Happy New Year 2012!

December 31, 2011

Click on the image for a sharper view

This year, I’m going to do something a little different and welcome in the New Year with an experiment of sorts.

This has been a tough year for the horses and anyone involved with the wild horse issue, equine rescue (or any similar line of work/advocacy) knows that we’re repeatedly subjected to experiences that leave us wondering about our humanity and justice for the innocents. Add to that, the state of our world in general and well you know, everything piles up. Sure, there are some feel good moments and stories, but that’s not what gets reported, shared or highlighted for the most part. The constant bombardment of bad news and images (I’m visual – photos haunt me) wears on us, makes us more cynical and maybe even begins to harden our hearts a bit in an effort to protect ourselves.

This past year in particular, I could feel this sense of self preservation beginning to creep into my life. The horses are my passion and purpose. Burn-out is not an option. Of course I still believe that most people are basically good and caring and that what I read about or see on the news is just a representative “speck” of the overall population, but the emphasis seems to be on the dark and the bad. The stories that shock us, make us angry or sad. Daily. Just not good for one’s soul.

I’ve thought about my situation a lot and over the Christmas holiday and I finally came up with an idea that might help get me back on track. Very simply, I’m going to put more focus on the positive and try to minimize the negative, weigh me down, get me down, immobilize me type of news/experiences that unfortunately seems to be the norm these days.

I got my husband involved. We discussed the idea and he agreed that it would be worth trying. Perhaps it would even end up being fun. Playfully, we’re calling the idea, “A Nickoles Worth.”

Tom bought two notebooks. One for him and one for me. Each day, we’ll look for two or three specific experiences and jot them down in our books.

1) Someone says, gives or otherwise does something that brightens our day.
2) We write down something that we’re grateful for.
3) Tom says we can even write down nice things we do for each other. He calls that “extra credit.” HA!

And these aren’t supposed to be long dissertations. Just notes to self that help recall a moment. I may throw in a favorite quote or a picture that just makes me feel good. No rules here.

Each night, we’ll pull out our books and share our thoughts and experiences with each other. That way we’ve doubled our “good stuff.” And, when you know you have to write something down each day to share, I think we’ll really start seeing more of the good stuff.

I know there will still be tough days. The book(s) will also serve as a tool to help us cope and remind us that life has given us many good people and moments too.

Small steps. Simple joys. More balance. 🙂

I’d love to hear about your own ideas, reflections or goals for the coming year.

Wishing everyone a safe and Happy New Year 2012!!

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
~ Leo F. Buscaglia

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23 Responses to “Happy New Year 2012!”

  1. katrine pett Says:

    Happy New Year Pam too you and yours may it be filled with simplicity,peace and well being! Your pictures bring captured moments from the horses so thank you! from a very,very wet Dartmoor! Saw my own “wild ones” on a walk yesterday a small family band of ponies – everytime I whistled for my dog the young pony would whinney back! we had a lovely distant interaction in the mist! love, light and laughter! Katrine.

  2. Marcia Says:

    Happy New Year to you and yours, as well! Catchy title for your “feel good moments” for 2012! I think it could catch on! Hugs … Marcia in Canon City, CO

  3. Julie Smith Says:

    Pam, this is just an awesome post! This speaks volumes to me, as I’m sure it would to all of us fighting to save our horses. And, not to mention, most of those “decent” folks you speak of. I think this is a fantastic idea you and Tom are going to follow this coming year. It makes me think of trying something similar for myself, just to save sanity in this negative world of depressing media we are bombarded with. Thanks for this post! Happy New Year, buddy. To you and Tom and all the critters–have a blessed 2012!


  4. Beautiful Stuff PAM…love the leo b. quote
    and yes..in fighting for the innocent we can burn..have to still have joy and belief in our lives..Balance ,like you say, 10 times more joy than any other challenge..at LEAST ! so here is to JOY and LOVE and even more of it in 2012. Mary Ann Kennedy

  5. pnickoles Says:

    Thank you Katrine and what a beautiful visual of your visit with the Dartmoor Ponies. 🙂
    Happy New Year!

  6. pnickoles Says:

    Happy New Year Marcia! Here’s to many, many feel good moments in 2012…for everyone!

  7. pnickoles Says:

    Hey Julie – you know, I figured I wasn’t the only one feeling this way. I hope you will do something similar. And I’d be happy to share my “Nickoles Worth” with you any time. 😉 Thanks for the wishes and a very Happy New Year to you as well.

  8. pnickoles Says:

    To joy and love! Thanks Mary Ann. Happy New Year!!

  9. Kim Michels Says:

    Hi Pam,

    I too am having a lot of the same feelings you described, especially now that I am working with rescues through the Montana Horse Sanctuary. Its a real eye opener.

    I was given a journal over the holidays. I want to use it for goodness and gratitude I personally feel and encounter a long the way.

    Great post and photo 😀

  10. Janet C Says:

    Wonderful sentiments and I applaud your ideas for forging ahead into 2012 (with so much doubt and cynicism weighing all of us down) on a positive footing. I hope the year goes better for everyone and most of all, for our four legged friends who depend on us to make their world a better place. Happy, Prosperous and Healthy New Year to You! Janet

  11. Tony Says:

    Thats a great Idea, professionals list that as a great thing to boost mood. I don’t watch TV anymore because of what you say. I would add that most people are good, the bad ones just stick out, count the people on the highway that are behaving then you will see the cut up, most are just cruising. Had a great time skiing with a new friend from Ball, it was a great end to the year with a promising beginning to the New Year!

    Happy New Year…..Big Brother

  12. Unc Gerry Says:

    Perfectly put !!!


  13. Happy New Year to you and yours. About six months ago I bought a beautiful notebook and a gorgeous fountain pen. With those tools I began my gratitude book. Although I don’t enter something daily, I do it frequently. As a result I honestly believe my outlook on life has improved substantially as I now seek out even the smallest pleasures and things that just make me stop and think “thanks”. I’m sure you and your husband will see the difference in your lives too. All the best for 2012.

  14. Jackie Says:

    True – we can get so focused on the negative that the positives in our lives get overwhelmed. I was feeling that same way – there are so many horses that I can’t help. I was feeling particularly bad yesterday, and then I went out to spend time with my Sulphur mare, Sassicat. She nickered from across the paddock when she saw me and came over to snuffle me with her whiskers, and hugged me with her neck. Right then I knew that saving my Sassicat, loving and keeping her safe, training her and making sure that I have arrangements in place in case something happens to me – that is truly something worthwhile. I will help other horses as I can, but saving my Sassicat, this one Sulphur mare, is my joy every time I think about her.

  15. Honor Hannon Says:

    Thank you for sharing your idea of bringing light-ness back. to this heavy old world…..one horse at a time.
    Blessed be and continue to walk in beauty!

  16. Maggie Frazier Says:

    What a wonderful idea -would work for everyone, wouldnt it?
    One of the things I’m grateful for is reading your posts and looking at the pictures of these beautiful animals. Thank you so much, Pam
    Jackie, you make me remember how much loving my boy, Chico, and keeping him safe made my life so much better. And youre right, those arrangements in place are so very important.
    Hes been gone (not from my heart) for 9 years now, but I know that I did the very best I could for him at the end – hes buried at the farm where he lived.
    Thanks to all of you
    Maggie

  17. TJ Says:

    What an excellent idea. Working in the news industry is enough to make anyone cynical and bitter … I totally identify. We need to focus on good things where we find them and bring them to the light of others. Thank you for all you do in that regard. 🙂 You’re awesome!

  18. Jim Westin Says:

    How wonderful…Think Good Thoughts 🙂
    A joy shared is doubled. A sorrow shared is halved.
    I always look forward to your comments…..hope to see you soon.

  19. kim gamble Says:

    I will think twice before 1 unkind word comes out of my mouth. Kindness is infectious, hope everyone gets it. 🙂


  20. Pam wishing you and Tom a very Happy New Year!!! Things will change around, we must be patient with ourselves and with others in this journey that we all are on. Too many focus on the terrible and have a hard time seeing the good, but there is good out there and we have to find it. I have a problem with watching the news, it is never good, but I know that there are so many people out here who are trying to do good, and all their accolades will be given in due time. We must concentrate on the positive, and keep moving forward. Thank you for all these pictures that you share, they are what keeps me positive. You give me vacations that I can’t take, please never stop sharing the beauty that you see, with us because we all need this in our lives.

  21. pnickoles Says:

    I so apologize for not keeping up with your thoughts and comments (I will respond as I am very grateful to all of you that took the time to share and post). Around 10:00 AM yesterday, we lost power and it didn’t come back on until 11:08 PM last night! Just in time to watch the New’s Year’s festivities on TV. I think I’m going to write about the day and post it on FB. It was a crazy New Year’s Eve! The first thing I’m putting in my notebook (that we begin today) that I’m grateful for…electricity!!! 🙂 Happy New Year everyone!!


  22. Indeed, emphasize the positive and take no day no moment of wonderful freedom and advance for granted neither in yourself nor in any fellow being, including those who dwell in horse or burro form.

  23. Puller Lanigan Says:

    Happy New Year Pam and Tom!! What a wonderful idea!


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