Today is the First Day . . .

January 1, 2010

Today is the first day of the rest of your life is such a hopeful phrase.  It’s instructive and cleansing, giving me permission to look forward, allowing me to shrug off past shortcomings and failures.  The first decade of the 21st century has been a decade of extraordinary highs and lows, of new friends made, and the loss of people about whom I cared deeply.  In the past decade, my granddaughter was born and has grown into a charming companion.  In the past decade, I brought dogs back into my life and dog hair into my home.  I hope I’ve grown and learned.

What will I try to do with the rest of my life?  I’m going to be more positive about me, but also more realistic.  When the “to do list”, hung on a wall, is taller than I am, that’s not realistic, but it’s also not a supportable basis for paralysis.  This past decade, my attitude has been if I can’t do it all, then I just won’t start.  So, I’ll try to set a series of small and manageable goals, then just chip away at them.  I’m going to stop guilting myself out of doing things I love.  It really is okay to take an entire day off work, pack up the camera, and go a’huntin’.  The computer has been the instrument of terminal stalling.  When I really don’t want to work on a project, I check my blog, everyone else’s blog, all three email accounts, etc.  I hereby declare the computer a “reward” and when I finish a project, I will collect the prize.

Be kinder to people — I’m going to try.  Perhaps 23 years of doing criminal defense work has jaded me a little.  I will look for a fresh approach; try to give people the benefit of the doubt; remember that they also have in their souls holes that need healing.

The number one effort I will make is to smile — everyday.  I will always find a reason to smile (as if having Cardis wasn’t reason enough).  I hope you’ll all check me on that one — feel free to say, “Hey, you aren’t smiling.”

To each of you, I wish enough.  I wish you enough of the basic essentials we humans need to exist, as well as enough happiness to keep you all smiling.

Happy New Decade to each of you.


  1. Thank you for the excellent good wish. 🙂

    Joining you in the intent to smile………….

    Enough, and the capacity/willingness to notice that we *have* enough, are critical components of our ability to be content……

    I think our culture does WAY too much winding people up with unreasonable expectations. “You deserve a new car!” etc etc etc etc etc etc………..

    People don’t stop and say “Hey. I have all the clean water I want to drink, cook with, and bathe in. That’s pretty cool!” They’re too busy being unhappy because they only have 50,000 Christmas lights on the outside of their house and their neighbor has 70,000………

  2. Taryn says:

    Great post, Penni! Very inspirational and thoughtful.

  3. Jean from NM says:

    Beautifully written. Just beautiful, Penni. May your new year be filled with kindness, joy, and a genuine appreciation of who you are.

  4. Jean from NM says:

    Oh, and a litter of four or five female Phoebe-Chase puppies! 🙂

  5. C-Mystec says:

    I was going to leave a comment, but when I clicked on the link I found that Vicki already had made it for me.

    “Contentment” can be a hard-won skill. I daresay we might not be in some of the straits that we are in economically as a society had we leaned it sooner.

  6. Sandy says:

    Geeesh….I’m all mushy. I’ve never had someone write something so nice to ME. Thanks, I will try to be a better person this year for me, and for you.

    On the “to do” list dilemma…I used to have huge ones and at the end of a weekend only looked at the things I didn’t get done instead of the things I did. I chopped them up, only put say 4 things on the list. When I had those done I “graduated” to the next list. Or made another one up. It worked. I was happier, priorities were properly set and things got done.

    Happy New Year from WhereMyHeartLives!