All posts by Dorothy Spirus

New Year, Schmew Year;
Does it Matter?

Ah, remember the good old days a couple weeks ago when we were cheerfully eating off the party buffet table, toasting with champagne, and kissing somebody at midnight? It wasn’t long after the ball dropped when the hackneyed advertising pitch “New Year, New You” started its annual bombardment and took the air out of our Happy 2015 balloons.

While it’s never a bad idea to reassess one’s life, this particular suggestion implies that we are less than in some way or another. Our diets, our fitness, our clutter. Let’s confess, we can all improve in some area. But this “New You” line of thinking is too self-critical. Do we really want to start the new year disapproving of ourselves? Instead I offer we should be looking at the new year as an exciting, fun adventure.

Try on this credo:  “New Year, New Challenges!”  Well? How does it fit?

I encourage you to decide to take on something creative you’ve wanted to accomplish and didn’t get around to last year. (Maybe because of your diet, fitness or clutter?) 

Dive into your creative project without first thinking about it too much or waiting till you have time or any other excuse you come up with. You can get started today.  

In fact, let’s get it all started today: proper diet, exercise, clutter clearing and creativity. Grab a big bag and fill it with all the clutter on your desk/worktable/dresser.  (You can sort through it later during commercial breaks.) Next, as you walk to the nearest store selling apples, record your brilliant ideas or an opening line of your novel on your smart phone. There’s got to be a place to buy an apple within one mile from where you are right now. What? No smart phone, you say? Then take along ye olde pen and paper. C’mon! No excuses!

Cheer up, friends. We don’t need a New Us. We’re mostly okay. But we need to keep striving to avoid complacency. Accomplishment is fulfilling, and that’s the road to joy.

We’re not going for perfection anymore. We’re aiming for getting things done. And each day you will get something done. Even the tiniest accomplishment counts. Write ‘em down on your daily calendar:  ate fruit, did three push-ups, and jotted down an idea for a poem. Whew! That feels good. Then write: Hooray for me! That feels even better.

Through your consistent mini-accomplishments you will become disciplined and that will lead to your desired achievements. I raise my glass of filtered water to you and offer this toast, “Let’s get out there and do something!”  Note to self: 2015 Goal #22, write better toasts.

©Dorothy Spirus 2015

Dorothy Spirus teaches “Writing for Magazines” and “Creative Writing” through the City of Irvine Recreation Dept.  She is a writer/performer and a former magazine editor.

  • “Writing for Magazines”   June 13,  2016 (Class #168528), 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. $38; students must be at least 16 years old.
  • “Creative Writing” (Class #168529), Tuesday nights, June 14-July 19,  7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. ; $155; students must be at least 18 years old.Location: the Rancho Center, 3 Ethel Coplen Way in Irvine. Free parking. Pre-registration required through the City of Irvine Community Services: