Artful Resolutions

We aren't big on New Years Day here, but I love to take the time to make new plans and visions for the coming year. In fact, I've developed the habit of doing this for each of the Jewish New Years as well. Each of these five days marks the start of a new time and trying out something I've been tinkering with, but because its spread throughout the year it isn't as overwhelming as a list of 5 big things to do in the next 365 days. In my neurotic way I've even given a theme to each new year.

The first of Nisan is the new year for counting months. It also bumps right into Pesah and my scrubbed and de-junked kitchen so I choose something food-related. One year it was mastering Moroccan salads. This year it is mastering a few gluten-free and KLP desserts.

The first of Elul is the new year for counting tithes. Here I choose our charity for the year. We decorate new tzedakah boxes and our old ones are emptied and counted. Next year I'm working on instituting a family tzedakah project as well.

The first of Tishrei is Rosh haShannah and the one just about everyone thinks of when you say "Jewish new year." Here I focus on my middot and mitzvot observance as well as learning.

In late January is Tu b'Shevat or the new year for the trees. This is the perfect time for a eco-resolution. This year I'm going to actually use all of my re-usable bags no matter the store. 

January 1st has a dual resolution. First is something to improve myself. Usually its health related or an attitude adjustment. This year I'm letting go of the "I should..." and embracing the "I want to..." in life. Its hard and five days in I'm fighting it off with "I should knit X for a gift" even though I don't want to. 

The other resolution is educational for the girls. This year I'm using art as the overreaching theme for everything. Seeing the way they responded to painting and museums inspired me to do this. I'm not sure what it means other than a lot of art activities and museum visits. I suppose we'll see.

Happy 2011, everyone!