New Year thoughts

I am putting off writing my next book review post until I have gathered my thoughts about how I intend to spend my time in 2021. So I am procrastinating already!

Many bloggers are looking back over the past year and forward to the next. It can be a useful exercise. On the More than Writers blog, to which I have been a regular contributor for a few years, there was a post about #myoneword.

I chose a word for 2016 and another for 2017. Since then I have not picked a word, but have aimed to use my time productively. (Is spending time on social media productive?)

This year I have been wondering about picking a word again. Listen was a contender. It occurs in the Bible hundreds of times, a good example being in Proverbs 1:5

I prefer Focus, which could include attentive listening and an element of mindfulness. I tend to be thinking about other things, when I am doing routine tasks. It is not particularly healthy. Sometimes it leads to not remembering what I have done or not done! I also have a bad habit of reading, writing or doing puzzles while the news is on the radio. I can knit (easy things) or colour pictures from a beautiful book (Images of Joy by Jacqui Grace) and listen at the same time.

In the hall of residence of my student days a small Christian Union group used to begin every meeting by singing the chorus, Turn your eyes upon Jesus. That is one way of focussing.

Looking back at how my life has changed over recent years is easier with my hand-written journal and my blog. Occasionally I notice that someone has viewed a blog post I had completely forgotten about. I read it myself and find that my life has moved on in some way from that point. For example, I used to update my journal every few days, trying to remember what had happened. Now I write about the previous day as part of my quiet time every morning. It is easier to remember from one day to the next. I had intended to make this more of a spiritual practice, but I find it very difficult to write my feelings down.

Perhaps that is something I should focus on. It isn’t that I am unable to do it, as I found out in a journaling workshop led by Tracy Williamson and Marilyn Baker on Zoom in September.

My regular readers will know that words fascinate me. My three words (2016, 2017 and 2021)  have a progression of shared letters – ReST – TRuST; TrUSt – FocUS.

Have you chosen a word to help keep you on track in 2021?

Whether or not, Happy New Year!


What will the New Year bring?

The numerous posts on social media at the beginning of 2019 setting out people’s goals left me feeling unfocused. This was partly because my health and fitness were low. After an outing in beautiful countryside on a sunny day, I feel more like getting to grips with the New Year. I took far too many photographs and have the material for a number of posts on Sue’s Words and Pictures. I had been considering abandoning that blog, but for the time being it will continue to have a new post each Saturday. I am posting a taster picture here.


Sue’s Trifles has new material on Thursdays.

The category cloud for this blog indicates the main topics, which I have blogged about. The ones I return to are blogging, books, craft, faith, seasons and travel – and blogging from A to Z in April. Many of the others are projects, which have been completed (such as #psalmtweets) or prompts, which are no longer available or which I have tried and found to be too demanding. (I do have things to do away from my computer!)

In the last year books have been the main focus of Sue’s Trifles. There have been some craft posts and very little about faith. As there is a link to this blog on Bible Gateway’s Blogger Grid, perhaps I should bear that in mind when writing my posts. The hashtag for the blogger grid is #bgbg2. That will appear as a tag rather than a category.

One project I have in mind for this year is to do a deeper study than the Ladies’ Bible study group is doing. This will require discipline. I do not intend to publish it online. The books we have been using recently featured in another post.

It was Epiphany on Sunday. I still had the aches and pains I had been struggling with for a few weeks. I moaned to a few friends after the morning service. I hope I didn’t make them feel miserable. There is a time for being honest about one’s struggles. I don’t want to make a habit of being miserable and moaning, but saying, “I’m OK”, when it isn’t true prevents others from knowing how to give prayer support. Galations 6:2 

To conclude, in 2019 I am going to try to

  • be more focused on my writing
  • communicate better with the people around me
  • listen more
  • be less irritable
  • improve my fitness by spending less time sitting down
  • use my skills to help other people
  • remember to trust God and not to rely on myself
  • rejoice in the Lord always Philippians 4:4

Resolutions revisited

I made a New Year’s resolution and managed to keep it!  My post on this blog alerted readers to one on my other blog.

Although the year is not over I have achieved my goal (to read more books).  Since I keep a record of the books I have read with dates, it is easy to compare how many I read last year with this year’s total so far.  In 2013 I read 17 books and gave up on The Poisonwood Bible.  Between October 2013 and February 2014 I have not recorded any books I read.  I wonder whether this is a seasonal effect.  It is a struggle to read books at present, although I am reading blogs, magazines and other printed matter.

In 2014, so far I have read 21 books – fiction, cartoons, memoirs, Christian books, secular books and non-fiction.  Some of them are reviewed on my other blog.

I am also part way through 4 others.  The books I am currently reading are not ones to read at a sitting.  One is about writing poetry in the form of examples in verse, many being humorous.  It is How to be Well-versed in Poetry edited by E. O. Parrott (Penguin 1991).  I bought it second-hand five months ago, dipped into it first and then began at the beginning.

I have reached page 191 out of 257+ (I have read the glossary, which starts on page 259).  This book is old enough to have a blank page on page 258, which does not have any words on it.  “This page has intentionally been left blank” is surely a contradiction in terms!

I am also about halfway through Vanishing Grace by Philip Yancey.  It is subtitled, Whatever happened to the good news?  This is another fashion.  Books have had titles probably from the time they appeared between covers and probably on scrolls too!  But subtitles?  People are so busy now that they are not expected to read the blurb or reviews (or even the genre in the bookshop, whether analogue or digital).

Of the three books I downloaded to my Kindle app a few weeks ago, I have read two and am struggling with the third.  I approached it with some prejudices, which may be hindering me.  In any case it is intended to be read a chapter a day.  Some days I forget!

My fourth book is the one that the Ladies’ Bible study group is using this term.  It is Let’s Study Philippians by Sinclair B Ferguson.  This is also a book to read slowly – two chapters a week is taking us the whole term.

As I read something from the Bible every day, I have not included that in my list for either year.  I consult the dictionary and reference books too.  We had to throw out a Scrabble reference book as we had worn it out!  Fortunately its replacement is more useful, with meanings as well as lists of words.  It is Collins Scrabble Dictionary.

Did you make a New Year’s resolution?  How did it turn out?  For Christians there is an extra New Year’s Day.  The Church’s year begins on Advent Sunday.  This year it is 29 November.   Perhaps we should be considering whether we need to make any resolutions for the next year.

Related post https://suestrifles.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/the-first-day-of-december/

Post Script:  The Daily Post has come up with this prompt almost a month after I published this.