Holiday blogging schedule:  Just a reminder that I will not be back on
my regular posting schedule until the week of January 12.  This
coming Wednesday, January 7, I will post a meaningful question for
stepparents, so stay tuned.

I wondered this morning how many bloggers might be commenting on
New Year’s resolutions this week.  I’ve never written about this topic,
so I thought I’d share a little history and put in my two cents.  Some
of this is fun information to share with your kids if you haven’t already.

I think that New Year’s resolutions can be catalysts for change, but
they are certainly not mandatory.  There is a natural sense of a “fresh
start” that comes with the new year.  For many of us living in the U.S.,
the big holiday push is over.  That clears time and energy to face what
could lie ahead. 

I know that with a little extra rest after Christmas, I start to feel more
“brain space” and regain the ability to futurize.  (This ability, by the
way, is completely lost in the several days before Christmas.  My
conversational abilities at that point wouldn’t even impress a cow).

So where do New Year’s resolutions come from, anyway?  This tradition
goes all the way back to 153 B.C. Janus, a mythical king of early Rome,
was placed at the head of the calendar.

With two faces, Janus could look back on past events and forward to
the future. Janus became the ancient symbol for resolutions and many
Romans looked for forgiveness from their enemies and also exchanged
gifts before the beginning of each year.  I like the “cleansing of the slate” idea.

I think that New Year’s resolutions themselves are optional.  Some years I’ve felt
very strongly about changes I want to make in my life (or the lives of
others).  But other years seem to reflect more of a status quo phase in
my life, and no strong resolutions emerge.

This year seems more like a status quo year. I think I put several life
changes into motion during 2008 (starting this blog was one!), so the
turning of the calendar isn’t a particular milestone I need for a kick in
the pants…this year, anyway.  If ANYTHING, I need to take some of
the new ventures and trim them back a bit so I’m not spread too thin! 
Maybe that’s a resolution unto itself.

One more thought…I believe that it makes sense to ask our loved ones
if they see anything in our lives they think is worth changing for the
better.  Sometimes our own perspectives are too narrow, and a little
input couldn’t hurt.  It’s likely that we’ll be giving input to our children,
so why not have someone do that for us?

Mama J (Diane Fromme) is a writer, parent, and stepparent located in Northern
Colorado.  For more information on her stepparenting book, go to

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