Friday, 13 December 2013

Reflections

Well, not long to go now until 2014.
 
This is the time of year that I always reflect on my life, my thoughts, my decisions and most importantly -  ME. I look back on all the positives and negatives including what I've learned from them.
 
I ruthlessly assess my friendships/relationships and make uncomfortable decisions on who needs to go. Nobody wants to bring a back-stabber or someone who has no respect into their future do they?
 
I take a blunt look at myself, naked and aware. I look at my broken dreams and destructive habits and make conscious decisions to put them right.
I look at my attitudes to people and life. I checkout my forgiveness or lack of it on some days. I look at the things that caused me to stumble and why. I thoroughly go through the things that caused me to excel and how I can hold on to them. I look at what makes me unhappy and the ways I can change it for the better. I think about how I can make a difference to this world.

This year in particular I'm conscious of Nelson Mandela who did 27 years in prison. Look what he achieved afterwards! He could have caused a bloodbath to satisfy a lust for revenge but instead he didn't allow bitterness and anger to strangle his dream of equality. He made his freedom count. What am I doing with the time I have left? What are any of us doing? Our actions can have consequences, and some of them great.
 
For most of the past year... actually past several years... there has been something that has been suppressing my true identity and stifling who I really am. I don't want to go into it - the details may be for another post - but I've struggled enormously and only recently feel that I've been released and want to make the most of this freedom for the time I have left.

So my question to you is:
What old things would you like to leave behind as you head into the New Year?
What new things would you like to bring into your life?
Looking back over the past year what have been your greatest successes and/or failures?
 
I'd love to hear your views, comments or opinions.

92 comments:

  1. I tend not to do end-of-year assessments of myself and my life. December 31 is an arbitrary mark in the flow of time. I think any time is a good time for that. And, as someone lacking in self-confidence and regularly self-depricating, I hypercritically review my life frequently.

    All that having been said, all of the best to you and yours in 2014! I hope you quickly get beyond and rise above your struggles.

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    1. Joel, you're always so funny and lively so it's hard for me to think that you lack in self-confidence. Well, make sure that next year you walk with your head held high and you stride through the earth like you own it.
      Seasonal greetings to you and all your loved ones and a confident New Year.

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  2. I want I to leave more of my fat in 2013
    Shedding of the useless me thinks

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    1. Don't we all John. So let's both make more of an effort for next year. And it might have something to do with the scotch eggs that you like so much! ha ha ha. Enjoy the seasonal festivities.

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  3. I love this post.
    I do the same. I try to see what I can improve. I think relaxing more and controlling my anxiety are some things that I would like to work on. I want to try to accept myself more. I criticize myself too much and end up feeling guilty and inadequate at times.
    I want to focus on my accomplishments and build up on them. I have accomplished a lot this year.
    I wish you a remarkable 2014 and I look forward to reading your enlightening blog. I enjoy your posts and our interactions.

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    1. I know what you mean about being critical about yourself, I struggle too. So next year we shall both be a little more positive and pat ourselves on the back even if things don't go our way, because we know that we've done our best.
      I'm glad you enjoy my posts and you have a great blog that I enjoy reading too. We'll plan for a spectacular New Year :)

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  4. RumPunchDrunk, I think you have a level of self-awareness I can't quite match.
    But going into 2014 I think I'd want to leave "Anger" behind at the door.

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    1. Good idea mate. Slam that door with 'anger' behind, bolt it and throw away the key. And when you hear that 'knocking' on the door, just ignore it and remember what you said. Seasonal greetings Big D.

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  5. I found an interesting video about trying something new each month. I'll definitely keep going with it. I'll put the video and the link for where I found it in my next post.
    I started late but so far:
    -September: I joined the local Sons of Italy club. I'm not sure if it will last because I'm a bit introverted but so far so good.
    -October: I brought my weight down to a healthy level. The most difficult part for me is avoiding late night snacking.
    -November: I made a diligent effort to promote my novel. I'm not sure if I was successful. But the most important thing is the creative satisfaction.
    -This month I'm trying to find a religion or a spiritual system that's right for me. So far not much progress
    I think the important thing is that I keep trying something new. If it's not for me I'll just drop it. If it's meaningful and enjoyable I'll keep it up, maybe even expand on it.

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    1. John, that's brilliant, I like that idea. You might be introvert but at least you are going outside of your comfort zone to deal with it and mix socially with others. I'm hoping that you make lots of good friends in the process too.
      I wish you every success for your book and I know that many have found it difficult when it comes to promoting etc, but keep at it and don't give up. You never know what a New Year might bring.

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  6. rpd, I can't imagine a happier life than what I have now. So I'll just keep on doing what I'm doing.

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    1. Always a jolly happy soul NP. Keep it up mate and sprinkle some of that wonderful dust my way :)

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  7. Next year I'm going to try harder to sell some of my novels. It's all very well writing them but if nobody in the world knows they exist then there's little point in publishing them in the first place.
    I think I'll try to put a bit of weight on. It's that or buy a completely new wardrobe since all my old clothes are two sizes too big now.

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    1. I'm wishing you all the best with your novels Roger. Can you leave us the details of your book here please so people know what it's about and where to get hold of it?

      Ah, I don't think I know anyone who is trying to put the weight back on! Maybe by the end of the festive season you'll be wanting to get if off again, ha ha ha.
      Nice to hear from you Roger.

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  8. Hi Rum

    A Happy Christmas and New Year to you fellow blogger! :)

    I can sympathise with a lot of things in your blog post. My New Year goals for the last few years seem to have been very similar, the big ones being; 'I will not carry with me any more emotional baggage!' (every year I say this and I always fail) 'I want some sort of career or success from doing what I love' and 'I will stop letting people hurt me' ie bad friendships, trusting people I shouldn't.

    I always do more of an over view of where I am as a person on my birthday, I see it as my personal milestone. I weigh up what I have achieved, what I want to achieve etc. Personally for 2014 I would like some good fortune in my life, to have more opportunities and a bit of a 'break' . I hope you receive everything you wish for in 2014 Rum :)

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    1. I know how hard you've had it this year Jade. And I'm wishing that you have the complete opposite for 2014 with all the successes you deserve, with plenty of opportunities. Happy New Year to you, your lovely mother and family

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  9. I've never been one for new year resolutions: if I feel I need to change in some way, like stopping smoking, I do it straight away. Mind you, I probably drink too much, but I'm happy with that state of affairs, because I'm happy with my life as it winds down towards its inevitable conclusion. Must go: I'm off to follow the yellow brick road (really!) with my wife.

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    1. I'd love to be able to just change something straight away without looking back. You must have a strong mind with lots of self-will to do that Dennis.

      As for the drink - just take it easy when you're out on one of your long adventurous bike rides with the wife, ha ha ha. We don't want you wobbling on 2 wheels and falling into one of those ditches do we?

      Dennis, please feel free to leave us the links of some of your bike adventures. They really are interesting and a very good read. Thanks mate.

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  10. I've been putting off finishing my memoir and seeing it published for for too long. This is the year. Take care.

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    1. 2014 is the year for you to sort it all mate. Don't let me find out that you've been procrastinating again, ha ha ha. If you don't do it next year, you'll never do it... but might regret it. Enjoy the festive season.

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  11. I too get pensive this time of year. We set goals and do strategic planning for our businesses, and yet tend not to live with a whole lot of intention. Someone told me once to set heart goals regularly and take stock of progress as regularly - setting positive goals is a good strategy to achieve meaningful change, not necessarily as New Year's resolutions (which tend to be rather the brunt of jokes as being impossible to keep for longer than a week or two) but realistic and tangible goals with measurable results. If you want to become less selfish, for example, you need a game plan of sorts. I have felt your unnamed struggle this year and am thrilled that you are achieving some success in that department - may you be richly blessed with more inner growth and positive change in the year to come!

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    1. I'm definitely going to be working on the inner growth and I'm looking out for your blessing too.

      It's true that we often need a game plan beyond our plans. It's not just enough to know where we want to arrive at - we also need a map of the route how to get there!

      Melody, you're such a deep thinker. You've often surprised me over the past year. I appreciate you feeling my struggle, as it has been a tough, uphill climb for a long time and I'm always wary of what you have to say because you've slapped me in the face more than a few times (this is a good thing). Have a very Happy New Year Melody.

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  12. You spend an awful lot more time on reflection and introspection than I do.

    I will say that I learned a lot of lessons this past year. I reached a crossroads and made a decision to not put up with toxic people and situations. I chose honest relationships over page views. I had believed that you do your best to bear difficult situations, but I no longer think so. I think if you keep people in your life who have your back, people who's back you would fiercely defend, you have more reason to smile, to laugh and to grow in a more positive way.

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    1. Yes, people can be very difficult to deal with and sometimes you just need to keep them out so you can have a more productive and happy life. You're right about the pageviews. It's nice to see big numbers and we all want everyone to read our work but it really isn't the be-all and end-all of blogging, though it seems that some people are just into pageviews and nothing else.
      I'm wishing you the very best for next year Karen.

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  13. I want to leave any problems me and Allison had in the past, mostly me...there's a part of me that begin to grow this hate for her because of her abrupt ending of our relationship. It was like she knew ahead of time, prepared herself but said well I'm over it then informed me that her feelings were not the same...I guess at some point it had to happen but there's a part of me that wants to scream BITCH! when I see her...it has slowly subsided but not completely...

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    1. Ended relationships can be very hard to get over, especially when the person ditched you and you had no had no idea it was coming. What you've now got to do is show her that you're the better person, and you can also move on with you life.

      If you bump into her then always be nice and polite and be on your way, not letting your emotions get in the way. She might be expecting you do say something stupid to prove a point and you don't want to go down that road. Take a new turn in the road for next year LA Green and enjoy it.

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  14. Wow! I never thought about it. Have do some thinking and maybe read my written notes.
    Anyway my answers:
    1. I like to leave the worrying part and just trust God.
    2. Write more, to be an inspiration, to spread more of God's love, to be able to cahnge for the better. Listen more and read more.
    3. Success...maybe to be able to share what God inspires me to write...
    At work..surpassed the challenges.
    Failures: reading the manual in my camera, just to do nothing, to continue writing my life story, to helped everybody that asked for help...

    Wishing you success in the year 2014 and thanks for your awakening posts:)

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    1. Seems like you've got a very detailed plan in place Joy. Wishing you and your family joy and peace for 2014.

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  15. Hi RPD, this time of year is indeed a reflective one for many. This year has generally been a hard one for me so I am looking to the New Year to hopefully bring me some internal peace and acceptance. In particular I would like to learn to accept that I can't always change things around me. On a writing note I would obviously love to see myself moving forward with my dreams of publication.

    Wishing you all the best for 2014.

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    1. It's so frustrating when the thing you want to change is out of our control. I guess it helps to make us think about other ways around it.

      Seems like we have a lot of bloggers out there trying to publish their books and I've heard that although it may be difficult for some, nevertheless it's not impossible. Go for it Suzanne, and don't allow anything to get in the way of your dreams. Seasonal greetings and hope you have a very bright future with success.

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  16. Hi RPD
    Something blocking your true identity! You must reveal yourself. You need to be you to find happiness. Something Ive been struggling with a lot lately

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    1. I'm working on that blockage Lanthie. It's not as though I was trying to project something I'm not, although I am a private person. It's just that at times I felt myself behaving in ways that were out of character with the person I felt myself to be inside. It's hard to explain.
      Happy holidays to you and your loved ones :)

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  17. This year has been something of a kind of lullaby, best year of my life, with the marriage, and the trips. I just wish I could have had more opportunities for certain things, in my writing and photography for instance, but beyond that, nothing can beat the happiness. Just wish I could leave my in-laws behind, and get away from the poison of that side of the family.

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    1. Well, the power is in your hands Dan. I don't want to be the cause of any conflict in your family so I'm just suggesting that you have a heart to heart with them next year, and maybe set some boundaries. Offer them a fresh start and see what happens, otherwise you can always show them the door. Some families need to learn respect first.

      I'm hoping that you have a good break and return back to blogging again soon. Take Care Dan, and wishing you the best for 2014.

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  18. One of my greatest successes was loving myself enough to put the hard work into losing the weight I have had on for nearly 30 years, gaining back my self worth and self esteem...

    The hardest thing was losing two friendships... one I hope to work things out with the other taught me a lesson, I won't go back to that friendship...

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    1. Launna, you've done so well with the amount of weight you've lost and you look wonderful for it.

      Sometimes we have to lose close friends if we want to make some positive changes in our life. You've been through so much over the years and you don't want anyone raining on your parade. Happy Holidays mate.

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  19. I'd like to leave behind the weight I gained this year. I use to weigh over 300 pounds and was able to shave off 90 pounds. Unfortunately I gained 35 pounds of that back. For my health and happiness the tide must turn towards reduction again.

    My greatest success this year was to build a much stronger relationship with my 17 year old daughter and I will continue to make that stronger through 2014 and beyond.

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    1. Bradley, you've also achieved a lot by losing that 90 pounds. It really isn't easy trying to lose weight, that's why so many people struggle with it so much. OK, so you added a few pounds back but don't let that put you off mate. Each day, just do as much exercise as you can and with a healthy diet I'm sure you'll be back on track in no time. You've done it already so you can do it again.

      I love the fact that you want to build a strong bond with your daughter. We need fathers to play their role in today's society and girls need that role model in their life. I'm sure none of you will regret it in the long run. Keep it up mate.

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  20. I do daily assessments of myself. That's why I'm neurotic. I'd love to leave all the blogging tech mistakes I made behind. At night when I'm tired, if I attempt to fix stuff on my blog, I inevitably screw things up. I'm a bit impulsive, which is great for writing, not so great for blog tech stuff. I'm still cleaning up the mess.

    My greatest success this year will continue into 2014. Several months ago I received an acceptance for a short story I had submitted to Huff/Post50. It will be published in the spring. I also finished a 62 K word memoir that I'm shopping to agents. I guess I had a busy year.

    I just wish I was better organized and was able to follow a schedule on days that I'm not working. I need structure. Without it, I get lost in my head.

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    1. Lauren
      No Lauren, you've learned a lot from making those mistakes, just make sure you save your blog FIRST before trying anything new.

      Congratulations on your story getting published next year. Please make sure you leave a link at the time so we can all have a read. And I hope you find a great agent whose able to promote/publish your memoir soon. You have been busy mate.

      I'd rather be 'lost in my head' and be able to write like you than have a structure and be 'completely lost', ha ha ha.

      Thanks for the comment Lauren

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  21. Great post, RPD. I'm curious as to what's been stifling your true identity, but glad to hear you feel you've finally liberated yourself from whatever it is. As for me, what I end up doing is usually pretty congruent with what I wanted to do, but I don't really spend a lot of time thinking about what I want or need to do or how to go about it...I just do it. When I follow my heart, I am never disappointed. Most of my major life decisions have been impulsive. Had I overthought the things I've ended up doing (parenthood, medical school,etc.), I probably would have talked myself out of doing them.

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    1. Helen
      Oh Helen, you hit on a great point. So many times I've seen people all excited about what they want to do in life, but as soon as the opportunity arises for them to do it, they slowly but surely talk themselves out of it. This is then followed by great guilt later in life. That's just so strange how it happens.

      I love how you're just so free and easy with life. You just go with the flow and you follow your heart whilst being aware of that inner gut feeling. I'd love to have some of that for next year too.

      Seasonal greetings mate.

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  22. Anger...I have a lot of destructive anger that I would like to not bring into 2014

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    1. So, if all goes according to plan, next year your blogger name will be 'Calmmichelle'? Only joking, but all the best with your plan. Acknowledging where you need to change is the first important step to becoming a new you. Seasonal Greetings mate :)

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  23. My good friend,

    And with such reflection comes the reality that you feel the need to reveal the person that lies beyond the blog name. I know that in my dealings with folks, sometimes it's about removing the naysayers and embracing those who are good for me in my life and thus, hopefully good for them in their lives. I also know that sometimes one can struggle if we think we letting those in our lives discover who we really are. I know I do this and when I get to know people perhaps a bit too intimately, I have a tendency to move on.

    Beyond our masks, our protective shell, lies the truth. I know that transparency on my site has been the way forward. I shall continue to enhance this further in 2014.

    Immerse yourself in this support and encouragement, my friend. I know we are all here for you.

    In peace and hope,

    Gary

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    1. I've really appreciated all the support I've had from bloggers. Sometimes I feel that a lot of you who know me 'virtually' actually understand me better than people who have met me 'in the flesh', but as for revealing the person... let's see what the new year holds.

      Have a wonderful Christmas Gary, and a Happy New Year.

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  24. There is a deep root in this subject, I guess, and human beings... being what they are, will always divide into several echelons:

    Those who delve in depth and sincerely into their feeling to supposedly be better, and the whole staircase to those that do not delve in it at all.

    It seems to be something related to cultural environments, and sometimes affected by personal experiences.

    I am not a social scholar so I do not know how and where these parameters are handled in a society. What I have found is that most of us, people, are in the middle of the stair. Not too sincerely wanting to change but doing some changes "pour la gallerie". The eternal "gattopardismo" from the novel by Giuseppe di Lampedusa, "The Leopard" (Il Gattopardo), where the whole idea of this political trend is to change everything necessary to keep all situation as it is.

    So, after this "brainy and serious consideration" I think I can answer your questions:

    What old things would you like to leave behind as you head into the New Year?

    Most of all, that dreary feeling of empty nothing that pervade time since Fate hit. But it is not my call

    What new things would you like to bring into your life?

    Forgetfullness, maybe... but, I do not know how fruitful it would be, and again it is not my call

    Looking back over the past year what have been your greatest successes and/or failures?

    Surprinsingly, it is the same thing, to wit: being capable to survive along the time vector!

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    1. Tancredi's unforgettable line 'Everything must change so it can stay the same' takes on a new slant when we apply it to New Year's resolutions!

      I can't help noticing how world-weary you sound today Od. Are you one of those people who find the whole 'silly season' a bit of a drag? I hope this isn't a permanent state of affairs - I'm sure fate has some positive things in her bag for you as well.

      Seasonal Greetings and a very Happy New Year.

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  25. Great post topic!

    I'm a person who believes that my life is happening exactly as it should. Like you, I look at my life and my experiences (whether positive or negative) as things I've learned from. And as long as I learn something from failures, I never think of them as failures, because I grew from them.

    I have to be honest and say that I don't plan my life by looking too far into the future, I take it one day at a time and try to stay in tuned to what my life is presenting to me in the moment. I allow my life to take me where I need to go, rather than take my life where I want it to go.

    I've discovered that I really don't know what's best for me.

    However, my life does. So, I take my cues from my life. And it just happens as it should.

    Again, great post topic!

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    1. So in response to the tide of life you choose the approach of a surfer rather than a navigator. Not so much striving to arrive at a given destination - more focused on enjoying and getting the most out of the ride.
      Hope you enjoy the festive seasons :)

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  26. I think that we can all learn a great deal from Mandela's incredible aptitude for forgiveness. I hope to have more patience in the New Year, and to finally set goals with my writing. I look forward to learning more about you when you're ready to take that step.

    Julie

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    1. Forgiveness is such a tough step, yet so many great thinkers and spiritual leaders have taught us that it is indispensable. God give us all Strength!
      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts Julie.

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  27. I'd love to leave the bitterness behind or at least learn how to deal with it better. There are so many relationships that I wish had taken a different route or goals that I could have focused on a bit more.
    I'm working on acknowledging the small steps in my life. The small steps help to accomplish the bigger one, right?

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    1. Yes, that's a very pragmatic approach. They say you eat an elephant the same way you would a chicken wing. One bite at a time! Try to swallow it whole and you'll die of indigestion. All the best, Kissa.

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  28. Like you, I like to do some self-assessment of myself as I go into a new year. I don't have any major plans for 2014, but I would like to slow the pace down a bit. I would like to have some weekends where I can just relax more. Seems like with working, preaching, and maintenance projects around the house, I am always much busier than I want to be.

    I think I can honestly say I don't have any serious regrets from the current year. That's a good thing. Basically, next year my plans are to continue growing in my relationship with the Lord. I believe this is necessary so I can more effectively help others grow in their relationship with Him. But also, I want to slow the pace down.

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    1. Oh Frank! Comes a time when we all have to listen to our bodies as they become increasingly susceptible to gravity. Then it becomes important to choose the things really worth doing, and free ourselves up to dedicate ourselves where we are most effective. Fortunately, as we approach that time we hopefully have the wisdom to know how to do this!
      Seasonal greetings Frank to you and all your family.

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  29. Wow! You sure do a lot of thinking? I guess I shouldn't be surprised. As for what I'd like to leave behind, I don't know. As I get older, I find it easier to release bad things soon after they happen so I don't have much residual baggage with me now. And, thinking on it, that might be one of the accomplishments for which I'm most proud. It's certainly made me happier!

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    1. That's a good way to be Janene. If you hold tight onto bad things in life, you usually end up being like a man most miserable whilst the other person is enjoying life. I must make more of an effort to let it go much quicker for 2014.
      Thanks for the comment.

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  30. I am leaving behind past mistakes - mistakes that cost me financially for the last five years. Time to step out of that and into my new found love of writing. At least the shining star that came out of it is I am now doing what I really love to do.
    Merry Christmas to you and yours

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    1. That's right Diane. You're learned a good lesson and now it's time to move onward and upwards. I too enjoy reading your blog and you're a great writer.
      Enjoy the festive season :)

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  31. I'm actually working on mine at the moment. It should be posted either later tonight or tomorrow. I wish to shred my self-doubt and move full swing into the thing I know I am capable of doing - getting published.

    Thanks for the post!

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    1. All the best in getting published Nicole and I hope that 2014 brings you more confidence. Have a good one mate.

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  32. I wish I could be more honest. But there are way too many things I can't discuss in public or with my friends. So I lie, then build onto those lies. I have no idea how to pull off honesty. Whatever. Keep strong mate.

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    1. Maybe in the New Year you can find new ways to be more honest about things. Built up lies can come crashing down on you when you least expect it, and nobody likes egg on their face.
      Wishing you a lovely seasonal time followed by a great New Year :)

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  33. I wish to leave all my negative thoughts behind and start fresh for 2014. Failures??? I have many but they thought me how to be strong. Happy Holidays Rum!!!

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    1. Nice one mate. Time to put that strength to good use. Enjoy the festive season and hope you have a good one.

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  34. I left behind my faith, after many years of fruitless struggling to grasp what I have concluded is an imaginary being. Looking forward I plan to trust my reason and take personal responsibility for my actions and the wellbeing of myself and those around me.

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    1. At the end of the day, we all have to be accountable and responsible for everything we do on this earth. I understand what you've said here and on BC and being a Christian is not always as easy as it sounds. Sometimes we have to take a step back or time out to discover who we really are, and what it is that we really believe.

      And I'm glad that you didn't opt for the 'rampage against Christians' mission, ha ha ha.

      I hope you and your family enjoy the festive season and have a peaceful New Year.

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  35. RPD, I have lost track of year beginning, middles and ends. Yet, your post did stop me in my tracks. Yes, dead leaves must be shed like bad habits and I guess that would leave me in a permanent autumn. I must grow new leaves. I must grow new skin. I think I can write more about it....

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    1. Love the idea of 'shedding those dead leaves like bad habits' Umashankar. And I'm not surprised you've lost track because you've had some wonderful achievements/awards/successes this year which you truly deserved.

      I'm wishing you and your family a very happy festive season and I look forward to enjoying the New Year with you.

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  36. This year has flown past in the blink of an eye. I hope to keep moving forward in my writing career but most of all I want my family to stay healthy and happy. One of the nicest things about this year is getting to know you better, RPD. I am so lucky to have found a friend in you!

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    1. Time has no mercy MM, so let's crack that whip and move on swiftly into 2014.

      You've given me many belly laughs throughout the year and I just love the 'crazy' menopausal spirit within you. Thank you for the lovely genuine friendship and one day I hope to have a glass of Tequila and a jar of nuttella with you.

      Have an enjoyable festive time with all your family :)

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  37. Hi Rum-Punch Drunk! I’ve reflected on Nelson Mandela recently too. What a giant of a man and yes, his accomplishments after 27 years of being unjustly imprisoned were remarkable. About whatever had been suppressing your true identity and now you’re able to feel freer, I am very happy for you and I truly hope you might share with us when you feel ready.

    As I enter the new year, I’d like to leave behind procrastination, worry, and too much work that leaves me little time to pursue other interests. What I’d like to bring into my life in the new year is finding a way to make more time for writing (including blogging and short stories I’ve been wanting to write), adopting a new dog as a companion for Coco now that sweet Roscoe is gone, and more regular exercising to keep fit. Also, since I’ve been plagued by major computer problems for 2 weeks now making it very difficult for me to get much done online or otherwise, I’ll be looking for a new computer in January!

    Looking over the past year, I consider one of my greatest successes is meeting and getting to know all my new blog friends, and I count you, RPD, as one of my very best blog friends! I won’t say I had any failures as such, but I will say that not being able to spend more time pursuing my writing has been a big disappointment to me, but I hope to rectify that in 2014.

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    1. Wow JerseyLil, I'm so chuffed that you rate me amongst your best blog friends and I'm truly grateful that you have not only taken the time to read my blog but you also leave such valuable, interesting comments. Thanks for the support.

      I can't wait to read what you have in store for us in for the coming year, so make sure you sort that computer and make time to continue your writing.

      Coco would be happy to be have another dog run through the garden on those summer days and through the snow during winter, so it's a great idea.

      Seasonal Greetings JerseyLil.

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  38. Lovely! Yes, like we shared earlier, I love this time of the year as I too look back to look forward. I love what you said about Nelson Mandela - so true. We need to remember how even our smallest actions can create ripples - what a responsibility and one that we should be constantly aware of.
    I've made some bad choices in 2013, but some truly great ones too. Like you, I may or may not share it on my blog.
    This year, I'm glad we've connected. Thank you for blog friendship, RPD and wishing you everything good in 2014.

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    1. 'Looking back to look forward', yes, that's just it. I look forward to taking our friendship into 2014 and making some fresh discoveries together.

      Enjoy the festive season Corinne :)

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  39. A thought provoking post as always. I find it difficult to answer your questions as I would have to spend a lot of time giving thought to them to come up with honest answers. I always look upon the new year as having a clean slate, a fresh page so to speak. Each year I have a word of the year that I try to stick to. My word for 2014 is 'persevere' and to keep on going even when things get tough. My 'thing' for 2014 is to do something to make someone else happy every day. I hope you have a happy and healthy 2014 and I look forward to coming here often!

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    1. Persevere is a good word for 2014 and I also like the fact that you're wanting to make others happy each day as it's a reflection of the type of person you are.

      Thanks for stopping by here and I too look forward to hearing more from you.

      Hope you and your family have a lovely festive season and enjoy a wonderful Happy New Year.

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  40. I don't normally make New Years resolutions, but this year I think I'll make one to try not to waste as much money. I waste so much without even thinking about it. Time to get organised, I think.

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    1. Now that's a brilliant resolution Kellie. 'If you look after the pennies, the pounds will look after themselves'. Take a harsh look at your expenditures and you'd be surprised where the money goes sometimes. Now's the time to get it sorted.

      Hoping you have an enjoyable festive season and a grand New Year.

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  41. Merry Christmas to you and a Happy New Year!

    May 2014 will be the best year for you ever! Let's stay in touch!

    Very best wishes to you!

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    1. Right back at you Kaya! Looking forward to enjoying the coming year with you.

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  42. I think I'm with John Gray and what he stated: Fat has got to go!!! Ha

    Have probably put on a few too many lbs over the last year. Probably not alone. lol

    My friend... Your last paragraph: Looking forward to a bit more.

    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year. I'm all the more Blessed to have gotten to know you just a bit. Looking forward to a great new year and what it brings forth.

    All the best, Slu

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    1. The sad thing about Mr Fat is that, as much as we want him to leave, he's always so reluctant! He just doesn't seem to get the message unless we take extreme measures. Then, as soon as we turn our backs, he's back again, sometimes with a vengeance and sometimes with an army of Fats with him, ha ha ha.

      All the best with your mission to show him the door, after the festive season of course :)

      Getting to know you has been a blessing too, Slu.

      Blessings and Happiness for the New Year to you and your family.

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  43. Just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas, and a wonderful New Year, Rum-Punch Drunk!

    Julie

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    1. Thank you Julie, and I hope you and your family have a wonderful New Year :)

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  44. Just heard the queen's speech. It was about 'Reflections'. Hey, do you have some kind of special connections you haven't told us about?

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    1. Well, I could be a member of the Royals mate or maybe I wrote the lovely Queen's speech, ha ha ha. Good to hear from you again Navigator and sending my Seasonal Greetings to you.

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  45. Such an excellent post. I hope to leave behind all the useless baggage that I dragged around all last year and look forward to a new year where I can yet improve upon myself.

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  46. Life is much harder when you've got excess baggage Donna, so leave it all behind and start afresh. Let that New Year be a new you too.

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