Happy New Year!

(New Year’s Day 2009 in Taormina, Sicily, before the proverbial started flying off the fan…)

I don’t believe in wishing your life away but 2009 was such an exercise in perseverence and stamina that in spite of having survived it, I almost cried with relief when it was finally over. Although Monsieur and I have managed to hold onto our jobs, most of our friends have lost theirs, at least once, in the course of the past 18 months, and my Day Job in HR meant that I was too often the one tasked with telling my colleagues that they were about to join the statistics of the unemployed. Following four rounds of redundancy at my workplace in the past 15 months, I turned into a shaky insomniac with no appetite. As anyone who knows me knows, when I have no appetite, you should start to worry.

The only thing that kept me going at the worst moments of 2009 was the knowledge that even though life was stressful for me, it was frequently, although thankfully, for them, not always, much worse for those who’d lost their livelihoods, with mortgages, kids, school fees and loan repayments to keep them awake at night. The unemployment benefits are measly, the likelihood of getting new work has been at an extreme low and many work vacancies have received hundreds, if not thousands of applications.

But life goes on. Humankind have fought their way through far worse predicaments than this, and if there’s one thing about humankind, it’s that it takes a lot more than a kicking in the goolies to keep us on the ground for long.

So it is that I’ve been happy to hear so much optimism from friends and family and colleagues and shopkeepers and publicans and blog buddies with regards to the coming year. Forget the economic forecasts. Forget the doom and gloom news stories that make you want to turn over and watch Come Dine With Me (far preferable to the alternative, in my view). Forget the analyses of numbers of unemployed, of what we spend or don’t spend, or of falling housing prices. It’s time to welcome the New Year with open arms, tell 2009 to get stuffed, and move FORWARD!What’s done is done and what’s happened has happened but it doesn’t mean we have to take up permanent residence in the rut that was the past year.

So to all of you, my friends, let’s hold hands and skip into the next decade together with an optimistic and collective grin.

On a personal note, I’m looking forward to getting married this year, to the challenge of losing weight whilst continuing to cook (don’t laugh), to being able to say “my husband,” when referring to Monsieur (don’t puke), to writing more and reading more and seeing more of my friends and family. But most of all, I’m excited to be in a whole, new year with a fresh start feeling.

What are YOU looking forward to this year?

While you consider how best to answer that, here’s a New Year’s quote that caught my eye recently:

People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas.

Couldn’t have put it better myself. That’s what I call getting your priorities right!


8 Comments Add yours

  1. Tammy says:

    Congrats on the upcoming nuptials!

    I am glad to see 2009 go. I’m looking forward to 2010 being a more stress free year with more happiness and joy.

    Thank you for your interesting blog. I always enjoy your posts and photos.

    Happy New Year to you!


    1. epicurienne says:

      Hi Tammy – thank you for making the first comment for 2010! and thank you for the kind words. It’s people like you who keep me blogging.
      First day back at work tomorrow. So very NOT in the mood. I really could do with a few more days at home, just like everyone at this time of the New Year!
      Happy New Year to you and your family. I look forward to reading more of your rusings in the coming year.


  2. w1kkp says:

    Oh, I ‘m glad to hear you’re getting hitched this year! I like the sound of 2010 a lot better than the year before, and oh, yeah, the one before that was no charmer, either. But, you have always been a bit of a charming one and I look forward to more of that in 2010. Personally? In, 2010, I’d like to become 65 with grace and wearing my big girl undies.


    1. epicurienne says:

      Hey Pat! Happy New Year to you, too. Yes, Monsieur and I are finally getting around to making it all official this year. It should be a wonderful occasion, I’m sure, but right now we’re trying to get everything planned which is quite a handful with various contingents of family and friends from different parts of the world to consider… But it’ll all get done. It always does, so I’m told.
      I know what you mean about 2008 being no charmer. That was when it all started to go wrong. But 2009 really took the breath out of us all – I know you’ll agree.
      As for turning 65 – hooray!!! I’m sure there will be great grace about this particular birthday for you. I wish you a wonderful party, whenever it will be. (You will tell us, won’t you?)
      Happy New Year, Pat! Lots of love to you over there in Mass.


  3. planetross says:

    Happy New Year!

    I’m more of a new month person: just ripping the last one off the calendar serves me well.

    I’d rather be an optimist than a pessimist most days of … ever. I’m calling this year 20-ever in an optimistic mood.


    1. epicurienne says:

      Hi PR – Happy New Year! May 20-ever be a wonderful year for you, filled with many parades, marshmallow sashimi (as in soft) and a full twelve 12 fresh starts. I like your idea of being a new month person. May I borrow it?


  4. Razzbuffnik says:

    Yep, it’s been a horror year for some people but I still figure any year that I can walk away from is a good year.

    So when and where are you going to get married?


    1. epicurienne says:

      Hey Razz – you’re right, of course. We’ve all lived to try another year, but 2009 is not one I’d like to repeat.
      Wedding on 8 May just outside London. I’ve got the organisational side of it wrapped up with the help of excel spreadsheets (!!) but the interfering is getting pretty annoying. Why on earth can’t people just put a sock in it and realise that this wedding is not all about THEM. It’s the age-old scenario when it comes to weddings, I know, I know…


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