Embracing January 2nd: Quiet and Calm After the Celebrations

by Judy Stone-Goldman on January 2, 2011

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A beautiful, ordinary January 2nd

If January 1st is the heralded queen of the year and honored guest at every party, then January 2nd is the poor second (third or fourth) cousin who sits on the sidelines, having barely eked out an invite. Everything is fresh and new on January 1st. But what about January 2nd?

Today, January 2nd, is just a day. Some people are still waking from the party daze, others are saying, “OK, today I really do get started on my resolutions.” Many are just doing the laundry and figuring out that tomorrow is Monday.

I want to love January 2nd. I want it to be special the way January 1st was. After all, this date is as unique as any other (though not as elegant as the magnificent 1/1/11, a date glorious for its numerical balance). But try as we might, we cannot see January 2nd as special.

Perhaps its beauty must come from something else. Perhaps the joy of January 2nd must be its normalcy, its mundane characteristics. After a month of sparkle and celebration, of anticipation and countdowns, of special greetings and endless holiday cheer, maybe we should be glad for the ordinary.

It is, in fact, my ordinary life that I am most fond of.  Writing time, a trip to the gym (my essential routines)…a quiet patch of reading…the rhythms of kitchen activities (cleaning lettuce with my wonderful salad spinner)…the silence that falls on the house when I am the only one here. These are moments that help me find my self and restore my spirit to a place of calm.

As I write these words, I become full of gratitude that we are past the ebullience of the holidays. I welcome the beautiful quiet space that is surrounding me and recognize it as the heart of the ordinary.  Flash and glitz may be fun in short bursts, but the balance and serenity of an ordinary day sustain me. I nod my head to January 2nd: it doesn’t need glitter to know how important it is.

Questions for Reflection: What do you notice as we transition away from the holiday to regular life? What are the rhythms and routines of your ordinary life? What do you appreciate most about ordinary life?

Writing Prompts: “Today I am aware of ______” (then keep writing); “The holiday season now seems ______” (then keep writing); “What I want from today is ______” (then keep writing); “The important things in my ordinary daily life are ______” (then keep writing).

Want to reflect more on an ordinary day? Read one of my early posts, An Ordinary Morning.

Or if silence appeals to you: Beautiful Silence.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Catherine January 2, 2011 at 9:26 pm

I truly enjoyed my Jan 2 today and knowing that tomorrow ‘real life’ would begin again, I stepped into each moment with tremendous presence and appreciation. There is some type of magic feeling of the first few days of a new year that I love. Your questions and writing prompts are terrific!

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Judy Stone-Goldman
Twitter:
January 2, 2011 at 9:48 pm

I’m with you, Catherine–love these “new” days. Glad to have your voice here! – Judy

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Leslie Maddox January 2, 2011 at 10:36 pm

I love your writing prompts! That’s a great idea and something that I need to incorporate into my writing. I’ve noticed that I often end up writing things that I didn’t even know were in my head, but the problem is that I often don’t even know where to start.

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Judy Stone-Goldman
Twitter:
January 3, 2011 at 6:46 am

Hi Leslie, Welcome! The great thing about our “heads” is that they contain so many ideas, if we just let them out! Glad you like the prompts–if you are on Facebook, please come like my page, The Reflective Writer, and you’ll get more writing prompts and suggestions through the week. Here’s the link, or you can click the Facebook button on this site: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Reflective-Writer/121897679668 Best, Judy

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Julie A Labes January 3, 2011 at 8:17 am

Apart from a tree, decorations, and the occasional glass of baileys Irish Creme, I try to keep the Holidays as close to “normal’ life as I can. Jan 2nd was a nicer day for me then the 1st. I had lunch out with my honey, went to the library and enjoyed the beautiful Florida day.

Julie Labes, the…Fierce over 50 but feels like a young mom, point and click junkie, loves to travel, does not use a jogging stroller, and before you ask, this is NOT my granddaughter..Woman

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Judy Stone-Goldman
Twitter:
January 3, 2011 at 9:31 am

Hi Julie, Sounds like you keep a good balance. Didn’t realize you were in Florida–cold winter, I hear… Happy New Year! – Judy

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Heidi Alberti and Atticus
Twitter:
January 3, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Great Judy! (as always)

We weren’t quite into the “holiday spirit” this season (due to our unfortunate incident), so Jan 2 felt like a good day to us… no need to put on the happy, party face, just to be… December tends to be a reflective month, but this year the focus was so entirely out of the norm, that I’m having a hard time regaining my balance. This too shall pass, right??

I love that you are enjoy the non-glittery days!

Heidi & Atticus
http://www.atticusuncensored.com
“commentary to give you paws…”

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Judy Stone-Goldman
Twitter:
January 3, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Heidi (and friends) – You deserve all the time you need to find your balance once again. It is so easy to think you “should” be over something after the initial shock has worn off. But you suffered a horrible attack, and who’s to say what the timeline is for feeling truly back to yourself. I wish you the gift of enough time, and I am also certain that you are very much on the road to recovery already. May 2011 continue to hold out hope and recovery to you. –Judy

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Fiona Stolze January 5, 2011 at 5:15 am

I so love the normality and stillness of these days, too, Judy. Learning to embrace the ordinary in my life is something I enjoy as it so keeps me in the present moment where I can appreciate everything the way it is.

This is a lovely little tribute. x

Fiona Stolze
http://fionastolze.wordpress.com

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Judy Stone-Goldman
Twitter:
January 5, 2011 at 10:04 am

Thank you, Fiona. I have been rereading this blog myself to keep this spirit alive. I am so wanting to appreciate the uniqueness and the ordinaryness of each day!

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