It’s true, I’ve found, what they say about how engaging in new and (hopefully!) positive behavior for a period of roughly thirty days can provide another layer to the texture of what we cherish most about ourselves.

When I retired in 2017, the year I turned sixty, I received a small, red-leather journal. I decided I wanted some form of structure to my new freedom-filled days, an accounting of sorts so I used this journal to record those things I’d accomplished each day. Aside from a brief pause – I decided I’d done so long enough but then I hankered for my nightly tradition of enumerating what had transpired – task wise – throughout the past several daylight hours – I continue to write in my WIAT journal every day.

WIAT: What I Accomplished Today.

Of course, there are some things that are just daily givens such as making my bed, brushing my teeth, showering, etc. Those are not WIAT-worthy expenditures. But laundry, mowing the lawn, baking cookies, making progress and/or completing a quilting project, Gravel Travel / photography, writing a new poem, submitting my poetry to a new journal, going for a walk, riding my bike, performing Garbage Patrol or Poop Patrol (picking up after puppy!) – these are just some of the things I add to my journal.

Some days, very few of them actually, are blank. Sometimes, a person’s day might appear to be a non-event, nothing noteworthy on the accomplishment scale. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a good or memorable or pleasant day. When I can spend a few hours in the shade of our twin canopies out front, beneath the branches of our oak and maple trees, reading a good book, with puppy at my feet, I’m not exactly operating in firecracker mode. And that’s okay. So what? I don’t have anything of merit or value to add to my WIAT pages.

Or perhaps I’m sick. Or it’s just too hot to do anything at all. Duly noted as self-required justification for my lack of checking boxes of any kind whatsoever. Still okay.

And so, here we are at the beginning of a new year. I just rejoined Goodreads so I can track the books I read, what I’m reading now, what I’d like to read going forward. (My first account was hacked so I jumped ship. I’ve decided to give it another try!) My 2023 Goal: Read 50 books this year.

Another habit I’ve decided to pursue is that of submitting to 100 poetry journals and publications by the first of April, which just happens to be National Poetry Month.

Last, but certainly not least, I’ve decided to commit to writing one haiku or senryu each day, some of which I may post here on A Sawyer’s Daughter. I was inspired to do so after reading this article. What I write each day might be ‘rough’. They might be spot on. They might even be cringeworthy. But I’m willing to plow through those first 30 days to create yet another self-embracing strategy for the betterment of Julie.

Happy New Year everyone!