New Year’s a good time to get a fresh start |

New Year’s a good time to get a fresh start

Record Courier Staff Reports

Well, the packages have all been opened, there are still miscellaneous ribbons, bags, boxes and bows lying around the house, but it just helps to preserve the festive feeling for a little while longer.

Now comes New Year’s.

For those of us who work full time, the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is like a dream. We just kind of float into our places of employment, pretend to get some stuff done, or at least fool ourselves into believing we are pretending. In truth, our bodies are here, but part of our minds and souls are still at home wondering whether we should attempt exchanging gifts at Wal-Mart or Mervyn’s, or whether we should take down the Christmas tree yet or not.

Many of us have children who are out of school. We are wondering what they’re up to.

Some of us may have company coming by during this time. Although you want to see family or friends, it may seem rather rude that you have to go through cleaning up the house all over again before the tree has been taken down.

Unlike when the kids were younger, at our house we are now able to go out on New Year’s Eve, of course within driving and cell phone distance and weather permitting.

With two teenagers at home to take care of the 10-year-old, we don’t have to worry as much. No matter what they’re up to when we’re gone, we know we’ll come home to a peaceful and semi-clean house. We are lucky.

After New Year’s, we tend to get back to the reality of our everyday lives. Back to the same old problems you had before, but hopefully with a fresh outlook.

Sometimes being with family members and friends at Christmastime can give us a new perspective on who we really are and what we want in life.

Our problems may seem a lot smaller in comparison to those of our loved ones.

Issues at our house are nothing like those I have been faced with in the past, when as a single mom I was worried about how I was going to be able to pay for the next meal.

At times we may feel like we’re just scraping by now, but in actuality things are a lot easier and they are improving all the time.

Issues we are faced with in the coming year are:

— What is our 18-year-old going to do after graduation?

— How are we going to find time to do things like writing novels, which could potentially set us for the rest of our lives and make it possible to buy a house in Carson or Smith Valley?

— How can we keep on track with our careers and our relationship and help the other two children continue to do well in school?

— How can we get closer to certain family members who have drifted from our lives in the last few years?

Of course, there’s always the unexpected, which you hope to avoid. Just hearing about the troops spending their holidays in Iraq and world disasters like the tsunamis that hit India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand earlier this week are enough to make us thankful for who we are.

For a few minutes we stop wishing we were independently wealthy, and are glad for the drive we make to work every day, happy we can pay our bills and that we have family around us who love us.

Let’s all start the New Year with a positive feeling. After all, we are the ones who our children look to for strength (whether they admit it or not), and we are the ones holding down the fort while the troops are away.

— Jo Rafferty is a staff writer at The Record-Courier.