Bring In The New

Writing2 Cara/Andrea here, musing on the new year and what new things it will bring.

For many of us, yesterday marked the return to our normal routines. The merriment and revelry of the holidays behind us, we get back to work, armed with resolutions—both large and small—to make some changes for the new year. Perhaps it's  learning a new skill, or making time for a passion that we've always wanted to pursue. Maybe it's carving out a small interlude of relaxation from everyday stresses or vowing to hit the gym on a regular schedule. Something about the concept of "starting fresh" encourages  us to look at ourselves and see if we can "shake things up a bit."

P&P  For 2010, I'm taking on a new challenge that both exhilarating and  little frightening. I'm going to be doing something I've never done before, which is teaching a college seminar on the Regency Romance Novel. I've already started doing my "homework", re-reading old and modern classics, and making notes of themes and topics for discussion with the students. It's been fascinating seeing what new things I see in a familiar story, given the new perspective. (More on that in a future blog) And it will be even more fascinating to see the books through the eyes of the students, and hear their thoughts and feelings. Just as the seasons keep being reborn, books are constantly being reinterpreted by new generations of readers. To me that's part of the magic of stories.

I look forward to reporting in occasionally during the coming months on how my challenge is going.

YaleLibrary Now, how about you? Have you taken on a new challenge for the year, be it large or small, mundane or offbeat? Is this the year you are going to do something you've always wanted to do, like learn photography or take a cooking class? If there were one "dream"  change you could make to your regular routine, what would it be?

35 thoughts on “Bring In The New”

  1. Your seminar sounds great! Where is it? And good luck with organizing all of the information into one coherent talk. I have no new challenges, maybe finish that needlepoint quilt I started nine years ago for my daughters marriage. She has since divorced and the quilt has become a joke. Maybe I’ll get back into my writing. There is always so many things I want to do and I think that might be the problem…too many things.

    Reply
  2. Your seminar sounds great! Where is it? And good luck with organizing all of the information into one coherent talk. I have no new challenges, maybe finish that needlepoint quilt I started nine years ago for my daughters marriage. She has since divorced and the quilt has become a joke. Maybe I’ll get back into my writing. There is always so many things I want to do and I think that might be the problem…too many things.

    Reply
  3. Your seminar sounds great! Where is it? And good luck with organizing all of the information into one coherent talk. I have no new challenges, maybe finish that needlepoint quilt I started nine years ago for my daughters marriage. She has since divorced and the quilt has become a joke. Maybe I’ll get back into my writing. There is always so many things I want to do and I think that might be the problem…too many things.

    Reply
  4. Your seminar sounds great! Where is it? And good luck with organizing all of the information into one coherent talk. I have no new challenges, maybe finish that needlepoint quilt I started nine years ago for my daughters marriage. She has since divorced and the quilt has become a joke. Maybe I’ll get back into my writing. There is always so many things I want to do and I think that might be the problem…too many things.

    Reply
  5. Your seminar sounds great! Where is it? And good luck with organizing all of the information into one coherent talk. I have no new challenges, maybe finish that needlepoint quilt I started nine years ago for my daughters marriage. She has since divorced and the quilt has become a joke. Maybe I’ll get back into my writing. There is always so many things I want to do and I think that might be the problem…too many things.

    Reply
  6. I’m at the stage of life where I want to do less- less dusting, less cooking, less keeping track of things- so I will be doing some downsizing this year. Problem is, I am a compulsive accumulator who feels that if one of something is good, then a collection of fifteen would be even better! so I have too many teapots, dolls, linens, handkerchiefs, vintage jewelry, shoes, sweaters, CD’s, books, vases, hats, art supplies, etc., etc. I’d love to take a class, but if it required me to buy anything I would have nowhere to put it…

    Reply
  7. I’m at the stage of life where I want to do less- less dusting, less cooking, less keeping track of things- so I will be doing some downsizing this year. Problem is, I am a compulsive accumulator who feels that if one of something is good, then a collection of fifteen would be even better! so I have too many teapots, dolls, linens, handkerchiefs, vintage jewelry, shoes, sweaters, CD’s, books, vases, hats, art supplies, etc., etc. I’d love to take a class, but if it required me to buy anything I would have nowhere to put it…

    Reply
  8. I’m at the stage of life where I want to do less- less dusting, less cooking, less keeping track of things- so I will be doing some downsizing this year. Problem is, I am a compulsive accumulator who feels that if one of something is good, then a collection of fifteen would be even better! so I have too many teapots, dolls, linens, handkerchiefs, vintage jewelry, shoes, sweaters, CD’s, books, vases, hats, art supplies, etc., etc. I’d love to take a class, but if it required me to buy anything I would have nowhere to put it…

    Reply
  9. I’m at the stage of life where I want to do less- less dusting, less cooking, less keeping track of things- so I will be doing some downsizing this year. Problem is, I am a compulsive accumulator who feels that if one of something is good, then a collection of fifteen would be even better! so I have too many teapots, dolls, linens, handkerchiefs, vintage jewelry, shoes, sweaters, CD’s, books, vases, hats, art supplies, etc., etc. I’d love to take a class, but if it required me to buy anything I would have nowhere to put it…

    Reply
  10. I’m at the stage of life where I want to do less- less dusting, less cooking, less keeping track of things- so I will be doing some downsizing this year. Problem is, I am a compulsive accumulator who feels that if one of something is good, then a collection of fifteen would be even better! so I have too many teapots, dolls, linens, handkerchiefs, vintage jewelry, shoes, sweaters, CD’s, books, vases, hats, art supplies, etc., etc. I’d love to take a class, but if it required me to buy anything I would have nowhere to put it…

    Reply
  11. Your class sounds wonderful – I’d love to be a student in that class! I look forward to hearing about how it goes for you.
    My own challenge this year is carving out some uninterrupted time for my writing. With four kids, two of them homeschooled, I find it a little hard to find that time. If I wait for them all to be in bed, I’m too exhausted to put together a coherent sentence! If I try to do it when they’re around…well, that just doesn’t work. So, I’m working on a time for dh to take the kids so I can go somewhere – library, coffee shop, empty parking lot! – and write for a couple of hours without a hundred requests for help and attention! (I love my kids and am happy to be a mom, don’t get me wrong!)
    I’ve given up on weight-loss resolutions long ago. Finding two or three uninterrupted hours is a worthy and do-able goal for 2010! 🙂

    Reply
  12. Your class sounds wonderful – I’d love to be a student in that class! I look forward to hearing about how it goes for you.
    My own challenge this year is carving out some uninterrupted time for my writing. With four kids, two of them homeschooled, I find it a little hard to find that time. If I wait for them all to be in bed, I’m too exhausted to put together a coherent sentence! If I try to do it when they’re around…well, that just doesn’t work. So, I’m working on a time for dh to take the kids so I can go somewhere – library, coffee shop, empty parking lot! – and write for a couple of hours without a hundred requests for help and attention! (I love my kids and am happy to be a mom, don’t get me wrong!)
    I’ve given up on weight-loss resolutions long ago. Finding two or three uninterrupted hours is a worthy and do-able goal for 2010! 🙂

    Reply
  13. Your class sounds wonderful – I’d love to be a student in that class! I look forward to hearing about how it goes for you.
    My own challenge this year is carving out some uninterrupted time for my writing. With four kids, two of them homeschooled, I find it a little hard to find that time. If I wait for them all to be in bed, I’m too exhausted to put together a coherent sentence! If I try to do it when they’re around…well, that just doesn’t work. So, I’m working on a time for dh to take the kids so I can go somewhere – library, coffee shop, empty parking lot! – and write for a couple of hours without a hundred requests for help and attention! (I love my kids and am happy to be a mom, don’t get me wrong!)
    I’ve given up on weight-loss resolutions long ago. Finding two or three uninterrupted hours is a worthy and do-able goal for 2010! 🙂

    Reply
  14. Your class sounds wonderful – I’d love to be a student in that class! I look forward to hearing about how it goes for you.
    My own challenge this year is carving out some uninterrupted time for my writing. With four kids, two of them homeschooled, I find it a little hard to find that time. If I wait for them all to be in bed, I’m too exhausted to put together a coherent sentence! If I try to do it when they’re around…well, that just doesn’t work. So, I’m working on a time for dh to take the kids so I can go somewhere – library, coffee shop, empty parking lot! – and write for a couple of hours without a hundred requests for help and attention! (I love my kids and am happy to be a mom, don’t get me wrong!)
    I’ve given up on weight-loss resolutions long ago. Finding two or three uninterrupted hours is a worthy and do-able goal for 2010! 🙂

    Reply
  15. Your class sounds wonderful – I’d love to be a student in that class! I look forward to hearing about how it goes for you.
    My own challenge this year is carving out some uninterrupted time for my writing. With four kids, two of them homeschooled, I find it a little hard to find that time. If I wait for them all to be in bed, I’m too exhausted to put together a coherent sentence! If I try to do it when they’re around…well, that just doesn’t work. So, I’m working on a time for dh to take the kids so I can go somewhere – library, coffee shop, empty parking lot! – and write for a couple of hours without a hundred requests for help and attention! (I love my kids and am happy to be a mom, don’t get me wrong!)
    I’ve given up on weight-loss resolutions long ago. Finding two or three uninterrupted hours is a worthy and do-able goal for 2010! 🙂

    Reply
  16. Kay, I’m teaching at Yale, which sort of adds to the intimidation of having never don this before. but the students really seem enthusiastic, so I think it should be fun—and I expect to learn as much as they do!
    I totally hear you on having so many things compete for our time. Looking at the whole can seem overwhelming. Myabe just close your eyes and pick one thing! The quilt sounds fun, and maybe a finished piece will be a good luck charm for your daughter!
    Gretchen, downsizing is a great challenge! I think we all tend to collect too many things, and lightening up can feel really good.
    Anne, it sounds like you have plenty of challenge in your life! But carving out some time for yourself and your writing is a wonderful goal. Good luck with your projects. And please let us know how you are doing throughout the year.

    Reply
  17. Kay, I’m teaching at Yale, which sort of adds to the intimidation of having never don this before. but the students really seem enthusiastic, so I think it should be fun—and I expect to learn as much as they do!
    I totally hear you on having so many things compete for our time. Looking at the whole can seem overwhelming. Myabe just close your eyes and pick one thing! The quilt sounds fun, and maybe a finished piece will be a good luck charm for your daughter!
    Gretchen, downsizing is a great challenge! I think we all tend to collect too many things, and lightening up can feel really good.
    Anne, it sounds like you have plenty of challenge in your life! But carving out some time for yourself and your writing is a wonderful goal. Good luck with your projects. And please let us know how you are doing throughout the year.

    Reply
  18. Kay, I’m teaching at Yale, which sort of adds to the intimidation of having never don this before. but the students really seem enthusiastic, so I think it should be fun—and I expect to learn as much as they do!
    I totally hear you on having so many things compete for our time. Looking at the whole can seem overwhelming. Myabe just close your eyes and pick one thing! The quilt sounds fun, and maybe a finished piece will be a good luck charm for your daughter!
    Gretchen, downsizing is a great challenge! I think we all tend to collect too many things, and lightening up can feel really good.
    Anne, it sounds like you have plenty of challenge in your life! But carving out some time for yourself and your writing is a wonderful goal. Good luck with your projects. And please let us know how you are doing throughout the year.

    Reply
  19. Kay, I’m teaching at Yale, which sort of adds to the intimidation of having never don this before. but the students really seem enthusiastic, so I think it should be fun—and I expect to learn as much as they do!
    I totally hear you on having so many things compete for our time. Looking at the whole can seem overwhelming. Myabe just close your eyes and pick one thing! The quilt sounds fun, and maybe a finished piece will be a good luck charm for your daughter!
    Gretchen, downsizing is a great challenge! I think we all tend to collect too many things, and lightening up can feel really good.
    Anne, it sounds like you have plenty of challenge in your life! But carving out some time for yourself and your writing is a wonderful goal. Good luck with your projects. And please let us know how you are doing throughout the year.

    Reply
  20. Kay, I’m teaching at Yale, which sort of adds to the intimidation of having never don this before. but the students really seem enthusiastic, so I think it should be fun—and I expect to learn as much as they do!
    I totally hear you on having so many things compete for our time. Looking at the whole can seem overwhelming. Myabe just close your eyes and pick one thing! The quilt sounds fun, and maybe a finished piece will be a good luck charm for your daughter!
    Gretchen, downsizing is a great challenge! I think we all tend to collect too many things, and lightening up can feel really good.
    Anne, it sounds like you have plenty of challenge in your life! But carving out some time for yourself and your writing is a wonderful goal. Good luck with your projects. And please let us know how you are doing throughout the year.

    Reply
  21. Yale! Now won’t that look nice on your resume. Very cool. I’m deeply impressed.
    My new challenge this year will be going to bed at a decent hour instead of staying up until the wee hours of the morning. Another challenge is to exercise more. My back is killing me, and I know exercise will help.

    Reply
  22. Yale! Now won’t that look nice on your resume. Very cool. I’m deeply impressed.
    My new challenge this year will be going to bed at a decent hour instead of staying up until the wee hours of the morning. Another challenge is to exercise more. My back is killing me, and I know exercise will help.

    Reply
  23. Yale! Now won’t that look nice on your resume. Very cool. I’m deeply impressed.
    My new challenge this year will be going to bed at a decent hour instead of staying up until the wee hours of the morning. Another challenge is to exercise more. My back is killing me, and I know exercise will help.

    Reply
  24. Yale! Now won’t that look nice on your resume. Very cool. I’m deeply impressed.
    My new challenge this year will be going to bed at a decent hour instead of staying up until the wee hours of the morning. Another challenge is to exercise more. My back is killing me, and I know exercise will help.

    Reply
  25. Yale! Now won’t that look nice on your resume. Very cool. I’m deeply impressed.
    My new challenge this year will be going to bed at a decent hour instead of staying up until the wee hours of the morning. Another challenge is to exercise more. My back is killing me, and I know exercise will help.

    Reply
  26. Sherrie, you definitely have to make more “sleep” time! I get positively exhausted when I see the time stamp on your e-mails. Stretching and yoga do wonders for back pain too! If there’s a local class near you, it might be worth a visit or two. Then you can do the stretches at home.

    Reply
  27. Sherrie, you definitely have to make more “sleep” time! I get positively exhausted when I see the time stamp on your e-mails. Stretching and yoga do wonders for back pain too! If there’s a local class near you, it might be worth a visit or two. Then you can do the stretches at home.

    Reply
  28. Sherrie, you definitely have to make more “sleep” time! I get positively exhausted when I see the time stamp on your e-mails. Stretching and yoga do wonders for back pain too! If there’s a local class near you, it might be worth a visit or two. Then you can do the stretches at home.

    Reply
  29. Sherrie, you definitely have to make more “sleep” time! I get positively exhausted when I see the time stamp on your e-mails. Stretching and yoga do wonders for back pain too! If there’s a local class near you, it might be worth a visit or two. Then you can do the stretches at home.

    Reply
  30. Sherrie, you definitely have to make more “sleep” time! I get positively exhausted when I see the time stamp on your e-mails. Stretching and yoga do wonders for back pain too! If there’s a local class near you, it might be worth a visit or two. Then you can do the stretches at home.

    Reply
  31. Cara, you are so right about stretching. I’ve never taken Yoga, but always wanted to. But stretching is fundamental. If I don’t do my stretching, I get so stove up, because of all the hours I spend at the computer.
    I am now going to stand up and do some stretching exercises. Thanks for the reminder. *g*

    Reply
  32. Cara, you are so right about stretching. I’ve never taken Yoga, but always wanted to. But stretching is fundamental. If I don’t do my stretching, I get so stove up, because of all the hours I spend at the computer.
    I am now going to stand up and do some stretching exercises. Thanks for the reminder. *g*

    Reply
  33. Cara, you are so right about stretching. I’ve never taken Yoga, but always wanted to. But stretching is fundamental. If I don’t do my stretching, I get so stove up, because of all the hours I spend at the computer.
    I am now going to stand up and do some stretching exercises. Thanks for the reminder. *g*

    Reply
  34. Cara, you are so right about stretching. I’ve never taken Yoga, but always wanted to. But stretching is fundamental. If I don’t do my stretching, I get so stove up, because of all the hours I spend at the computer.
    I am now going to stand up and do some stretching exercises. Thanks for the reminder. *g*

    Reply
  35. Cara, you are so right about stretching. I’ve never taken Yoga, but always wanted to. But stretching is fundamental. If I don’t do my stretching, I get so stove up, because of all the hours I spend at the computer.
    I am now going to stand up and do some stretching exercises. Thanks for the reminder. *g*

    Reply

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