Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Begin Again

I love this month. I love how everything seems so clean and minimal inside with the holiday decor all packed away. The house feels like a quiet refuge from the cold outside and craziness of Christmas. When I look out the windows at the wintery landscape, the trees have a refreshing bareness to them and the lake across the street from us shimmers an icy glare under the winter sun.
January feels fresh and new.
 It is the one month of the year when I feel like I can catch up on things I didn't have time for through the holiday season's hustle and bustle. I long for hearty soups and winter salads. Spending the afternoon planning and preparing a meal that is still hours away. Baking treats for my family because I have plenty of time to do so.
January is a brand new start. 
There is a part of me that would like to sweep 2011 under the carpet and forget it even existed, but it wasn't all bad. In fact, I learned some invaluable lessons this past year. I learned about myself. I realized that the only people I want to manage are my children. I no longer want to be responsible for people I have no control over, or even care about outside of a work environment. I no longer want to deal with the stresses that brings because it is not worth any amount of money.
I came to the realization that my time is better invested in friendships of common interest rather than those of circumstance.
I discovered that I really love to be alone and crave silence. I found that I do my best thinking when undisturbed.
I learned that no amount of shopping or "new stuff" will ever make me truly happy. It dawned on me that I have bought so many things to "create" a lifestyle I longed to live but wasn't because I was too busy working and shopping.
I found out that my family can survive on much less than we used to and we are all happier doing so. This was one of the most exciting, heartwarming Christmases ever, and my husband and I didn't even exchange gifts. We derived our pleasure from the children's joy and excitement and the time shared with loved ones. Those are gifts that out price anything from a store.
I realized that I am truly blessed. Everything I could ever desire is right here. Healthy and happy children that treat people with kindness and respect, a husband that is so loving and unselfish, a comfortable home filled with beautiful things that I am finally learning how to enjoy, and a family that may not be together on a daily basis, but shares an undying love and loyalty to each other.
This past weekend was spent with my two brothers and their families and there was nothing but pure enjoyment. There is no drama or false pretenses...it is easy to have a good time when we are all together. In fact, there was an air of sadness yesterday when we said good~bye...a heavier sadness then ever before, only because we didn't want our fun to ever end.
What does 2012 hold?
I have some self appointed goals and plans, but who knows what will come to pass and what won't? I am not really into compiling a trite list of resolutions...I can only think of one thing that I want to be the theme of my life. Not just for 2012, but for the rest of my time here on earth.
I want to live simply and beautifully.
Happiness to the newer me, is contentment that comes from within yourself and the ability to recognize and appreciate blessings no matter how big or small. If that is missing than no amount of money or material possessions will ever truly satisfy.
In my case, less has truly been more and for that life lesson I will be forever grateful.

Happy New Year to each of you...I wish you all the best that this upcoming year can bring.

p.s. My grandfather is doing very well and will be moving to a nursing home in the upcoming week as the level of care he now requires will be too much for my mother to take on at home. We are grateful for your thoughts and prayers and he is hell bent on having at least one more year here on Earth!

p.p.s. This post is the 500th post here at Shopping The Closet. I want to thank all of you who take the time to read my nonsense...you all mean more than you could know!


  1. Hi Eleanor! Happy New Year:) I agree with all you have written here! Delighted your grandfather pulled through.I hope he continues to improve!

  2. So glad to hear your grandfather is on the mend and doing well....so wonderful!

    Thanks for the support on the video..Something new I am trying for 2012...lots of people/family suggested the utube thing over the holidays so I figured, why not? Although I am super nervous and hope no one eats me alive, lol.

    I really want to try to get together this month...thrifting or just lunch and maybe a boutique to review on the blogs...let me know when you are around...I am making it a priority...no deliveries appointments or sicknesses will hold me back HAHAHA.

    PS..I LOVE January for hte same reason...clean the closet, take down the decor, throw away/donate old items, completely start fresh and new. I have decided I NEED alot LESS this year too.

  3. eleanor, what a lovely post. i share many of your sentiments. i have to go one step further on one of them though and that is that this year i'm vowing to stay out of my children's lives. they are all adults now and i need to jsut mind my own business! i am actually looking forward to this challenge. so sorry to hear about your grandfather. i hope he is mending. v v glad we found ea other this year! xo janet

  4. Dear Eleanor, Happy New Year!! I wish you a lot of love, health, creativity, fun, piece and quiet. If I reed you post correctly 2011 was an amazing year for you. Congratulations. Remember... to grow is to learn, to look around and inside. Sometimes it hurts...My lesson is to slow down and be more in the moment :-) See you on the net... Bisou Anna

  5. Happy 500th post, Eleanor!

    I agree with your sentiments about January, but what I don't like about this month is that all the fantastic deals and discounts from December are all long gone - and of course right when the new collections are coming in. Oh can I stop my shopaholic self ... ;o)

  6. Beautifully put. Happy New Year to you and your family!!

  7. Happy New Year!

    Such a great outlook on the month of January! I was just getting a little down with a case of the winter doldrums, but your post reminded me about all the great things January has to offer.

  8. Happy New Year Eleanor!! I'm so happy to hear that your grandfather is doing better!! I hope he has many many more years to spend with you on Christmas. All the best to you in 2012!!

  9. It's strange to hear you talk about January being cold, to me it;s always sun, surf and holiday time.

    A gorgeous post. Beautifully written, my friend. I just know 2012 will be an amazing year for you and your lovely family. I can't wait to share it with you. xxxx

  10. This is a very touching and inspiring post, Eleanor. I think having the goal to live simply and beautifully is something that could help me to focus on what's important (relationships) when life gets messy.

    Thank you for this lovely and touching post. And it's so good to hear that your grandfather continues to be on the mend. What a blessing!

    And congrats on reaching 500 posts. This is such an accomplishment and I look forward to reading many more!

  11. This is a gorgeous post, Eleanor. It's nice to reflect on how far you've come and all the things you've learned from the previous year. I think your life's goal and mantra is a beautiful one. Happy 2012, congrats on the 500th post, and here's to many, many more! (posts AND happiness!)


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