resolute, adjective. admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering

Way back in 2012 while I was away on vacation, I scheduled my first (and thus far only) guest post. My best friend, Peter, wrote this post in February, asking how your New Year’s Resolutions were going.

The Christmas tree is still up in our living room. There are also still a lot of decorations in the city. This afternoon, as we walked down Mönckebergstraße, the main shopping street in Hamburg, I mentioned to Tobias how strange it felt. Everything still looks like Christmas; apart from the very obvious absence of the Christmas market in front of the town hall, all of the other markets and lights and decorations were still in full use. But everything felt very different. There’s an almost tangible excitement in the air during the days before Christmas. You know? But that was gone now. Sure, the streets were still crowded with people, and stores were plenty full, SALE signs in every window. But it is now without the same excitement.

The Germans have a lovely word for that feeling before something special: Vorfreude. It’s a word we don’t really have in English…it means pleasant anticipation. Looking forward to something. Maybe I’m weird, but I doubt I’m alone in feeling that Vorfreude is often more exciting than the actual event. Don’t get me wrong; I sure did enjoy Christmas. But that feeling of counting down? Preparing? Even better.

Now we are counting down to 2016. Fireworks are for sale here in almost every shop. Bottles of Prosecco have been moved to the forefront of every grocery store. Symbols of luck — pigs, pennies, ladybugs, and chimney sweeps — have popped up on greeting cards, bouquets, and baked goods.

So even though it still looks like Christmas at my house, I am starting to think about 2016. I don’t usually make any New Year’s resolutions. A few years ago, I tried to get into the habit of flossing my teeth daily. That lasted surprisingly long — at least until March or April. But still, as Peter mentioned in that guest post, 80% of people fail in the first days or weeks of a new resolution.

That being said, I have a few things I know I want to do anyway, so I’m going to make that my resolution this year. Simple things. Doable things.

  1. Hang some twinkle lights. Once the Christmas tree is gone, it always feels gloomy without that extra light. So I will get a strand of lights and hang it somewhere in the living room. And maybe get another one for our bedroom.
  2. Light candles. For the same reason as the twinkle lights. Plus, candlelight always feels more special. I also got some scented candles for Christmas that I want to use.
  3. Crochet a baby blanket. I’ve already started it, and I will definitely finish it before baby’s arrival in June.

That’s all. I’m keeping it simple for 2016 and feeling resolute in my “resolutions”.

How about you? Any simple ‘resolutions’ this year? Or things you’re planning on doing anyway?


9 thoughts on “Resolute

  1. We have twinkle lights hung on our curtain rod in the living room. Those lights + candle light is all we have on every evening. It makes for such a nice and cozy atmosphere year round!

    As for my resolutions, I only have 2, but they are pretty darn big: graduate and get married. Let’s hope they will both happen 🙂

    • Love this. 🙂

      I think those types of big resolutions are manageable…because you were already planning on doing them anyway! 🙂 How many semesters do you have left? Just one or two?

      Do you think you’ll get married over here or back home?

      • I am currently in my third semester (classes end at the end of the month), then I just have one semester left for writing my Master’s thesis!

        Also, we are planning on getting married here (just Standesamt) in December. Then we will probably have a party in the U.S. in the summer (2017 – that’s a long ways away…).

  2. I don’t know if it’s ok to just randomly comment your post but I just totally agree with the Vorfreude thing. In German we do have the very popular saying that “Vorfreude ist die schönste Freude.” Which is that looking forward to something is the best happiness of all. (Kinda difficult to translate though, sounds weird)

    Thx for your lovely blog, I’m currently staying abroad as well and it’s funny to read how people experience the German culture and language in a way that I do here in China as well.

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