Monday, January 12, 2015

New Year life lessons from a cat

OK – so will someone tell me how it got to be January 12th?  I’m sure it was only – what – a couple of days ago that I was  shopping frantically for food  for my family to enjoy over Christmas.  I must have blinked and then I find myself with all of  that food eaten (well – not quite all – I always think my son and his  fiancée will eat more than they do!)  and here it  is, 12th January and time to write my blog.

Is the 12th of the month, -  the 12th day of this New Year of 2015 -   too late to write about New Year Resolutions?  My  friend  thinks it is, my DH   believes  any time is time to make  ‘resolutions’  - he’s been assessing and rethinking his approach to life for a few months now.

I’m inclined to agree with him.  I’ve never been a great believer in the fact that a small change in the date  - from 2014 to 2015  - can make such a great difference.  If that change in numbers was all it took, you could have a ‘new’ period each time the date changed – a new month, a new week . .  .  hmm,  I could go with that. I believe that any time is a time when you can pick yourself up, dust yourself off –and start all over again.  The dark, cold (I’ll say that again COLD) wet days of January  like the one we have here in Lincolnshire UK are perhaps not the best times to try that sort of  New Year New You type of programme.

So I’ve never been one to make ‘resolutions’.  Besides, 2014 was a difficult sort of year for me and some of mine.  Health problems, family problems, the loss of one of my dearest friends, all contributed to making it the sort of year to get through so that I wasn’t overly sad to see the back of it. And I have to admit that I feel like being rather gentle with myself and those I love rather than putting myself through a strenuous improvement boot camp.  Besides, I’m not the sort of person who like new for New’s sake.  Looking back at my time as a writer, for example – as I celebrate 30 years of being published as a romance writer, I think  there’s a lot to be happy about, rather than want to pull up my socks and try to push out more.  More. That’s another word I’m not too fussed about right now either.

So, if I don’t do resolutions, people wonder what I put in their place. I put one word. That’s right, just one.    One year the word was resolute – almost the same as resolution but not at all the same thing.

This year’s word?


It’s a word I learned from my kitten Ruby. Well, she’s not quite a kitten any more – she just had her first birthday - but her approach to life is the same. Every morning she wakes up  in the same sort of  mood. She looks at the dawn, at the world around her and her whiskers quiver, her tail goes up.  ‘It’s a DAY!’ she seems to be saying.  And she uses her day well. She finds time for the things that matter, eating food she enjoys, running around the garden, climbing trees, grooming, pouncing on her brother Charlie the Maine Coon, snuggling on to my lap when she can, and sleeping through the night curled up next to my feet.  So that she’s ready to start tomorrow with that same attitude – It’s a DAY! She does the things that matter to her.

Sometimes when I look back at past years I see and feel that there
hasn’t been enough balance. Too much work/not enough work/not enough time with friends and family/not enough relaxation /not enough filling up the well of my imagination with reading etc.  And if there’s one thing the past year has taught me it’s that you can’t rely on things to stay the same and, sadly, people to stay around.   You need to find the balance that makes you happy to curl up and sleep at night and wake up bright-eyed and  crisp-whiskered  (well, perhaps not the whiskers) the next day.

So I made a list of things I want to keep – and  enjoy – in my life – friends, family, books, theatre, teaching the courses I enjoy  (if there are any I don‘t  then they’ll have to go. Writing – but not in the ‘must do more’ must meet this deadline – and this way  - it can sometimes become. Because then I don’t enjoy writing either. (Ruby doesn’t bother much with writing. She thinks the keyboard is a very boring thing – and the new books, when they arrive are only fun because they  come in a big cardboard box that she can hide   and jump out onto Charlie when he walks unsuspectingly by.)

So Ruby doesn’t think she needs to become New Ruby, or that she should do more. And I think she’s right.  So I’m taking my New Year life lesson from my very wise and  intelligent little cat – I’m looking at each morning and thinking ‘It’s a day!’ and trying to make sure I have the best sort of balance in the way I spend it.

What about you? What word would you use to describe your approach to 2015?  Or are you making lots of resolutions – how are you doing with keeping them?

I don't yet know what the UK cover of my next book - Olivero's Outrageous Proposal -  will look like - but I can share the Harlequin Presents cover with you today

My latest releases are two reissues -  first there's Kept For Her Baby which is out in the 3 in 1 By Request  called Secret Love -Child.  

And coming up next, there's the reissue of The Konstantos Marriage Demand  again in a 3 in 1 collection - His Revenge Seduction.

And the 12 Point Guide To Writing Romance is now available on Kindle

You can catch up with all of Kate's news on her website  or on her blog.  You can also find her on her author page on Facebook.


Laney4 said...

In 2013, my word of the year was Ruthless, as I was ruthless in sorting our worldly possessions as much as possible into piles for garbage/recycling, our annual yard sale, and charity. In 2014, my word was your word, Balance, as I tried to work hard and play hard, plus volunteer but not to the point of exhaustion (by learning to say No). My word for 2015 is now Cleanse, as in following some feng shui “rules” (by keeping a cleaner house/windows, by not having obstacles like a couch in the middle of the room blocking our feet/energy), but also by cleansing myself of negative energy from “friends”. This one is more difficult, as some people have been friends for over 35 years now, but I really feel like these people are dragging me down, and I’m sick and tired of it after all these years.
Good luck with your Balance!

dstoutholcomb said...

Balance--that's a good word for the year.

Kate Walker said...

Hi Laney - what an interesting answer. I think all your 'year words' sound fascinating - and tougher than I've wanted to risk! Ruthless - that must have taken some doing. Like you I've been interested in feng shui - but not for a the whole year. I can see that often using those ideas has helped me in then past. Perhaps I need to try them again and more thoroughly as you are doing.. know how you feel about 'friends' who drag you down. One of my Balance things is to see the people who are positive elements in my life - not just lots of acquaintances. Good luck with your cleansing - I hope it works so well for you

Kate Walker said...

Hi Denise - thank you for coming by. I hope your year has balance - and lots of wonderful things too