12/28/2011 08:57 am ET Updated Feb 27, 2012

10 Ways to End a Tough Year

I don't know about you, but my year was kind of tough. Every once in a while, everyone has a bad year--whether it's economic or tragic. Let's just say I'll be very happy to close the books on this one and start over again. Which is why I love New Year's so much: It's a fresh start, a chance to start over, a blank page to be filled with new dreams.

But first, this year has to finish with a bang of closure, and here are some thoughts I have on it:
  1. I'm going to build a bonfire and burn stuff. It's cleansing. I'll burn some things that deserve to be burned, a few downed branches from the horrible storms, and maybe a few lists of things that I never want to think of again. And it will warm me up!
  2. I'm going to make a list of the good things that happened. There were some. Really, there were. I know of at least two.
  3. I'll give things away that remind me of the annoying things. Clothes, books, pictures, whatever. No use being reminded all the time of stuff that went wrong.
  4. Although, maybe I will do a commemorative collage...of the good things that is. When I look back on the pictures I took, there are so many little good moments. I'm going to do a craft project (and yes, breathe heavily through my mouth, much to the annoyance of my eldest, while I do it.)
  5. I will forgive the people who made my year especially hard. Yes, even the ones who unfriended me on Facebook. (Can you believe it?!)
  6. I will forgive myself. After all, no one is perfect. Plus, perfection is boring. Perfection is dead to me.
  7. I will laugh about it all. I was THRILLED to see there is a new remake of the Three Stooges coming out. I watched the trailer on the Internet and was appalled at it. I also laughed hysterically. You've got to love a movie where men dress as nuns and oh, how I missed that ringing sound when a Stooge gets hit in the head with a hammer. Sick, I know. But that show shaped me.
  8. I will make a list of everything I learned. Including not to hit people on the head with a hammer. Seriously. I learned a lot this year. Mostly, I learned to trust myself and my instincts. And I learned that patience is sometimes overrated. I also learned that doing is much more important than just talking about doing. Good stuff!
  9. I will be thankful anyway. Every night when I get into bed, I say a prayer of thanks. Usually, I get distracted after the thanking part, but at least I get that in. At the very least, I am ALWAYS thankful that I am finally in my bed. I love my bed. It's all-organic!
  10. I will remember that everything happens for a reason. This year, I discovered that something I've been mad about for 35 years has turned out to be the secret to my happiness. That's a blog for another day (or a chapter in my secret memoir). But the point is, I wasted time resenting something and only much later have realized that it was essential to making other good things happen. That's how the universe works, I believe. So even if bad stuff happens now, I do believe there is a reason, and it might take another few decades to find out what it is, but that's OK. I'll be thrilled if I'm still here to figure it out.
Happy New Year!

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