happiness and tranquility




Dear Mom,

This time of year reminds me of the New Year’s Resolution “trade” we did one year when I was growing up. You made my resolution: “Marylin will REALLY clean up her room, even under the bed.” I made your resolution: “Mom will see that a clean room isn’t the most important thing.”  We laughed and decided it was a pretty good experiment.

At this stage in my adult life, I have three favorite quotes about New Year’s Resolutions:

“I hope that this year to come, you make mistakes…Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes…Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do It. Make your mistakes, next year and forever.” ~Neil Gaiman

“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.” ~Brad Paisley

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language – And next year’s words await another voice.”  ~T.S. Eliot

When you and Dad moved out of your house and into your care apartment, I saved boxes of your notebooks, Grandma’s recipes, and files of writing submissions and records. Tucked in a file of newspaper articles and columns you’d kept over the years, there was an envelope filled with faded, fragile newspaper clippings. One was a New Year’s Resolution by Ann Landers. There wasn’t a date or newspaper header, so I didn’t know if it had been written by Ann Landers herself, or by Eppie Lederer or Ruth Crowley, who wrote the column for many years.  But it was an excellent New Year’s Resolution, one definitely worth sharing:

“Let this coming year be better than all the others. Vow to do some of the things you’ve always wanted to do but couldn’t find the time. Call up a forgotten friend. Drop an old grudge, and replace it with some pleasant memories. Vow not to make a promise you don’t think you can keep. Walk tall, and smile more. You’ll look 10 years younger. Don’t be afraid to say, ‘I love you.’ Say it again. They are the sweetest words in the world.”

You could have written this advice, Mom. Instead, you lived it, along with many other wonderful actions, and that has made the difference in many other lives.  Thank you.

For all of us:  2012 has been a year of joys and sorrows. Individually and collectively we have celebrated life, faced fears, and grieved losses.  On the eve of 2013, may we embrace the words of Alfred, Lord Tennyson: “Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier’…”

"Be Glad of Life" pillow sampler (photos by Marylin Warner)

“Be Glad of Life” pillow sampler (photos by Marylin Warner)





Filed under Dementia/Alzheimer's, experiments, lessons about life, making a difference, memories for great-grandchildren, Things to be thankful for


  1. As always, you’ve written another beautiful and touching post. z

  2. Thank you so much, and Happy New Year 2013 (early) to you! Keep up with the gorgeous colors of your designs!

  3. juliabarrett

    I think it’s best to be hopeful because the alternative is, frankly, well, lacking hope. Lovely post.

  4. May 2013 be brighter and more positive for all of us. Happy New Year, Marilyn.

  5. Thanks Marylin. Reading your blog is a pleasure, and reminds me of how much I will always love my mom. HNY.

  6. Oh, Deb, I am so glad it does that. That’s truly a compliment. Thank you.

  7. Molly

    But, I want to know…..did Marylin learn to have a clean bedroom….and did Grandma learn to know that a clean room isn’t all that important?? OHHHH wait……………..I know the answer…..NO, Marylin DID NOT learn to have a cleaner bedroom, and YES, Grandma did learn that having a clean bedroom is not the most important thing!!
    You and Grandma are both fabulous role models…clean bedrooms or not!!!

    Great blog story Mom….LOVE IT!

    • You KNOW how the cleaning thing turned out…
      But I’m so glad Grandma and I are fabulous role models for you, because I’d love to take even a little credit for how well you’ve turned out and what a good momma you are!

  8. “Another room as yet unkempt…
    sleeping treasures,
    Step through now and
    do not fear
    the waking of another year.”

    Thank you for another beautiful post, Marylin!
    Wishing you the HAPPIEST NEW YEAR EVER!
    k 🙂

  9. Marti Smith

    Thank-you, Marylin, for an utterly lovely and uplifting post. Cheers to all for a blessed New Year!  

  10. What a beautiful mother! You are truly fortunate.

  11. What a lovely assortment of inspiring quotes for the new year, thanks for sharing! I’m definitely marking some of these down as a reminder to myself of what a new year can really mean.

  12. Lovely post. Great quotes.

  13. Wonderful inspiration for the new year, Marylin. Thank you.

    • This time last year, my mother probably would have remembered us trading resolutions or, because her long-term memory was so good, some of the resolutions she made as a girl. So much can happen in a year, be lost or forgotten. Going through this with her makes me more aware, more careful of time and memories. It reminds me of the lovely memories you have of your mother, Nancy, and how beautifully you write about them.

  14. I have a whole list of New Year’s resolutions prepared. I’ve even started to write them down. :p

  15. Hope smiling. I love that. Kind of like when you look at your mother, I bet. Happy New Year, Marylin.

  16. And to you, too, Darla. Yes, it is Hope Smiling.

  17. Marylin, the only resolution I make every year is to stop smoking and on the eve of the next year, guess what ….failed again …..

    May the New Year be filled with wonderful joy to you and yours my Lovely xxxxxxx

    • Ah, the quit-smoking plan. Good luck with that, Tom.
      But keep trying, okay? It’s worth the fight.
      Have a prosperous and joyous new year, dear Tom, and except for trying to give up smoking, don’t change. You’re wonderful!

  18. jakesprinter

    Excellent post Marylin ,Happy New Year to you my friend 🙂

  19. Love the quotes about New Year’s resolutions. Hope you have a joy-filled new year with many firsts and perhaps a few missteps along the way! 🙂

  20. petit4chocolatier

    Beautiful post. I love the quotes! Happy New Year 🙂

  21. Pingback: Sharing New Years Quotes « ljr3

  22. I have two of your recipes printed out and waiting. It’s not just the beautiful photography that encourages me; I love the way you walk the readers through recipes and make it seem so possible!

  23. dianabletter

    I thank you for this post, Marylin! I would like to have every day be a New Year’s Day — resolutions are so much easier to keep when they’re only for the 15-or so hours in front of us. As I write this, I realize that will be the subject of my blog for today! Thanks for the inspiration.

  24. poppytump

    I hadn’t heard of those quotes before Marylin but they are so fitting . I think I must make note of one or two of your Mums newspaper clipping resolutions myself .
    Happy New Year to you x
    PS what a lovely compliment from your daughter Molly too !

  25. Dear Marilyn, Wonderful. Thank you and Happy New Year, Ellen

  26. ryoko861

    I love that quote “I hope that this year to come, you make mistakes…Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes…Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do It. Make your mistakes, next year and forever.” ~Neil Gaiman
    That’s got to be the most realistic New Year’s resolution I’ve ever heard. Because that’s what I usually do. And now I’m going to embrace those f**k ups! 😀
    Happy New Year Marilyn!

    • I love Neil Gaiman’s writing, and this quote is one of my favorites. Especially for the first day of a new year, the encouragement to take risks and accept that some of them will lead to mistakes. Now THAT is a good resolution for 2013!

  27. Pingback: Happy Fucked Up New Year | Me, Myself and I

  28. Marilyn … I just nominated you for the Liebster Award. I strongly suspect you don’t fall into the up-and-commer catagory, but I really enjoy your postings and hope you wlil accept this “sweetest” award. The rules can be found on my blog.

  29. Happy New Year to you Marilyn!! This is such a beautifully written post. Also I enjoyed your favourite quotes very much! Super inspirational! 🙂

  30. Nancy

    I loved every one of the quotes, resolutions, and daring-do spirits! Here’s to a great New Year!

  31. Some wonderful resolutions here worth adopting. Thank you for sharing.

  32. oh i love that gaiman quote…Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes….. isn’t that a relaxing way to look at the new year..we learn so much through our mistakes.. we should def. embrace them..happy new year to you

  33. Thank you for your visit and comment at my blog. Thank you even more for sharing your thoughts and memories in this post. I smiled and reminisced with the echoes of self I read there. Thank you, and Happy New Year.

  34. Amy

    “Walk tall, and smile more.” Love it! Thank you for sharing the quote!

  35. Gay Distel

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  36. Thank you for visiting my blog today. I appreciate the time you took to stop by. May your day be filled with joy and peace.

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