January: a time to take stock of our lives?

leutchtturmI’ve never liked to do an analysis of my life at the beginning of January. I am used to take new (and old) resolutions (like a diet that works… but do they really exist???) early in September when school starts again after Summer break.

The fact that I am 46 and that I don’t go to school anymore does not prevent me from buying a new agenda late in August (last year I got a cool olive green Leuchtturm one in Berlin!) – and new stationery too – as if I had to start school (as my daughter Costanza does) – in September.

Then, at the beginning of September I start writing long lists of: bad habits I want to quit (i.e. writing numberless longs lists), new skills I want to acquire (this year it’s learning Chinese and playing the cello), books I want to read (and books I need to read… never read the entire Divine Comedy by Dante – oops!), etc. (my lists are very long… sometimes I even do Excel sheets divided by days/weeks/months… crazy, isn’t it?).

Talking about lists of things to do: when I actually do something that was on the (daily) checklist on the agenda, I usually draw a line on it. But I don’t feel really good unless a make a ‘V’ check mark beside the writing, plus I write ‘ok’ on the right side of the check mark and circle it! If I did something that was not on the list, I write it on purpose just to be able to have another writing to draw a line upon!!! I found out that my second cousin does that too (a weird habit running in the family).

However do you know what happens next? I realize that my original intention (the ultimate checklist of the things I should do to improve my life) turns out to be a heavier work than my usual job. Besides, the things I really want to do (like blogging, update my daily journal or spend time with friends) are always left behind.

So by January I’ve usually put aside checklists and just live life day by day, as it comes. And I found out that if you stop planning all the details of your life, then life gives you so many pleasant and unexpected joys (like finding time to blog again).

May you all have an unplanned 2017 full of unexpected gifts 🙂



  1. Hi Simona– Agree– September seems like the start of a new year to me. I think after the hot summer, I get a new boost of ambition with the cooler weather. and– I love the idea of the year ahead being full of unexpected gifts. Last year at this time, we didn’t even know we would have a new grand-daughter this year, a true gift. Hope your year ahead is full of joys you don’t even know about now… Glad you’re blogging on in January!! hugs hugs!

    • Ciao Rhonda. Congratulations on your new grand-daughter! What a blessing 🙂 Yes, I’m here, open hearted and ready to take what comes from life. Grazie mille for writing. I love to hear from you 🙂

          • Hi Simona– Anyone who plays the cello has an enormous talent that is a gift to all who get to benefit from her music! And your writing and your photography and the home your make for your family… But I’m sure you have so much ahead. And just to say–really like this post Simona– good to reflect. hugs!

          • Hi Rhonda! You are a great motivator 🙂 I guess I’ve always lacked of self-esteem, even if I have worked hard on it while I was earning a Counseling degree 😉 Thank you for your inspiring words. Wow, I am sure your former students miss you! But then again, as it is between me and prof. Mancini, I guess your words and your teaching will be in their hearts forever. xoxo

          • So interesting to hear Simona. Do you do some sort of counseling for a job?? The counselors for students at my school were so patient and really helped the kids the pulled out to work with. Read back through your blog posts and you’ll see all your bright thought and articulately you share them with us– and all you’ve seen and down in the last couple years!! hugs hugs!

          • Hi Rhonda! In Italy the counselor profession is relatively new. And psychologists usually try to obstruct counselors as they fear counselors take away clients from them (which is nonsense because the operational field of psychologists and counselors is very different!). Anyway, I am a counselor but never actually did that as a job. I just use my acquired skills when I volunteer at Caritas 🙂 Your words are really inspiring for me. You have such a positive attitude and, I’m sorry to repeat myself, but you are a great motivator 🙂 You should be a counselor (but maybe you are already!). Thank you Rhonda! Have a nice day. xoxo

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