New Year, New You?

XmasChampagneHAPPY NEW YEAR!

Christina here. Have you all been busy making new year’s resolutions and starting the year as you mean to go on? Me – not so much.

I think one can safely say I’m a “bah humbug” type person when it comes to new year’s resolutions. In short, I gave up on them years ago because I simply never stuck to them – not even for a week in some cases. So what was the point in making them? I just ended up spending money on expensive gym memberships I was never going to use or a bunch of vegetables I soon ditched in favour of chocolate. Willpower is difficult to summon up!

DarumaThere is one tradition I always follow at New Year though and it’s one I picked up when I lived in Japan. The Japanese celebrate New Year rather than Christmas and one of the things they do is to buy a little papier-mâché figure of Daruma. He is based on Bodhidharma, a monk who lived some time during the 5th or 6th centuries and was supposedly the founder of Zen Buddhism. These Daruma figures represent luck, perseverance, endurance, and the spirit to keep going despite setbacks – what the Japanese call ganbaru, or to do your best.

You buy your Daruma with both eyes blank. What you have to do is to paint in one of them while making a wish for the coming year. If he has granted it by next New Year’s Eve, he gets to have his other eye filled in as well, as a thank you. If not, he’ll remain one-eyed forever. You’re supposed to bring the figure to the temple at the end of the year and burn it, whatever the outcome, but I never did that so I’ve ended up with a huge collection of them.

The traditional colour for these figures is red, but you can buy them in lots of other colours too now. They all look nice so I don’t mind, but this year I’m having a red one. As to what I’ll wish for – that has to remain a secret until he grants it (if he does).

Do you have any special New Year’s traditions you adhere to? Or have you made any resolutions you’re determined to keep? Please share!

I think we are all hoping for a much better year in 2021 so I wish you a happy, healthy and safe new year!

135 thoughts on “New Year, New You?”

  1. Christina, I love the figure of Daruma. What a fascinating tradition! Thank you for sharing it.
    Unusually for me I haven’t made any resolutions this new year. It feels like a “wait and see” sort of a year so perhaps the resolutions will follow on later! A very Happy New Year to my fellow Wenches and all our lovely blog readers!

    Reply
  2. Christina, I love the figure of Daruma. What a fascinating tradition! Thank you for sharing it.
    Unusually for me I haven’t made any resolutions this new year. It feels like a “wait and see” sort of a year so perhaps the resolutions will follow on later! A very Happy New Year to my fellow Wenches and all our lovely blog readers!

    Reply
  3. Christina, I love the figure of Daruma. What a fascinating tradition! Thank you for sharing it.
    Unusually for me I haven’t made any resolutions this new year. It feels like a “wait and see” sort of a year so perhaps the resolutions will follow on later! A very Happy New Year to my fellow Wenches and all our lovely blog readers!

    Reply
  4. Christina, I love the figure of Daruma. What a fascinating tradition! Thank you for sharing it.
    Unusually for me I haven’t made any resolutions this new year. It feels like a “wait and see” sort of a year so perhaps the resolutions will follow on later! A very Happy New Year to my fellow Wenches and all our lovely blog readers!

    Reply
  5. Christina, I love the figure of Daruma. What a fascinating tradition! Thank you for sharing it.
    Unusually for me I haven’t made any resolutions this new year. It feels like a “wait and see” sort of a year so perhaps the resolutions will follow on later! A very Happy New Year to my fellow Wenches and all our lovely blog readers!

    Reply
  6. Happy New Year, Christina! The concept of ganbaru fits well with my ongoing resolution: set goals, make a plan, do your best! I imagine that, at the end of this particular year, we may all have similar wishes for the new one. Let’s hope that the combined wishes of many bring us a MUCH better 2021! Thanks to all the Wenches for helping us through 2020!

    Reply
  7. Happy New Year, Christina! The concept of ganbaru fits well with my ongoing resolution: set goals, make a plan, do your best! I imagine that, at the end of this particular year, we may all have similar wishes for the new one. Let’s hope that the combined wishes of many bring us a MUCH better 2021! Thanks to all the Wenches for helping us through 2020!

    Reply
  8. Happy New Year, Christina! The concept of ganbaru fits well with my ongoing resolution: set goals, make a plan, do your best! I imagine that, at the end of this particular year, we may all have similar wishes for the new one. Let’s hope that the combined wishes of many bring us a MUCH better 2021! Thanks to all the Wenches for helping us through 2020!

    Reply
  9. Happy New Year, Christina! The concept of ganbaru fits well with my ongoing resolution: set goals, make a plan, do your best! I imagine that, at the end of this particular year, we may all have similar wishes for the new one. Let’s hope that the combined wishes of many bring us a MUCH better 2021! Thanks to all the Wenches for helping us through 2020!

    Reply
  10. Happy New Year, Christina! The concept of ganbaru fits well with my ongoing resolution: set goals, make a plan, do your best! I imagine that, at the end of this particular year, we may all have similar wishes for the new one. Let’s hope that the combined wishes of many bring us a MUCH better 2021! Thanks to all the Wenches for helping us through 2020!

    Reply
  11. Even when very young, I never truly made New Year’s resolutions, although in those days I’d come up with a fake one in order to answer questions about it. I DO make resultions on a regular basis for very short periods of time: the next hour, today, perhaps this week. I am more successful in keeping them and they have helped me change habits.
    I adore the look of the Daruma!

    Reply
  12. Even when very young, I never truly made New Year’s resolutions, although in those days I’d come up with a fake one in order to answer questions about it. I DO make resultions on a regular basis for very short periods of time: the next hour, today, perhaps this week. I am more successful in keeping them and they have helped me change habits.
    I adore the look of the Daruma!

    Reply
  13. Even when very young, I never truly made New Year’s resolutions, although in those days I’d come up with a fake one in order to answer questions about it. I DO make resultions on a regular basis for very short periods of time: the next hour, today, perhaps this week. I am more successful in keeping them and they have helped me change habits.
    I adore the look of the Daruma!

    Reply
  14. Even when very young, I never truly made New Year’s resolutions, although in those days I’d come up with a fake one in order to answer questions about it. I DO make resultions on a regular basis for very short periods of time: the next hour, today, perhaps this week. I am more successful in keeping them and they have helped me change habits.
    I adore the look of the Daruma!

    Reply
  15. Even when very young, I never truly made New Year’s resolutions, although in those days I’d come up with a fake one in order to answer questions about it. I DO make resultions on a regular basis for very short periods of time: the next hour, today, perhaps this week. I am more successful in keeping them and they have helped me change habits.
    I adore the look of the Daruma!

    Reply
  16. Thank you Sue! He is lovely isn’t he. I like your idea of short term goals – that sounds great! Happy new year!

    Reply
  17. Thank you Sue! He is lovely isn’t he. I like your idea of short term goals – that sounds great! Happy new year!

    Reply
  18. Thank you Sue! He is lovely isn’t he. I like your idea of short term goals – that sounds great! Happy new year!

    Reply
  19. Thank you Sue! He is lovely isn’t he. I like your idea of short term goals – that sounds great! Happy new year!

    Reply
  20. Thank you Sue! He is lovely isn’t he. I like your idea of short term goals – that sounds great! Happy new year!

    Reply
  21. Christina, I’m with you on resolutions: if one wants to make changes, the time to make them when the spirit is willing and ready. Waiting for a particular type is an exercise in futility.
    But I LOVE Duruma! I’ll have to see if Amazon has them. Probably yes. *G*

    Reply
  22. Christina, I’m with you on resolutions: if one wants to make changes, the time to make them when the spirit is willing and ready. Waiting for a particular type is an exercise in futility.
    But I LOVE Duruma! I’ll have to see if Amazon has them. Probably yes. *G*

    Reply
  23. Christina, I’m with you on resolutions: if one wants to make changes, the time to make them when the spirit is willing and ready. Waiting for a particular type is an exercise in futility.
    But I LOVE Duruma! I’ll have to see if Amazon has them. Probably yes. *G*

    Reply
  24. Christina, I’m with you on resolutions: if one wants to make changes, the time to make them when the spirit is willing and ready. Waiting for a particular type is an exercise in futility.
    But I LOVE Duruma! I’ll have to see if Amazon has them. Probably yes. *G*

    Reply
  25. Christina, I’m with you on resolutions: if one wants to make changes, the time to make them when the spirit is willing and ready. Waiting for a particular type is an exercise in futility.
    But I LOVE Duruma! I’ll have to see if Amazon has them. Probably yes. *G*

    Reply
  26. I have never cared much for New Year traditions.
    Resolutions seem to end up as a mark of failure, and who wants that?
    Parties always seem to be full of forced jollity and usually way too much liquor. (Mind you, I am not at all against liquor).
    Though as a child, I do remember opening the front door and banging pots and pans to welcome in a new year.
    Thank you for the introduction to Daruma. I like it because it deals with wishes, which are so different from resolutions. I may have to take up that tradition.
    Happy New Year to all the Wenches and readers.

    Reply
  27. I have never cared much for New Year traditions.
    Resolutions seem to end up as a mark of failure, and who wants that?
    Parties always seem to be full of forced jollity and usually way too much liquor. (Mind you, I am not at all against liquor).
    Though as a child, I do remember opening the front door and banging pots and pans to welcome in a new year.
    Thank you for the introduction to Daruma. I like it because it deals with wishes, which are so different from resolutions. I may have to take up that tradition.
    Happy New Year to all the Wenches and readers.

    Reply
  28. I have never cared much for New Year traditions.
    Resolutions seem to end up as a mark of failure, and who wants that?
    Parties always seem to be full of forced jollity and usually way too much liquor. (Mind you, I am not at all against liquor).
    Though as a child, I do remember opening the front door and banging pots and pans to welcome in a new year.
    Thank you for the introduction to Daruma. I like it because it deals with wishes, which are so different from resolutions. I may have to take up that tradition.
    Happy New Year to all the Wenches and readers.

    Reply
  29. I have never cared much for New Year traditions.
    Resolutions seem to end up as a mark of failure, and who wants that?
    Parties always seem to be full of forced jollity and usually way too much liquor. (Mind you, I am not at all against liquor).
    Though as a child, I do remember opening the front door and banging pots and pans to welcome in a new year.
    Thank you for the introduction to Daruma. I like it because it deals with wishes, which are so different from resolutions. I may have to take up that tradition.
    Happy New Year to all the Wenches and readers.

    Reply
  30. I have never cared much for New Year traditions.
    Resolutions seem to end up as a mark of failure, and who wants that?
    Parties always seem to be full of forced jollity and usually way too much liquor. (Mind you, I am not at all against liquor).
    Though as a child, I do remember opening the front door and banging pots and pans to welcome in a new year.
    Thank you for the introduction to Daruma. I like it because it deals with wishes, which are so different from resolutions. I may have to take up that tradition.
    Happy New Year to all the Wenches and readers.

    Reply
  31. I hope everyone has a wonderful 2021. May your new year be filled with joy, serenity and a sense of well being.
    I hope everyone is staying well.

    Reply
  32. I hope everyone has a wonderful 2021. May your new year be filled with joy, serenity and a sense of well being.
    I hope everyone is staying well.

    Reply
  33. I hope everyone has a wonderful 2021. May your new year be filled with joy, serenity and a sense of well being.
    I hope everyone is staying well.

    Reply
  34. I hope everyone has a wonderful 2021. May your new year be filled with joy, serenity and a sense of well being.
    I hope everyone is staying well.

    Reply
  35. I hope everyone has a wonderful 2021. May your new year be filled with joy, serenity and a sense of well being.
    I hope everyone is staying well.

    Reply
  36. So glad you agree, Mary Jo, and it isn’t just me! And yes, I’m pretty sure you can find a Daruma on Amazon – just be careful what size you get as they can be huge!

    Reply
  37. So glad you agree, Mary Jo, and it isn’t just me! And yes, I’m pretty sure you can find a Daruma on Amazon – just be careful what size you get as they can be huge!

    Reply
  38. So glad you agree, Mary Jo, and it isn’t just me! And yes, I’m pretty sure you can find a Daruma on Amazon – just be careful what size you get as they can be huge!

    Reply
  39. So glad you agree, Mary Jo, and it isn’t just me! And yes, I’m pretty sure you can find a Daruma on Amazon – just be careful what size you get as they can be huge!

    Reply
  40. So glad you agree, Mary Jo, and it isn’t just me! And yes, I’m pretty sure you can find a Daruma on Amazon – just be careful what size you get as they can be huge!

    Reply
  41. I’m cpmfised. Am I doing something wrong! Are my posts being eaten. As per an earlier suggestion, I refressed my page browser and reopened this page. My answer (which I did see posted after I entered it, is not here. Does Type pad hate me!
    Anyway, I had a comment on resolutions and on the Daruma, BUT Happy New Year to ALL the Wenches!

    Reply
  42. I’m cpmfised. Am I doing something wrong! Are my posts being eaten. As per an earlier suggestion, I refressed my page browser and reopened this page. My answer (which I did see posted after I entered it, is not here. Does Type pad hate me!
    Anyway, I had a comment on resolutions and on the Daruma, BUT Happy New Year to ALL the Wenches!

    Reply
  43. I’m cpmfised. Am I doing something wrong! Are my posts being eaten. As per an earlier suggestion, I refressed my page browser and reopened this page. My answer (which I did see posted after I entered it, is not here. Does Type pad hate me!
    Anyway, I had a comment on resolutions and on the Daruma, BUT Happy New Year to ALL the Wenches!

    Reply
  44. I’m cpmfised. Am I doing something wrong! Are my posts being eaten. As per an earlier suggestion, I refressed my page browser and reopened this page. My answer (which I did see posted after I entered it, is not here. Does Type pad hate me!
    Anyway, I had a comment on resolutions and on the Daruma, BUT Happy New Year to ALL the Wenches!

    Reply
  45. I’m cpmfised. Am I doing something wrong! Are my posts being eaten. As per an earlier suggestion, I refressed my page browser and reopened this page. My answer (which I did see posted after I entered it, is not here. Does Type pad hate me!
    Anyway, I had a comment on resolutions and on the Daruma, BUT Happy New Year to ALL the Wenches!

    Reply
  46. Absolutely, Alison, that’s exactly how I feel too! I hadn’t heard about the tradition of banging pots and pans – that’s fascinating! Happy new year to you too!

    Reply
  47. Absolutely, Alison, that’s exactly how I feel too! I hadn’t heard about the tradition of banging pots and pans – that’s fascinating! Happy new year to you too!

    Reply
  48. Absolutely, Alison, that’s exactly how I feel too! I hadn’t heard about the tradition of banging pots and pans – that’s fascinating! Happy new year to you too!

    Reply
  49. Absolutely, Alison, that’s exactly how I feel too! I hadn’t heard about the tradition of banging pots and pans – that’s fascinating! Happy new year to you too!

    Reply
  50. Absolutely, Alison, that’s exactly how I feel too! I hadn’t heard about the tradition of banging pots and pans – that’s fascinating! Happy new year to you too!

    Reply
  51. Oh Sue, I’m so sorry this keeps happening to you! I have no idea why and your comment came through fine earlier. I’m glad you saw my reply and hope this comes through as well. Happy New Year!

    Reply
  52. Oh Sue, I’m so sorry this keeps happening to you! I have no idea why and your comment came through fine earlier. I’m glad you saw my reply and hope this comes through as well. Happy New Year!

    Reply
  53. Oh Sue, I’m so sorry this keeps happening to you! I have no idea why and your comment came through fine earlier. I’m glad you saw my reply and hope this comes through as well. Happy New Year!

    Reply
  54. Oh Sue, I’m so sorry this keeps happening to you! I have no idea why and your comment came through fine earlier. I’m glad you saw my reply and hope this comes through as well. Happy New Year!

    Reply
  55. Oh Sue, I’m so sorry this keeps happening to you! I have no idea why and your comment came through fine earlier. I’m glad you saw my reply and hope this comes through as well. Happy New Year!

    Reply
  56. Thnaks for your quick response on all this. (Some of my entries aren’t that important, I can always repeat the important parts. But I worry that it’s happening to others also!)

    Reply
  57. Thnaks for your quick response on all this. (Some of my entries aren’t that important, I can always repeat the important parts. But I worry that it’s happening to others also!)

    Reply
  58. Thnaks for your quick response on all this. (Some of my entries aren’t that important, I can always repeat the important parts. But I worry that it’s happening to others also!)

    Reply
  59. Thnaks for your quick response on all this. (Some of my entries aren’t that important, I can always repeat the important parts. But I worry that it’s happening to others also!)

    Reply
  60. Thnaks for your quick response on all this. (Some of my entries aren’t that important, I can always repeat the important parts. But I worry that it’s happening to others also!)

    Reply
  61. Sue,
    Your original post comes up fine when I scroll these comments, so it may not be a problem for all.
    I always like reading your comments.

    Reply
  62. Sue,
    Your original post comes up fine when I scroll these comments, so it may not be a problem for all.
    I always like reading your comments.

    Reply
  63. Sue,
    Your original post comes up fine when I scroll these comments, so it may not be a problem for all.
    I always like reading your comments.

    Reply
  64. Sue,
    Your original post comes up fine when I scroll these comments, so it may not be a problem for all.
    I always like reading your comments.

    Reply
  65. Sue,
    Your original post comes up fine when I scroll these comments, so it may not be a problem for all.
    I always like reading your comments.

    Reply
  66. I hadn’t known about Daruma, Christina, so thank you for sharing. I don’t make resolutions; I think I would be quick to break them.
    Happy new year to all!

    Reply
  67. I hadn’t known about Daruma, Christina, so thank you for sharing. I don’t make resolutions; I think I would be quick to break them.
    Happy new year to all!

    Reply
  68. I hadn’t known about Daruma, Christina, so thank you for sharing. I don’t make resolutions; I think I would be quick to break them.
    Happy new year to all!

    Reply
  69. I hadn’t known about Daruma, Christina, so thank you for sharing. I don’t make resolutions; I think I would be quick to break them.
    Happy new year to all!

    Reply
  70. I hadn’t known about Daruma, Christina, so thank you for sharing. I don’t make resolutions; I think I would be quick to break them.
    Happy new year to all!

    Reply
  71. Gosh Christina the thought of a one eyed Daruma staring at me for a year gives me the creeps :0
    I’m like you, gave up resolutions years ago. Never stuck to any of them. So hoping things will pick up this year and I get to see my daughter again (living in London, can’t come home) and that’s my dearest wish for this coming year.
    Happy New Year to you!!

    Reply
  72. Gosh Christina the thought of a one eyed Daruma staring at me for a year gives me the creeps :0
    I’m like you, gave up resolutions years ago. Never stuck to any of them. So hoping things will pick up this year and I get to see my daughter again (living in London, can’t come home) and that’s my dearest wish for this coming year.
    Happy New Year to you!!

    Reply
  73. Gosh Christina the thought of a one eyed Daruma staring at me for a year gives me the creeps :0
    I’m like you, gave up resolutions years ago. Never stuck to any of them. So hoping things will pick up this year and I get to see my daughter again (living in London, can’t come home) and that’s my dearest wish for this coming year.
    Happy New Year to you!!

    Reply
  74. Gosh Christina the thought of a one eyed Daruma staring at me for a year gives me the creeps :0
    I’m like you, gave up resolutions years ago. Never stuck to any of them. So hoping things will pick up this year and I get to see my daughter again (living in London, can’t come home) and that’s my dearest wish for this coming year.
    Happy New Year to you!!

    Reply
  75. Gosh Christina the thought of a one eyed Daruma staring at me for a year gives me the creeps :0
    I’m like you, gave up resolutions years ago. Never stuck to any of them. So hoping things will pick up this year and I get to see my daughter again (living in London, can’t come home) and that’s my dearest wish for this coming year.
    Happy New Year to you!!

    Reply

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