Hi there, 2011

If it hurts too much, step away, or do something to change it.

I’ve been trying to think of what I learned in 2010 (or re-learned, as so many of these things are really about – we usually know the wisest thing to do but need to keep learning what it is or that it’s okay to do it or that we’re brave/strong/whatever enough to do it). A few not-so-great things happened. A few fabulously-great things happened.

I like unifying themes, and it’s taken me ’til now to see what the one for 2010 was. Question what you’re doing, and why, and whether it needs to be that way. Question the people in your life, and what role you have in each other’s lives, and why. We don’t always have the power to cut people out of our lives entirely (or, conversely, to keep them in our lives if they’d rather not be), but we usually have a choice about some element of our interaction with them.

It feels a little vague and amorphous to have this as a New Year’s Resolution, to remember this, but that’s what most resolutions come down to, I guess – identifying what we have control over, and what we want to do with that power. Or as the Serenity Prayer has it…

Grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

(Why, yes, I am a Serenity Prayer junkie. I do make a point of omitting any deities though. More like imploring the universe. I used to believe in the Exam Gods but only in the sense that you could anger them with comments like “Yeah, that paper was dead easy” or “I think I did really well on that exam”, they were never benevolent.)

About clairehennessy

Writer (mostly YA fiction), creative writing teacher, tea drinker, book junkie. View all posts by clairehennessy

12 responses to “Hi there, 2011

  • Maeve

    I spent all yesterday writing about Unifying Themes in Plath criticism, so today I hate unifying themes. Let life be scattered into the wind and to hell with it!! πŸ˜‰

    On a more sane note, I am right there with you on the ‘only have people who actually matter and are good people in your life’ statement. Although you would be suprised how easily people can be totally cut out from your life. Brings a little bad karma though, I suppose!;)

    • clairehennessy

      *giggles* You may have a point there.

      Sometimes it’s easy to cut people out of your life completely, yeah… depends on how they’re a part of your life and what changes you need to make in order to minimise contact with them. When they’re tangled up with other bits of your life then it gets rather messy! I have no qualms about the karma though, it’s usually for the best when you stop engaging with certain types of people. πŸ™‚

  • emilycross

    Thanks for dropping by my blog, I really appreciate your comment πŸ™‚

    I think your theme is spot on for 2010. Alot of people need to start asking questions about themselves, their lives and their country.

    As someone who is spiritual (but not big fan of organised religion) I really like your prayer!

  • Jane Travers

    That’s so funny, I used to taunt the exam gods too! But I always kept a sacrificial lollipop handy with which to appease the vengeful god of city parking… πŸ˜‰

    • clairehennessy

      You must *never* taunt the exam gods! Hence years and years of tentative “Yeah, it was okay… I suppose…”-style post-mortems. It is best to have sacrifices ready for parking gods, though, absolutely. They are whimsical and capricious.

  • Tweets that mention Hi there, 2011 Β« Claire Hennessy -- Topsy.com

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Claire Hennessy. Claire Hennessy said: http://bit.ly/eVkfYu <— Ramblings over at own blog, also, on new year. […]

  • Margaret

    Sorry to hear about the not-so-great parts of your year. 2010 was a complete non-event for me. I really couldn’t think of anything significant that happened at all, good or bad. Not sure whether that’s a good or bad thing.

    I like the Serenity Prayer too. It kind of covers everything.

    Never thought about the Exam Gods. My sole reason for keeping quiet about easy papers was that people who didn’t find them so easy tended to get upset/annoyed if you went on about how easy you found them.

    Happy New Year.

    • clairehennessy

      An uneventful year can be just what you need sometimes… πŸ™‚ Hope 2011 goes well for you.

      Even when I found particular papers easy in the sense that you could answer the questions et al, there was always the worry that your opinion of a good answer would differ from the examiner’s take on things! Am a tad neurotic about exams though. πŸ˜‰

  • Stiletto

    Hi Claire,
    I like The Serenity prayer. Let’s see what 2011 brings!

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