What do you plan this New Year? #HappyNewYear

New Year

One of the most moving poets alive today, Mary Oliver, is 40 years older than me. In her words I find my voice this New Year’s Eve.

This is an excerpt from In Blackwater Woods: “To live in this world you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go.”

May 2017 be the new year, when we learn to love, to love what is mortal with complete recognition of its inherent nature, and to let go when the time comes. May it bring us joy in the moment, peace in our hearts, and unbridled love for all our fellow beings.

For me, my goal is to try and live without complaining or judging. Each year, I make outward goals, but this new year, I begin my inner journey in earnest. So if you ever hear me rant or whine or judge, please step right up and stop me in my tracks with a reminder.

How are you celebrating the New Year? What’s the one change you’d like to see in your life in 2017? Is it internal or external? What did you love about 2016, and wish to continue on into the New Year?

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75 comments

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  1. hilarycustancegreen

    I didn’t discover Mary Oliver until about 10 years ago when my retiring boss gave me a copy of her extraordinarily special poetry. This is a wonderful message for 2017 (now already well on its way, I know). Thank you.

  2. Rajlakshmi

    Those are very thoughtful verses. Wish you good luck in meeting all your inner goals 😀
    I got a list of goals I need to complete this year… both internal and external. 😀

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Thanks, Rajlakshmi. Thankyou also for your support throughout the year. I’ve enjoyed visiting your blog. Happy New Year!

  3. John Davis Frain

    Happy New Year. I wish you great fortune in achieving your resolution. Reserving judgment as long as possible is so admirable. And so hard. But I think you’ll do well. Thanks for a great blog!

    • Damyanti Biswas

      It is very hard, John. I find I fall prey to it each time I look at social media– and then at the back of my mind, a voice say, ‘Change!’ I think I need to love myself and others, things will fall into place. Thanks for stepping by, and have a great new year! You seem to have started with wonderful publication news 🙂

  4. macjam47

    I have a roof over my head, enough food to sustain me, water to quench my thirst, clothes on my back, and most important, I have family to love and to love me in return. I am blessed. Please do not let me grumble.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      All of the above, for me, too, Michelle. And I have friends like you :). I have NO reason to complain. Happy New Year!

  5. Alok Singhal

    To fully appreciate the fact that it is indeed a ‘New Year,’ something different has to be done, else it is just the continuation of the earlier one.

    Have a Happy ‘New Year’ 😊

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Exactly! It is just another day, then. I’m sticking to my resolutions so far. Happy New Year!

  6. lexacain

    I’m afraid I can’t identify with Oliver’s poem, but I like your resolutions. However, you’re a very smart woman and if you’re complaining about something, I’m sure there’s good reason. And don’t mistake “judging” for the intuition that a full life has given you. If a voice inside you tell you to beware – believe it. Wishing you a joyous and peaceful 2017!

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Thanks Lexa :). I wouldn’t go so far as to call me smart, but I try to be discerning. That’s judgment in a form, and maybe I need to be more aware of my thought processes and bias. I do trust my intuition: again, it is more about awareness–if I judge or complain, I need to be aware where I’m coming from, and bring compassion into the mix. A happy and tranquil new year to you, too!

  7. dgkaye

    Love the poem by Mary Oliver! Good for you D, it’s good to set goals, they give us something to strive for, and if we don’t meet them it’s not the end of the world, merely a blip. Onward and upwards we go! Wishing you a wonderful new year! <3

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Thanks so much for the follow! I enjoy your reviews— have just shared one. :). You might like my latest post– it is all about an author, reading, and writing.

  8. Alana

    Sometimes I am so caught up in the needs of others that I don’t think of what I want this year. The person becoming our President later this month is creating a lot of uncertainty and that doesn’t help, either.

  9. Parul Thakur

    Over the last few years and I do not remember exactly when this happened – I have started looking inwards. I now focus on my health than my previous goal of losing weight. I want to fight fear than talking about driving a car. I loved the words you shared about loving mortals and accepting that there will be time to let go. That is another fear I need to fight. Thank you for reminding me. Happy new year, Damyanti. Stay blessed.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Parul, as we grow in wisdom, we turn our gaze inwards. Wishing you a successful inward journey in 2017.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      This is one of my fave poems. Though I don’t write poetry, I tend to read it often.

  10. Esha

    That’s a wonderful thing to do in the New Year, Damayanti. I too, am working on something quite similar. It’s the inner journey that is the toughest, which makes a big difference. Happy New Year to you 🙂

  11. Chicky

    Hi Damyanti! A Very Happy New Year to you!
    My only focus this year is going to be on fitness. Last couple of years were bad health-wise. Now that has improved considerably, so I can finally focus on improving my fitness level.
    I also hope that I can blog more regularly this year.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Thanks, Chicky, and a wonderful new year to you too– I hope you meet both your fitness and blogging goals– cheering you on!

  12. simplady

    A goal of not judging or complaining is noble. I believe the hidden benefit is that you will find peace, joy and happiness in exchange. Seems counter-intuitive, but it’s how it has worked in my life.

    Thank you for choosing to follow my blog. …and being part of this writing community where we put ourselves out there. Happy New Year.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Thanks, Linda. Yes, it does work that way– I just need less stress and more positivity in my life.

      Thanks for supporting this blog as well. Often, I only feel motivated to post because of the wonderful community that we have all built up here.

  13. cleemckenzie

    There seems to be a theme of letting go this year. I think it’s very hard to do that, but it is freeing. Here’s to letting go of everything that doesn’t serve us this year.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Yep, letting go of anger and grudges tops my list. I’ll try to be as free of judgment as possible.

  14. helenwelsh18

    I love Mary Oliver too. I was thinking about her ‘Wild Geese’ when we walked along the Tay earlier this week and saw the geese marshalling overhead. Especially I like the last lines, ‘harsh and exciting, over and over announcing your place in the family of things.’ Wishing you well with your inner journey and that we can all feel at home in our extended, sometimes unrecognisable families. Happy New Year.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      I love that poem and those lines. They make me tear up every time, and smile.

      My blog is my family too, and you’re part of it. Happy New Year: may it be joyous, and full of blessings.

  15. simonfalk28

    Damyanti, one of the things I’d love to do is what this Huff Post piece says: read a book each book! http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/new-years-resolution-read-52-books-in-a-year_us_58489b03e4b064104145a4b2 .
    But, I do love your Mary Oliver post, and her work. Your goal is a beautifully noble one. It is another reason that makes you an inspiration to other bloggers. I applaud your resolve to not rant or complain. If only others would stop ranting too.
    Whether on wordpress, twitter, facebook – whatever – I have always hoped that my presence on social media would help spread more peace. I renew that hope and give thanks for your inspiration towards that end. Simon

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Simon, friends like you are the reason this blog exists. Your support encourages me to go on– and yes, we have to be the peace we seek. Hoping the new year is bountiful and tranquil for you.

  16. Glynis Jolly

    I don’t do yearly plans as a rule because something is bound to come up during a twelve-month span to foul it up. Goals are hopeless for me. The minute I commit I know I’ll fail. When I change ‘plan’ or ‘goal’ into the word, ‘target’ the entire idea doesn’t feel to daunting. My ‘target’ for this year is to complete an entire first draft and be deep into a revision. If I miss the target, I still have a change of getting close.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      My goal is inward progress this year: not sure how I’m going to measure it. I’m hoping I’ll improve as a person, if nothing else. All the best, Glynis– may things work out for you this year, in blogging and in life.

  17. DJ Cockburn

    Happy new year. Please don’t completely give up judging and complaining. The world has never been improved without a healthy dose of both of them.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      I’m not sure not judging is the same as not pointing out a wrongdoing. When I see someone committing an injustice (again, as I perceive it), I hope to be able to point it out and condemn the action, rather than the person.

      Complaining and making a complaint are two different things as well: making a complaint is taking an action to improve a situation, whereas, complaining is just venting without action.

      So I do plan to retain my sense of justice and action, just take the virulence from both. Not as easily done as said, I know.

  18. Maliny Mohan

    Happy New Year! And yes, the opening passage sure makes sense! I an spending New Year alone in my hostel, but in the company of a handful of good blog posts. I talked to my parents and one of my friends over phone and the celebration ends there. But I would say that I have had a wonderful time so far 🙂

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Maliny, wishing you a year of good new beginnings and congratulations on your successes! Happy New Year!

  19. Chez Shea

    Happy New Year Damyanti- and thanks for your great posts. One small resolution is to keep blogging. Have been a bit lazy for the past couple of months, but I don’t want to lose the connections I’ve found through it.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Thanks, Marie. You’ve had a lot on your plate, and it is natural for your blog to take a back seat. Wish you a great new year!

  20. hilarymb

    Hi Damyanti – I had a bad 2016 – which needs to be put behind me, but I’ll be dealing with the aftermath for a while – no way out of that. But around all of that negative – I need to stretch out and get on with life … take care and to all – have healthy and all the best runs in 2017 … Happy New Year – cheers Hilary

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Hilary, so sorry to know you had a low time during 2016. I hope you recover quickly in 2017, and it is easy on you and brings you the blessings and peace you wish for. Take care of you, and thank you for stopping by so often.

  21. themagicrabbitblog

    Happy New Year!
    May it bring you blessings, and what you wish for.
    I’m wishing you all the best in health, good luck, and love.
    Keep up your amazing work!
    Love,
    TheMagicRabbit

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Thankyou for the kind words, and wishing you lots of positivity and blessings in 2017 as well!

  22. ccyager

    Quiet New Year for me. I’m trying to get caught up with my life outside of work and figure out how to increase my writing time in 2017. Every year I renew my goal to trust in the process, i.e. my creative process. My imagination always knows best! Another goal for 2017 is to regain my financial footing and pay off all debt. And I hope my health continues to remain stable! I wish for you, Damyanti, much better health in 2017, productive and fun writing, peace and security. May you also enjoy many moments of happiness and your family, too! Cinda

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Cinda, thank you for your kind wishes, and may 2017 bring you all that you wish for. It’s been an honor witnessing your journey over the blog and FB.

  23. Dan Antion

    We always welcome the new year quietly. 2016 was a pretty good year for us, but too many challenges emerged for the world. I hope 2017 will see things settling down a little for the world. For me, I’ll be happy if things keep moving in the direction they have been these past few years. I look forward to continuing our connection and hopefully, seeing a bit more of your writing. Happy New Year Damyanti.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Dan, hope you have a wonderful 2017. Yes, the world is entering a challenging phase, but together we shall all see it through.

  24. Widdershins

    Every New Years Eve we take ourselves out to a movie, (this year it’s Star Wars: Rogue One) and have a meal afterwards. We don’t do either all that often so it’s a nice treat.

    Didn’t love all that much about 2016. It was a bit of a slog from go to whoa … and as for 2017? “Difficult to see, the future is.” 😀

    • Damyanti Biswas

      That sounds like a treat– hope you enjoyed Rogue one. Most of my friends did. :). As to 2017, wishing you the best, I am 😉

  25. Bernadette

    Mary Oliver is a national treasure. Thanks for posting this very meaningful poem. The thing that I enjoyed last year was meeting so many people on Word Press and I would like to continue meeting more. My second goal is to write my feminist book “Teach Your Granddaughters Well”. Wishing you all the best in 2017 and looking forward to reading more of your posts.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Bernadette, wishing you the best with your goals: would love to read your book–please keep us updated on its publication. I look forward to reading more of you too!

  26. Susan Scott

    Hi Damyanti! Mary Oliver is – extraordinary –
    Your goals are wonderful, I think I’ll take a leaf out of your book. May your inner journey continue to yield its treasures – and may 2017 be your best year yet – Re myself, I guess I’d like to be more disciplined in all areas of my life 🙂

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Thanks for your wishes, Susan. This year I’m hoping to make my inner journey work in tandem with my outer one. It’s been lovely being in touch with you over the blog and FB. May you find the discipline you seek!