Although I’m not much of a TV watcher or music listener, I discovered last year that I like podcasts; they’re the perfect companions to washing dishes, folding laundry, and crocheting. I bought myself some wireless bone-conduction headphones (love, love, love them) and am slowly working my way through The History Chicks, Revisionist History, Hidden Brain, and Happier with Gretchen Rubin.

In one of the early Happier podcasts, Gretchen and her sister and co-host Elizabeth recommend choosing a word or short phrase as a theme for the year. My theme for 2020 is restraint, as I struggle with discipline in certain areas of my life. I resolve and break my resolve and re-resolve so much, I’ve probably used up a thousand and one second chances. Thank goodness each morning provides another opportunity to renew my efforts. There’s comfort, too, in Samuel Beckett’s observation: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” Happy New Year! Peace to your ♥ !


  I want 2020 to be the year
  My resolutions remain firm,
  But given my past track record, I fear
  Success will be sadly short-term.

  I hope to look back and say with due pride
  That I kept up a year-long streak,
  But it’s far more likely I’ll start to slide
  By the end of a single week.

  I see myself clearly on New Year’s Eve
  Doing each of the things I should,
  But always in hindsight I’m proven naïve: 
  My vision has never been good.

  © Stephanie Malley