Eight ways to kick off your new year right
Spoiler alert: None of them require noise makers, silly hats, kissing a stranger, or freezing in Times Square
Welcome to “Chrimbo Limbo.” It is that odd week on the calendar between Xmas and New Year’s Day. It’s a “magic bubble” time of year when zoom meetings, deadlines, PPT presentations, budget reviews, and one-on-ones mysteriously fade into the distance.
During Chrimbo Limbo, the holiday shopping is done. The family visits are going great, the fancy china is safely back in the curio until next year, and there are tons of leftovers in the fridge. You don’t have to set the alarm in the morning. You can wear pajamas all day. And you don’t feel guilty about staying up till dawn to finish that impossible puzzle that Aunt Edna brought. These blissful days blend together seamlessly; if you are like me, you find yourself oddly calm.
Then it happens. Halfway through the year-end respite, you start to think that this joyful reprieve can’t last forever. You get a nagging feeling that you should be accomplishing something. Nothing big. Just a task here or there that will make you feel better when the “magic bubble” inevitably bursts and the real world abruptly reappears on January 2nd.
In case you don’t have a list, I thought I would share what is on mine.
Unsubscribe, unsubscribe, unsubscribe: Every time you see that email from < annoying retailer who you bought something from once >, you think, “I should unsubscribe.” Well, now is the time to do it. I’m being literal here but if you are looking for a metaphor, go for it. We are all overcommitted. Too many meetings, committees, and self-improvement apps. Go ahead. Unsubscribe. It is your time. Use it the way you want.
Get organized: I know you have piles of papers. We all do. It’s okay. This is a safe space. The “This is important” pile. Then there is the “This is really important” pile. And then, my favorite, “I really need to do something about this” pile. It’s time to tackle the pile(s). I promise it will feel great when you are done. Send me a picture of your clean desk. I’ll show you mine.
Review your Will. I bet you didn’t see that coming. Maybe you already did it because it was in the “this is really important” pile. Oh, and if you don’t have one, now is a good time to write one.
Make a doctor’s appointment. You are an adult now. Your mother can’t make the appointments for you. Find a dentist or a skin doctor, and schedule a mammogram or a colonoscopy. Try out some acupuncture (it’s awesome btw). The people who love and depend on you will appreciate you taking care of yourself.
Reach out to someone you have been meaning to connect with. I wrote about this early on in my blog. If you have thought about someone recently and wondered how they are, reach out and check in on them. Whether it has been a week, a month, a year, or ten years, I know they will be thrilled to hear from you.
Read a book. I’m not going to give you any recommendations. There are many great lists, more lists, and even the ultimate list. What I am going to do, is recommend that you pick up a book and read a couple of pages a day. Someone more intelligent than me once said, “we tend to overestimate what we can do in a day and underestimate what we can do in a year.” Progress is made with little steps. Take one every day. Start with a few pages of a book, and before you know it, you’ll be done with War and Peace.
Make a gratitude list. Tons of research has been done on the topic. Even Harvard University has published several scholarly articles about how the expression of gratitude improves well-being. I read one piece that suggests you should note five things you are grateful for every day. Here are my top five. I’m grateful for the following:
Grammarly (that handy app that cleans up my spelling and punctuation)
And, YOU. I can’t tell you how happy I am to publish these stories for you. I know how busy you are living your life, and the fact that you set aside a few minutes to read my stories means the world to me. Earlier, when I told you to go through your emails and unsubscribe - I hope you don’t unsubscribe me.
Enjoy the rest of your “magic bubble” time, and I look forward to continuing our adventure together in 2023.
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Unsubscribe? Never! I love your posts and look forward to them ❤️
Always a pleasure to read your stories, Marji! Great description of the bubble week! And about those piles... nice to know I'm not the only one! Thanks for the nudge;)