A New Year, A New World


It’s a magical world, Hobbes, ol’ buddy…let’s go exploring!
Calvin to Hobbes

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
–Marcel Proust

2007 was a year of exploration, discovery and adventure for me, so at the moment I’m still celebrating. Oh, sure, there were dark moments, but on the whole they offered contrast rather than being a prevailing mood. So even though New Year’s…making plans for personal growth…is usually my favorite time of year, in 2008 I intend to continue plugging along, doing what I’m already doing.

Mostly what I’ve been doing is spending a lot of time in the flow state, where I’m completely immersed in a project, forgetting about time and everything else. When I come out of it, the world always looks completely different. And what I’m especially noticing is how different today is from the world I grew up in.

For this post I’ll stick to two simple examples that made me smile:

Example #1: Tracking a Shipment

Our printer/copier/fax machine has been acting flakier and flakier, so I ordered a new one as a backup. There was no hurry, but it was supposed to be delivered Thursday. It didn’t come, and when I tracked it that evening it was still in transit. I assumed it would come Friday…I expected UPS to knock when they delivered it and just leave it at the front door. That’s the usual procedure. I looked outside about the time they usually deliver and it still hadn’t come, so I figured they were still having trouble with the Christmas/after-Christmas rush. A couple of hours later I tracked it on Amazon again and received this message:


Sure enough, I looked and there it was, sitting there. That was a first for me…learning about a delivery by going online instead of getting a knock on the door. It’s definitely a different world than I grew up in.

Example #2: Hass and the Clock.

Torben, my daughter’s significant other, is a University of Michigan fan. So one of my presents this year was a Wolverine clock…that alone is an example of the new world. Without the internet there is no way I could have found it from a small town in New Mexico.

Torben likes the clock, and he temporarily stood it up on the floor while he decided where to hang it. Unfortunately Hass, one of the cats, became mesmerized by it and sat there watching the minute hand go around and around. The clock is now sitting on the sofa in the cat’s room so Hass can watch it more easily.


Kaitlin and Torben just had their hardwood floors redone and are still moving back in, so they can’t find their camera to take a picture. But the picture on the left shows Hass watching one of his favorite cat videos on the laptop. He’s a curious, intelligent animal and needs mental stimulation. Being a kindred spirit I think it’s great that he’s getting it.

The New Year, The New World

So my present intention is to continue trying to live my basic philosophy: Stay curious and open to life. No matter what happens keep learning and growing. Find what you love to do and find a way to share it with others. In particular I hope to continuing posting once a week on each of my two blogs, doing the writing in the flow state as much as possible. And when I come out of that state of immersion I want to see today’s world with as much clarity as possible, instead of from the mental pictures I formed when I was growing up. That should be enough to keep me busy. I’ll let you know how it goes.

What about you? What are your intentions for 2008? Please share your thoughts and experience in the comments section.

Dog and cat photo by Lida Rose via Flickr. Used with permission. Owner reserves all rights.
Wolverine clock photo by FansEdge.com

Thanks to Robert, Adebola, Ellen, Life Reflection, Adam, and bikehikebabe for commenting on the last post.
New Year’s Day–Thanks to bikehikebabe for catching a typo, which I have duly corrected.

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19 Responses to A New Year, A New World

  1. Bob says:

    Happy New Year to you and your family!

  2. bikehikebabe says:

    I’m so excited, laughing & moved by the cat Hass watching the clock & his favorite cat videos on laptop, that I can’t think of a Comment about my life in 2008! But that’s good–Being more excited about that, than just Me,Me,Me.

  3. Wendy says:

    Jean! I’m with ya! I had a fantastic 2007 giving myself fully to the practice of happiness. I’m simply gong to push on with the same this year. Happy new year and more happiness to you!

  4. Cathy says:

    I am going to continue along my new path which entailed becoming a mature student at The University of Auckland, New Zealand. I’m now classed as of Jan 1st as a 2nd year student and I should have my BA by 2010.

    Last year was a full on learning how to be student, finding my way around the Learning Quarter which is on both sides of a busy city street with other buildings slightly off campus, learning how the adminstrative systems etc work.

    Now I think I can really work at the learning side of things, not that I had a miserable finish mark this last Semester but because many of those courses were of the ‘survey type’ so I have the ground work in place to continue.

    I am also ready to accept a lot of other personal stuff that blew up a few months ago. This is not a relationship type of problem but more a self-problem that I need to address. (NO I’m going not to turn into a green monster) and no my self-esteem is just fine. Personally, I have lived in a ‘flow’ sort of situation where I have never particularily addressed the fact that I think differently from others and when faced with ‘questions’ that I know if I answer my way I could land up in a looney bin! 🙂

    My pathway will probably not look any different to some of my friends but inside of me will change. Not sure how quite to do this but will work through it in a logical way

  5. Jean says:

    Happy New Year to all of you, too! I love your pictures and stories about your children.

    I’m glad you like the story and picture of Hass. He’s a cutie. He’s shy but curious. Before Kaitlin and Torben got the dogs (Sammy and Banshee), the cats had the run of the house. Once Andy and I arrived for a visit before Kaitlin and Torben got home from work, so we let ourselves in and sat in the living room. Boomer (the other cat) ran and hid, but Hass just kept his distance and watched us from the dining room. Until, that is, I started playing one of his videos. His chair was right in front of the TV, so he quietly came in and sat down on it. When Kaitlin and Torben came home the three of us were sitting there watching TV together. It’s one of my favorite memories.

    Thanks for coming by. I love that picture of Rodin on your site. I’m pondering your concept of “mish mash mind”. I do find I’m turned off by sites that use too many lists and that pontificate, appearing to be experts. On the other hand, the part of my other blog (Transforming Stress) that gets the most hits is my list Traits of Stress-Hardy Resilient People. So I’m still experimenting to see what works. Mostly I’m trying to become more articulate about things I care about, which means I’m starting to understand them better myself.

    Your journey sounds fascinating. I know what you mean about thinking differently from others. When I started this site I figured it would be mostly for me, that no one else would be interested because it’s so different from the way my friends think. I was starting to feel lonely, and that meant I wasn’t writing enough. So what better way to affirm (and explore) one’s values than to put it out into the universe. I came across a neat quote the other day, and I’m sorry I didn’t write down the author’s name: “It’s better to write for yourself and have no audience than to write for an audience and have no self.” Amen to that!

    Please keep in touch and let us know how it goes. Best wishes!

    Happy New Year, Everyone!

  6. bikehikebabe says:

    This is for Cathy who said, “I think differently from others and when faced with ‘questions’ that I know if I answer my way I could land up in a looney bin! :-)”

    There are nearly 7 Billion people in this world. If everyone thought like a “normal” person is “suppose” to think—What a boring world this would be!

  7. Jean says:

    Amen to that! 🙂

  8. Watching cats watch things is a lot of fun. Almost as fun as watching babies discover the universe (a real joy!).

  9. I know what you mean about the packages — it always seems odd to open the door and there be a mysterious package on the porch. For some reason, it seems like the delivery services have stopped knocking on the door.

    I’m looking forward to 2008. I’m getting my life in order, graduating with my degree, working on building my blog, and just generally looking forward to seeing what the year brings.

    May 2008 bring you all good laughs and smiles and maybe a few tears for flavor. 🙂

  10. Ellen says:

    Hi Jean,

    A wonderful, inspiring New Year, filled with happiness and (inner) peace for you and your loved ones!

    I wasn’t even aware you had two blogs, I added the other to my reader as well, will try to come over there too!!

    As for resolutions, I really haven’t made any.. These days are mainly focused on recovery, on regaining my physical and mental well-being. On finding myself back again..
    And with that, maybe that describes best any resolution I might have.. to stop running, pleasing, and with that, barely hanging on, being too tired to hear my own inner voice. To take care of my own well-being in order to be able to be compassionate to others, but also to myself….

    Thank you Jean, for offering me, again and again, a place to stop and listen to that inner voice… To contemplate on what really matters…

    My warmest wishes to you,


  11. Jean says:

    Not Yet…,
    Yes, watching animals and babies is fun, and it’s also fun to explore as adults. Unfortunately a lot of other adults aren’t always tolerant of that.

    From what I saw on your site it looks as if you’ve been working hard. I hope you’re having a good time doing it. Best wishes in the coming year. 🙂

    It seems to me the most important resolution/intention you can make is to take care of yourself. If you were the only reader here it would make the work worthwhile. Thank you!

  12. tracy ho says:

    Thank you , great post

    To your success & Happy New Year,

    Tracy Ho

  13. Secret Simon says:

    I love your two stories here. The Amazon one is kind of surreal but I guess this is the way our world is heading. I especially like the attention to detail of the “location: front door” bit. Maybe you have better carriers than the ones here in the UK! I remember when we ordered an ink jet printer from Amazon. They left it in the back garden. The only trouble was that the only way they could have got it there was to drop it (or fling it!) over the six foot high fence. We sent it straight back! In my experience, it’s hard enough to get ink jet printers to work when you treat them well, let alone when you drop them from a great height…

    Hass sounds great. Does he only watch videos about cats?

    I find that these days, writing about spirituality/self development, I get fully ‘in the flow’ a lot less than I did when I was writing fiction – which is kind of ironic, I guess. I think it’s because I’m aiming to write for people coming from a broad range of knowledge and experience about this type of subject matter, so I try to choose my words very carefully. Do you have any special means of getting in the flow, or does it come naturally to you when you start writing?

    As for my 2008, thanks for asking. Yes, getting in the flow more sounds like a great intention – in writing and also in life. Happy New Year to you, Jean!

  14. Jean says:

    tracy ho,
    I hope you have a wonderful 2008, too. 🙂

    Secret Simon,
    Hass also has videos with birds, squirrels, etc., as well as one with bugs.

    It sounds like our carriers are a lot better than yours. We don’t have any problem with them.

    About getting in the flow…I’m writing to explore ideas and hopefully get into a conversation with like-minded people. I’m not worried about trying to satisfy a wide audience, so the writing isn’t that hard. I get started by thinking about the subject as I lie in bed before I get up in the morning. Finding a picture I like is one of the most time-consuming parts.

    Best wishes in 2008. Please let us know how it goes.

  15. tNb says:

    Just found your blog today and it’s a much-needed & refreshing read from much of the sarcasm in the blogosphere. Thanks for that!

    I’ve been struggling with my intentions for 2008 and, in the absence of any concrete wants or goals, I’ve decided to make a commitment to myself. I have no idea what 2008 may hold, but this year I promise to be ready when whatever gifts or challenges arrive. This may be as simple as eating better, exercising and just plain taking care of myself because I don’t want to feel too lazy or too tired when opportunity knocks!

  16. Jean says:

    Thanks for coming by. I love your non-controlling attitude! Please keep us informed about how it goes. My blogs are about sharing our adventures.

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  18. Hannah R. says:

    Super-Duper site! I am loving it!! Will come back again – taking you feeds also, Thanks.

  19. tammy says:

    and now i meet cathy! it’s such fun getting to know you and bhb and monk all through the archives!
    that is indeed a handsome clock. i love it that you put it in a place where hass could really enjoy it and not hidden back in a box.
    each new year i give myself a word that represents a character trait, or sometime flaw. and then, for that entire year i work on remembering the word and how it affects me.
    i chose vanity one year. the year i gave up makeup and found my true face. then one year i chose contentment. i have never regretted that decision. i am now pretty much content with wherever or whatever i’m doing. one that keeps revolving every few years is patience. i tend to be like the vulture that says to his other vulture friend… “patience my a~~ i’m gonna kill somethin’!” have never mastered patience.
    next year… january 1… i think the word might be grace.
    love you guys!
    tammy j

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