Buckle Up, Kids…it’s 2014! And Better Put Your Shades On. It’s Bright Out There.

[This New Year’s Day post is drawn from my writer’s group lesson that I taught for the December meeting of Word Bums, as we were all in the midst of the Advent season of looking forward to and counting down till Christmas.]

Today is the 8th day of Christmas aka New Year’s Day, which means that many of us spent last night counting down till the ball dropped on Times Square. The fam spent New Year’s Eve in Denver, as we are here on #familyvacation to move my daughter and her husband here, where he will begin seminary to become an army chaplain. We actually got to watch the ball drop twice, since the network showed it drop on Big Apple Time at 10pm here in Denver, then pressed replay when hickory dickory dock got around to striking midnight here in the mountains.

I was good with that kinda deja vu because I never mind a double dose of celebration;)

Traditionally, true loves gave each other 8 maids a-milking on this day in history. Like I’m going to give Dave a harem?! Right. Anyway, I think a fun calendar is way more apropos gift, even though there’s an app for that. IMHO. One of my other true loves, my daughter Amanda, gave me a yoga dog calendar, for instance. I love it! It makes me smile because it’s dogs doing yoga poses. Better than I can do said yoga poses, lol. (Which shouldn’t surprise me, I suppose, since one of the most basic yoga poses is called the downward facing DOG;) It also makes me smile because it will make me think of my sweet Amanda every time I look at it, since it’s a gift from her. (Also, I’ve actually kinda sorta been exploring the idea of getting a dog/sidekick to help ease me into this empty nest chapter. So I’m not just learning yoga from adorable pups, I’m window shopping and wondering how much is that doggie in the calendar.)

In the spirit of the counting down the 12 days of Christmas, the resolutions commonly associated with the 8th day, looking forward to the New Year—which is like a new slate (or calendar), and leaning into the Epiphany—which is the manifestation of that which we resolved (prepared, waited, hoped, longed for)…I thought it would be fun to write the proverbial letter to Santa or Christmas wish list. 12 gifts we will give ourselves in 2014. One gift for each month.

Making the list is like wrapping all the presents. Look over your calendar, your schedule, your to do lists, your wish lists, your hopes and unchartered dreams. Let’s charter them. Let’s make a list (a wish list, of resolutions, a bucket list—whatever you want to call it.) And not in the anticipation of dying sense, but in the getting busy about living sense.

Like my friend Vanessa, and her Live Sincerely Project. Yes, Vanessa is dying, but the point of her project, is to not wait until you find out you are dying to really start living. The 8th day of Christmas, or the beginning of new year, or really any old NOW… is a perfect time to start.

Like my little warrior sister Maya the Magnificent and the bucket list she did last summer. Maya is currently in remission, thank God, after fighting AML and MDS with chemo, 2 bone marrow transplants, and her smile. The goal of her summer project was to take back the term bucket list by embracing the simple joys of life. “One game of ‘messy Twister’ at a time”.

Here are 12 writing prompts to help things get percolating:

  1. My bucket list for 2013
  2. About bucket lists…
  3. Write about a time when you kicked off an item of your bucket list, or what you imagine it will feel like to kick off on or complete the list
  4. Remix your own 12 days of Christmas
  5. Dear Santa…
  6. Epiphany
  7. What are you waiting for?
  8. To get busy living, really living, means:
  9. Wax on about living sincerely
  10. What are some “birthday candle” type wishes for your 2014 list?
  11. What are some “pie in the sky” hopes and dreams for your 2014 list?
  12. Risky business. Take some risks with your list. Not just “go big or go home” but go big before ya go home.

Please feel free to share your list in the comments. I’d love to see! And I’ll share mine in a follow-up post.

Cheers, love, and happiest of new years!

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