Many slogans get thrown around when one year end and another one begins. Out with the old and in with the new. Part of the “out with the old” portion of getting ready for a new year is “best of list” that graced my Twitter timeline before Christmas was day over. There are best of list for everything from books, movies, and music. These list don’t often reflect my “best of” list, my favorite books get looked over. This year there were surprises, The Sellout by Paul Beatty and The Turner House by Angela Flournoy made several “Best Books of 2015” lists.
As “best of list” fade they are replaced with list predicting the hottest movies, best album, and most talked about books of the coming year. It’s part of the “in with the new” part of New Year’s rituals. I take these list a little more seriously, I glance at them to know what to expect. Make mental notes on albums to keep a watch out for. Start planning what books to read, reading descriptions, writing down release dates, and making notes to read reviews. I’m not a fan of out with the old and in with the new.
New Year, New Me, is my preferred new year quote. Days before New Year’s Day I prepare by sitting down and thinking about resolutions to commit to. I shop at craft and office supply stores all for the moment when I can sit and decided what areas need improvement. It’s the goal setter in me that enjoys the process of thinking what I need to do to achieve for a make “new me”. It’s a ritual I preform every year, even if I’m not successful with achieving my goals from the previous year.
Several years ago I started reading at least one motivational book in January. It started with Beautylicious!: A Black Girl’s Guide to the Fabulous Life by Tenye M. Raines. I had brought it on a whelm, the title and cover attention grabbing enough, the price was right. It sat on my bookshelf for over a year since I don’t read self-help/motivational books often. But when January 1 rolled around I hadn’t even made resolutions and lacked the motivation to start so I picked Beautylicious! up and started reading. It’s been years since I have opened Beautylicious!: A Black Girl’s Guide to the Fabulous Life but that year was one of my most productive years ever. I haven’t read a motivational book every year since. As I prepared to make my 2016 resolutions and reflected on what helped me achieve my goals in the past I noticed the years I read a motivational book were my most productive years.
Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person will start off 2016. Shonda Rhimes seems like a productive person from where I sit. She has at least three shows actively running on television and probably a slew of products in the works. I’m not planning anything extreme, but there are a few projects I’d like to complete. And I’m sure she will offer advice on conquering the fear that goes along with starting something new.
And to an introvert like Shonda, who describes herself as “hugging the walls” at social events and experiencing panic attacks before press interviews, there was a particular benefit to saying no: nothing new to fear.
Then Came Thanksgiving 2013 when Shonda’s sister Delorse muttered six little words at her: You never say yes to anything.
(From Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person Front Jacket)
As an introvert, I understand how Shonda felt. I’ve never experienced a panic attack but I still get nervous in front of crowds and hug the walls at social events. So, this year after my list of resolutions are complete my highlighter and I will make our way through Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person and prepare for a productive 2016.