the head with a hammer. Seriously. I learned a lot this year. Mostly, I learned to trust myself and my instincts. And I learned that patience is sometimes overrated. I also learned that doing is much more important than just talking about doing. Good stuff!
  9. I will be thankful anyway. Every night when I get into bed, I say a prayer of thanks. Usually, I get distracted after the thanking part, but at least I get that in. At the very least, I am ALWAYS thankful that I am finally in my bed. I love my bed. It’s all-organic!
  10. I will remember that everything happens for a reason. This year, I discovered that something I’ve been mad about for 35 years has turned out to be the secret to my happiness. That’s a blog for another day (or a chapter in my secret memoir). But the point is, I wasted time resenting something and only much later have realized that it was essential to making other good things happen. That’s how the universe works, I believe. So even if bad stuff happens now, I do believe there is a reason, and it might take another few decades to find out what it is, but that’s OK. I’ll be thrilled if I’m still here to figure it out.

Happy New Year!


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18 Responses to 10 Ways to End a Tough Year

  1. Elizabeth Beller December 28, 2011 at 7:35 am #

    You are spot on with this post, Maria. Many thanks for inspiring me to focus on the positive in what has been a particularly challenging year. I think I’ll post a “year in pictures” on my blog to celebrate the closing of 2011.

    Happy New Year to you and your loved ones!

    Liz Beller

  2. Amy Freitag December 28, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    This blog would be in the center of my “What’s good” collage. Thank you Maria!

  3. Karen December 28, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

    Sometimes we just need to get some perspective. very nice, MariA.

  4. Kris Woods December 28, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

    Beautiful post Maria. Wishing you the happiest of new years!

  5. Donna in Delaware December 28, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    I am still uncluttering my life! I am almost there. There is a thing or two left to do, so then I will be able to relax a little. I’ve been so busy this year, that I haven’t been able to read your blogs Maria, and that SAYS SOMETHING about my year. Like yours, its been a hard one, yet I perservered, and the more grateful for it. It has toughened me more, to get ready for whatever the future bring on in the months to come, should I live.

    I have decided to move (this one last time, hopefully), I’m in no hurry, but it is something that I feel I must do (not getting any younger, you see!) so I’m looking for something easier to deal with. Most of this year I made a resolution, to LIVE! I do not pay to much attention to what others say or even do. I march to my own beat now, I don’t accept things just to appease others anymore. From this point on, it’s going to be what I WANT, within reason of course, and what is going to make ME happy, instead of always putting someone else’s happiness before mine.
    Sorry, didn’t mean to get winded, but this year coming, it is going to be totally different around here. Wishing you all a much better year than this one. Keep mentally, physically, and emotionally healthy!! See you in the NEW YEAR!

  6. Elizabeth Hill December 28, 2011 at 4:48 pm #

    Wonder ful idea about getting rid of objects that remind us of painful times. Remembering good times and people is heart strenthening with colages on the fridge in my case. Keep up your encouraging and enlightening ideas. thank you Maria

  7. Sharon December 28, 2011 at 8:26 pm #

    Well done…I especially like the “I will make a list of everything I learned.”

  8. Kay December 28, 2011 at 8:58 pm #

    Just what I needed. Thank you!

  9. maria (farm country kitchen) December 28, 2011 at 10:45 pm #

    Dear Donna in Delaware, I missed you! It sounds like you had a similar year to mine — you just said a lot of stuff I’ve been feeling inside (but doesn’t always pass through my PR team!!!!!) Are you healthy? Let’s make a vow to live life to it’s fullest in 2012 and dance freely to the beat of our own drums! Love, Maria

    And thank ALL OF YOU for your words of encouragement. You all make me keep on keeping on!

  10. Chrissy December 29, 2011 at 3:45 am #

    Thank you, Maria. Mary Jane (of Raising Jane, Mary Jane’s Farm) is in a similar resolution mode. I find you both inspiring and would not want you to lose heart in your efforts at the war for our best health. As for my resolution, decluttering is the one. At my age, I find myself asking “Do I want to take care of this now? or do I want someone in my family to have to worry with getting rid of this?” By taking care of material things now, I can choose who receives them. It is true that when our physical rooms aren’t so full, we have more room for spiritual blessing and when our cup runs over, it splashes on those around us.

  11. ad December 30, 2011 at 5:01 am #

    very nice reflections for the new year. you should be on Oprah, lol

  12. Pat Mitchell January 2, 2012 at 10:08 pm #

    #10 is right on. please continue with this.

  13. Donna in Delaware January 3, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

    Thanks Maria, You are the BEST! I’m always thinking of you. Lots of love.

  14. Karen in California January 4, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    What a great New Year mantra Maria. I too had a less then good year. After 5 weeks in the hospital and very near death, I’m back better then ever. Not sure why but not going to spend my time trying to figure it out. Instead I choose to stay positive, re check my priorities, simplify my life, keep whats really important close to me and just live. My husband and I have a small farm in the mid west and we have made it a goal to make the move sooner then later. Thanks for your encouragement and a wonderful site. Here’s to a great New Year to all !

  15. Brad January 4, 2012 at 11:46 am #

    Thanks, Maria,

    This past year, 2011 was the worst ever for me. In February, I lost my mother, then in March not quite 30 days later, I lost my father. Then, in December, I lost my brother. Yes, it was a lousy year, but I will start over again and try to remember all the great things you wrote to help me go on….it IS a new year and it IS going to be a better one……
    Thanks again, Maria

  16. Jenny January 5, 2012 at 5:56 pm #

    I just came across this post – not sure how I missed it! What amazing words and an even better attitude. I am a firm believer that everything always happens for a reason….and hope always floats to the surface. Well worded and I have to agree…I would love to see you on Oprah as well. Cheers to a New Year and a New YOU!

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