End-of-year reflections

December 28, 2014

I was in the grocery store yesterday, and the cashier wished me a "happy New Year." Wait . . . what?! We're still celebrating the twelve days of Christmas, remember? 

The Christmas tree is still up, and the lights are still twinkling on the mantel. We're watching Holiday Inn with Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. And there's still plenty of Christmas cookies to enjoy with a hot cup of tea.

A gift from my daughter, vintage Lady Carlyle by Royal Albert. Isn't she a beauty?

And, oh . . . new books to read now that all the preparations and celebrations have quieted down. 

This is a reflective time of year, though, with the old year quickly running out, and a brand new year on the horizon.

I have an uneasy relationship with New Year's resolutions. On the one hand, they're great for identifying goals and outlining plans. 

On the other hand, they seem to be easily broken, in my experience, and can leave me feeling guilty and defeated 'round about the beginning of February.

Maybe it's the word "resolution." It has sort of a "grit your teeth," "pull up your bootstraps" kind of harshness to it. How about "ideas,"  "dreams," "opportunities," "creative endeavors" . . . ? Those words seem synonymous with fresh starts, and practically sparkle with possibilities.

So I'm kind of thinking and reflecting, taking inventory of 2014, and planning for 2015, trying to set realistic goals while dreaming a little, keeping a balance between challenging myself and being flexible.

A new notebook and calendar, ready to be filled. What will 2015 hold?
One thing I was able to do in 2014 for the first time ever was read through the entire Bible. I also blogged about twice a week for a whole year. Both of these were new-to-me accomplishments. 

This year I know I want to get some regular exercise. I started a couple weeks ago, and have been doing workouts every day. I really have to do something, or I will be too creaky in the joints to play with my grandchildren someday. 

I've been "writing" a book for about three years, but during that time have really only worked on it steadily for about three months. The rest of the time has just been talk. I'd like to finish it this year.

I'd like to spend more time crafting -- knitting, scrapbooking, and other paper crafts. I feel like I'm a curator of beautiful things, showcasing them on my blog, but not as much of a creator of beautiful things as I'd like. 

I have other ideas rolling around in my head. It's a good week to read, ponder, reflect . . . and dream.

Are you taking some quiet time this week to enjoy the twelve days of Christmas? Are you thinking ahead to 2015?

Linking to Rose Chintz Cottage's tea party.


  1. I have indeed been taking some quite time to enjoy these days - this past week has been simply wonderful and quite relaxing.

    Your tea cup from your daughter is very beautiful and must make the tea taste even better. What a lovely gift :)

    I know what you mean about New Year's resolutions.... I tend to not make any, but pray that the Lord would use my life for His honor and glory in the New Year. I want His will and desire and I want to be a living testimony for Him.

    Happy New Year, my friend! I am looking forward to reading more from your sweet blog.

  2. Gorgeous teacup from your DD. Lady Carlyle is one of my very fave patterns and I only have a lovely two tier server. I have kept a couple of resolutions in life and it's usually to lose some weight and I have.
    This year I have a couple: ' one is that I would love to donate to my favorite charity and the other is that I'm not gonna shop for dishes much...or cloths for that matter, lol!
    I'm also leaving the things I cannot control to my sweet Jesus, I know HE will know what to do.
    Happy new year to one of my dearest bloggy friends. Hope to continue visiting your wonderful blog in 2015.

  3. What a gorgeous cup! I'm still celebrating too. I put a few things away, but I keep most things up until January 6 too. Blessings of the season.

  4. You certainly read a lot. Maybe a plan about the style of books for the year or how often you steal some reading time would actually be your best New Year Resolution. You actually seem quite disciplined.
    New Year Resolutions have become taboo in our home. Nobody achieves them so we do not bother starting. Every year we would say we were intending to be more charitable, exercise more frequently, spend more carefully, and study more earnestly. Bah! Life throws new events at us all and I just do my best to hang on now.

  5. Love Miss Read too Deborah-typical English village life,wonderful. Rosamunde Pilcher's lovely Cornish settings are marvellous-enjoy! Hope you will find time to spend on crafting in the New Year, it is so therapeutic. I'll be following you along the exercise route so I can keep up with my daughter and the dogs better! Have a lovely week xx

  6. What a lovely teacup & saucer. The pattern is wonderful!

    I took Christmas down Christmas day. I've never done that before, but had the urge to do so, so did. I was done by 12:30. I am so ready for 2015 and to see ways God is going to work things out in my life.

    I don't like new years resolutions either but I like the words you used, "ideas," "dreams," "opportunities," "creative endeavors". I have a few of those running around in my mind.

    May 2015 be a wonderful year for you ~ FlowerLady

  7. The teacup is very lovely! Congratulations on succeeding in your goals of reading through the Bible and posting about twice a week! My family and I worked on a few lists of all the neat things we'd like to do in 2015. We'll see how much of it we can get done. Have a very happy New Year!

  8. Oh Deborah, what a lovely teacup you were blessed with from your daughter! I'm still enjoying the Christmas twinkle at my house,too. It seems you have many things to look forward to reading and accomplishing this year.
    Happy New Year blessings to you!

  9. This post sounds exactly like something I could have written right down to the creaky joints and a book I have been hoping to finish. Yup, I like the way you think! Keep right on enjoying your lovely days of Christmas; I know that I am.

  10. I am re-reading Winter Solstice at the moment...do every year, and have just finished re-reading another Miss Read. Love those books! Lady Carlyle is such a beautiful pattern! I have never been one for resolutions at the New Year...but Happy Post Christmas and pending Happy New Year!

  11. I love your new tea cup, such a pretty pink shade. I wish you and your family a Happy New Year.

  12. Your teacup is gorgeous, Deborah! I don't do new year's resolutions anymore but I have ongoing goals. Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2015!

  13. Hi, Deborah! I so agree with not taking my decorations down until Jan. I love the atmosphere in the house during this time and like to bask in the twinkle for a bit longer. Your new teacup is lovely. It must be a welcomed addition to your collection. Enjoy these last days of the Christmas season. Rosie @ The Magic Hutch

  14. Hi Deborah, I love your teacup. It is just beautiful. I don't do resolutions for the new year. It places too much pressure to keep with for me. I tend to regroup and relax myself into starting fresh and trying to just be better then the year before. Even the smallest steps in that direction can be an accomplishment.
    Yes, I am taking this time to relax and enjoy the last of December. Looking back on the journey of the year and looking forward to the months ahead.
    Wishing you a joyful week!

  15. Dearest Deborah,
    Agreeing with you about New Year's Resolutions... that is only a hype and IF you need to do so, it looks like drastic changes being needed in your life. No, we live a steady lifestyle but it's often health issues coming our way that we have to adapt to and work around. No time for fun things, trips or even regular exercise if you are being fully scheduled for medical treatment.
    But yes, we all have dreams and look forward with hope of anew trips, fun vacations and get-togethers with friends and loved ones.
    Oh, some people wish you a Merry Christmas soon after Thanksgiving and the same with the New Year... can't they THINK for a moment?
    About writing; I am in-between fervently scanning all our photos and scrapbooks for filing it by date. That way it can be used for the story of our life. Even with the two shoe boxes full of letters, sent to my Mom & Dad with all our adventures during work and travel the world over, that got thrown out by my sister... I still can relive most of it! But it takes time and concentration...
    Sending you hugs and blessings for you and your family for this year's ending and for the new one around the corner. We have to count our many daily blessings!

  16. When I saw your teacup, my heart skipped a beat. My Dear Mother left me a complete tea service for 6 in that very pattern. My Father bought her one piece at a time......now both of them gone and the tea set means so much to me.
    I love your thoughts on resolutions - the very word does sound so Draconian, doesn't it? I like to think about resolutions, but only in an abstract sort of way. I like your idea of dreams and wishes much better.
    The years do go by so fast and it is nice to write things down to keep track of the direction one would like to head, though. I wish I could have more resolve and focus. I am a 'go with the flow' sort and that is not always a good thing. I do want to get more organized....
    Wishing you a lovely week leading up to New Years! I have to stop eating the Christmas treats - maybe that will be my first resolution! :) xo Karen

  17. Such a pretty teacup--Lady Carlyle is so elegant. A beautiful gift from your daughter. I'm still celebrating Christmas with a few more days off to spend with family before I go back to work. I don't usually do New Years resolutions per se--they are too easily broken (in my experience at least). I do have goals, and I definitely think I need a clean slate to start out on to hopefully meet them. More exercise is on my list as well--especially after all the holiday goodies!

  18. Your daughter gave you a lovely gift!

  19. Deborah, your daughter gifted you with a beauty of a teacup. I love the Gainsborough shape and it is especially pretty in the Lady Carlyle pattern. Our Christmas was a quiet one this year and there have been many moments of reflection. I will be happy to see 2015 come as 2014 was not the best year I've had. But a new year brings new beginnings and I look forward to the blessings it will bring. I never make resolutions but I do set goals for myself. Thank you so much for sharing and joining me for tea this past year. I have enjoyed getting to know you. May the New Year bring you much happiness and good health, my friend!


  20. Your new Lady Carlyle is a pretty feminine teacup, pink the perfect colour for you - your daughter chose well.
    Congrats on reading the whole Bible this year, that's my hope for 2015 with the new one hubby bought me for Christmas. I have some nice daily devotion books for women that I continually rotate and never tire of.
    For the most part, 2014 was a good year and I look forward to my journey in 2015.
    Happy New Year Deborah.

  21. Hello... I have had no quiet at all for the last 12 days as we have had all 8 grandchildren here for Christmas! And they are all ours from our 2 children, we multiply very well! We say we are blessed! Your teacup is just beautiful... I look forward to reading your book once it gets published!
    You have been such a blessing to me as a friend and a Godly example to all!
    Yours, Roxy

  22. Deborah, I'd popped in yesterday to read your post but didn't have time to chat then. I loved your post, even made reference to it in my own post today. Seems we're still tracking in some of those 'kindred' areas. I so enjoyed your exquisite cup -- that pattern is one of my favourites too. It's so, so beautiful. What a delightful gift indeed.

    I wanted to take this moment to wish you a very 'near-to-Him' Happy New Year. I look forward to blogging with you in 2015...and sharing more of this delightful journey.


  23. Tea Time is the perfect time to ponder things. Happy New Year!

  24. That's a lovely teacup -- what a precious gift! The goal of being more creative is such a rewarding, worthwhile goal! You will enjoy the things you make, and giving them as gifts is very fun too. I notice your Miss Read book there -- she is SO delightful! I love her Fairacre (Is that the right name?) books, and the Thrush Green books are very fun too. Enjoy!


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