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Plotting out the 525,600 minutes of the new year

January 6, 2013

I didn’t go to a wild party on New Years Eve or ring in the new year with fireworks and champagne.

Nor was I able to stay up to see the ball drop on Times Square at midnight. Instead, I stayed home and dosed in and out of consciousness during a "Matlock" marathon.

Yes, that's pretty pathetic, I know. But hey, I felt better than my party animal friends who were coming home about the time I was getting up to start my beans and greens. I must keep some traditions, after all.

But back to my sedate New Years Eve which would have embarrassed me a few short years ago. If I didn’t have a wild party to attend or a hot date, I was convinced my whole year was doomed. This year my neighbor brought over the best peach cobbler I ever had and my son, B, installed a water purification system in my refrigerator door.

We performed a blind taste test and I was shocked by how funky our tap water tastes in comparison to the purified water. So, we toasted the new year sipping water from champagne flutes. I awoke from my water binge fresh and ready to use up the more than 525,600 minutes which will be available to us all in 2013.

What we do these minutes determines the quality of our life and the level of our happiness. Minutes spent stressed or worrying are wasted and lost forever. And remember, you don't get "rollovers" on this plan.

I didn’t make any resolutions of the traditional sort this year like lose weight, make a billion dollars or visit the seven wonders of the world. I will simply try to stay alive while being purposely poisoned by cancer drugs. But I did decide that I am going to spend more time with the people I love and more time doing what I enjoy.

Hey! I just had a epiphany — I do my own housework  which I despise — and hire a guy to do my gardening which I love. I've been getting it all backwards. So I’m going to hire someone to do the inside chores and I will spend more time in the garden where I can connect with nature, watch the sunset and talk to a tree if I feel like it.

I intend to spread more kindness. Since I have been under the weather lately I have been flabbergasted by the kindness of people I hardly even know. It made me aware of how little I do for others who are facing challenges. Who knows, I may even go crazy and perform some random acts of kindness anonymously. (Gosh, is that me talking?)

Since we are what we eat, I'm only going to eat skinny people this year and I'm going to get my pre-pregnancy weight back. Since my children are 40 and 37, I figure this goal is slightly overdue.

I’m going to be more grateful — even for the little inconveniences because they make up the fabric of a full life. I’ll dream big regardless of how ridiculous my dreams may be and say "wait until next year" when they don't materialize by next fall.

Have a happy New Year!

Emily Jones is a retired journalist who edits a website for bouncing baby boomers facing retirement. She welcomes comments at

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