So, what’s new? Isn’t there supposed to be a new beginning at this time of year? The key phrase is “supposed to be.” I try to not suppose anything, because it often just brings grief. We can hope for something new to begin this year, to flush out the old and then work toward the new. Or maybe you’re okay with the status quo. Nothing wrong with that – if you’re happy and satisfied with your life. I’m basically satisfied with my life, but that doesn’t mean I can’t hope for something even better. I just don’t know what that is right now.

Well, I avoided the mention of Covid in the first paragraph, but it really can’t be eliminated from the conversation entirely. It’s still with us, and we all hope it will die out, or at least die down, in the coming year. We can all do our part to make that hope a reality: get vaccinated, wear masks, stay away from crowds, enjoy life at home.

That last suggestion, enjoy life at home, is one I’d like to explore. I love my home and being in it. It’s where I feel the safest, the most comfortable, the happiest. It’s where I rejuvenate. As an introvert, it’s a necessity for me to spend time alone at home. Then I can go out in the world and enjoy interacting with others sometimes.

But others may feel trapped, or bored, or just lonely if they stay at home much. That’s a difficult situation to remedy, but maybe there are ways to enjoy being at home more. First, think about what you do for fun. Is there a way to adapt it to home life? If it’s being with people, maybe you can invite one or two friends to your home for an afternoon of tea and conversation. If it’s shopping, can online shopping work for you? You can still go out for walks, get fresh air, enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. If you have hobbies, break them out now and give them some attention. Play music, watch movies, clean out a closet. Oh, oh, I’m getting into dangerous territory now! But, yes, there are almost always tasks that get shut inside that closet, and maybe now is the time to find out what’s there and spend some time working on it. It will kill time and have the benefit of satisfying that nagging voice that’s been bugging you for a long time to get it done.

No matter what we do, our lives have changed, and there’s probably no going back. So, there’s only moving forward, finding a new way of living and being in what has become a new world. What we can do to begin this new year is: accept, adjust, adapt, but also be a force for changes that need to occur. Create in yourself an interest in exploring newness and difference. It will make you happier, I’m sure of it!

Writing Prompts:

How have the world changes affected you? Give it some serious thought, and write about it.

What is your “new normal,” if you have one. Write about the pros and cons and how you’re adapting – or not.

Make a list of things that you can do at home. Be sure some of them are just for fun. Then do them.