Lowering the New Year’s Pressure

New Year’s Day has never been one of my favorite holidays. Too much pressure involved—beginning the night before, when I’m supposed to find a way to ring in the year in style.

Then there’s the issue of making resolutions that are somehow going to help me create a healthier, happier, more productive life. And the idea that I should take time to reflect on the past year and tally up all my successes and shortcomings.

And it all comes on a day that essentially marks the end of a holiday period I’d been looking forward to for weeks.

So this year, I’ve decided to take a slightly different approach to New Year’s. I’m trying to treat it more like a holiday than a day of reckoning. I’ve spent more time watching football than filling in year-end spreadsheets.

A bowl of black-eyed peas is a delicious way to kick off the New Year.

A bowl of black-eyed peas is a delicious way to kick off the New Year.

I made a delicious bowl of black-eyed peas and a couple of pans of cornbread to honor longstanding family traditions. My mother and grandmother always made sure we ate black-eyed peas on New Year’s in order to bring good luck and prosperity for the whole year. This is one family tradition I’ve never wanted to break.

And instead of creating a long list of resolutions, I’ve decided to simply try to create a couple of new habits. I don’t know if these habits will change my life, and I don’t want to put that much pressure on myself anyway.


A Blogging Habit

Posting more often to this blog is one of the habits I’m trying to create in 2015. In the past few months, I somehow started thinking that I couldn’t post until I had lots of time to create some kind of super significant content. Too much pressure led to too few blog posts in 2014. I don’t need to check any spreadsheets to see that.

So, in 2015, I’m planning to cultivate the habit of posting more often. I’m not making any resolutions or any big plans about what I’ll write or what day I’ll post or how many minutes I’ll blog each day. I’m just going to start sharing my thoughts here more often — mostly my thoughts about writing and editing, although I’m not promising how focused this space will be.

I’m hoping that by the time 2016 rolls around, I’ll have found something interesting to say. Or maybe I’ll have rediscovered how much fun it can be to play with words and ideas in my own space.

Either way, I’m hoping for some happy new habits in 2015.


January 1, 2015

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Tammy Ditmore edited my book, The Quest for Distinction: Pepperdine University in the 20th Century. It was a huge assignment, requiring skills that set her apart from most professional editors. She re… Read more
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