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Cat in the Stax: Another Resolutions Blog

By Ethan Shea

"Woman writing New Year"

Setting New Year’s resolutions is a tradition dating all the way back to the Ancient Babylonians. There’s something to be said about a custom that adapts to several millennia of changes, but I remain hesitant to write yet another blog about resolutions. It’s almost cliché at this point; as soon as January begins the gyms overflow and everyone’s lifestyle changes on a dime. But I’ll admit, the beginning of the year is especially apt for making new habits, so why not take advantage of this opportunity that only comes once a year?

Personally, I’ve never been too invested in New Year’s resolutions. I believe every day is a chance for a fresh start, but it feels obligatory to write something about resolutions during this time of year. Turning the subject into something original isn’t an easy task either, so rather than treating this ‘Cat in the Stax’ as a personal blog like I usually would, I’m going to talk about some resolutions I think everyone can add to their list.

Read more!

I know this goal isn’t very specific, and I’m breaking my own rules about setting “SMART” goals, but that’s sort of the point of this list. Besides, this resolution is very simple. It just means read more than you did last year! If you didn’t read any books last year (surely that’s not true), just try to read one book. One is a lot more than none! Contrarily, if you’re a bookworm who read 30 books in 2021, shoot for 32 this year.

Do something new!

I think it’s important to try new things, whether it’s food, travel destinations or board games, so make sure to keep 2022 fresh by getting out of your daily routine every once in a while. Can we really call the New Year “new” if we keep doing the same things every year? The best way to put the “new” into 2022 is to seek new experiences.

Make time for hobbies!

Having something fun to look forward to is essential to staying sane during a busy semester, so make sure you have a hobby or two to pass the time. These hobbies can often take a backseat in your life when work or school becomes overwhelming, but making sure they don’t slip away entirely is important for maintaining mental health. I know if I don’t make time for hobbies at least a couple times per week, everything in my life becomes more difficult, so I’m making sure to leave time for some fun in 2022.

At the risk of sounding like every other blog during this time of year, those are a few very broad resolutions I think everyone can make use of. You can adjust and specify these as you please to fit your personal goals by perhaps attempting to read twenty novels this year or aiming to try a new food once per month. Regardless of how you craft your resolutions, I hope your 2022 is off to a great start.


Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a first-year English Graduate Student and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.


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Cat in the Stax: Resolutions Reimagined

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that sometimes things happen and absolutely nothing goes according to plan. This lesson is something that we need to internalize and remember going into 2021 and beyond. Take a minute, stop reading, and think about all of the New Year’s resolutions you made last year that you completely forgot about when March hit. For my first Cat in the Stax of the year, I want to change the way that we think about “New Year’s resolutions,” especially with many of your resolutions potentially pertaining to the new semester that’s right around the corner.

According to Google, a resolution is, “a firm decision to do or not to do something.” In my opinion, humans just aren’t good at that, we’re wishy-washy and that’s totally okay. So let’s stop setting ourselves up for failure. If I make my New Year’s resolution to workout 5 times per week, the first time that I don’t do that, I’ve technically failed. Instead, let’s think of this new year as a time to reassess our goals.

By changing our mindset and making goals instead of declaring resolutions, we offer ourselves more grace and can celebrate the progress made. In 2020, I set my reading goal on Goodreads to 25 books, as of December 13 I had read 9. Instead of thinking of that as, “Wow, I failed!” I can focus on the fact that had I not set that goal, maybe I would have only read 3 or 4 and missed out on reading fantastic books.

Goals partially completed at the end of each year can be seen as progress markers. I now know that I read 9 books in 2020, and I wish that I had made reading more of a priority. In 2021, maybe my next goal is to read 15 books. It’s not that lofty 2020 goal of 25, but I took the progress I had made and can now work to beat that.

To encourage you all in crushing your goals for 2021, here are some of my goals for the Spring 2021 semester:

  • Get to know two Falvey librarians better
  • Engage Cat in the Stax reader’s by replying to every comment
  • Read 5 books off of the Falvey shelves
  • Take my own photos for 50% of my Cat in the Stax 

What goals do you have for 2021 and how can Falvey help you crush them?


Jenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department. Current mood: Figuring out how to crush my goals (& 2021)!


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Dig Deeper: Advent Reflections

By Darren Poley


Happy New Year?

The new year begins on Jan. 1, right? According to the civil calendar, which is based on the Gregorian calendar, which generally supplanted the old Roman Julian calendar before it, yes. But it was not until the Gregorian calendar was adopted internationally that this was the case.

In fact, many religions and cultures still have their own reckoning of time; think of the Chinese New Year or Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the Jewish new year. Interestingly, Eastern Rite Catholics use the old Byzantine New Year, Sept. 1, and most Eastern Orthodox Christians still use the ancient Julian calendar. Because the Roman Catholic liturgical year consists of a seasonal cycle, the 2021 liturgical year begins on the First Sunday of the season of Advent, Nov. 29, 2020.

In the early Church there was one season celebrating the advent, birth, and epiphany of Jesus Christ. Eventually Advent proper became a preparatory season for the celebration of the nativity of Christ, what is now commonly called Christmas. Its roots are as a penitential season mirroring the season of Lent, which precedes the celebration of the resurrection of Christ, also known as Easter or Pascha.

Most recently the character of the Advent season is two-fold. It is meant to help the faithful to reflect on the prophecies of the second coming and anticipate Jesus Christ’s return in glory to judge the living and the dead, as well as to recall the messianic prophecies and the Incarnation of Jesus the Messiah two millennia ago.

Gathering for prayer, lighting candles on an advent wreath, and devotional reading are some typical activities for the Advent season. Here are some online books that Falvey offers which you can use to guide your Advent devotions:

Join Mission and Ministry for Advent reflections from the Villanova community. Sign up to receive seasonal reflections via a daily email, PDF booklet, or print booklet (limited quantity). Explore previous reflections here.


Darren Poley is librarian for Theology and Religious Studies; Humanities and Classical Studies at Falvey Memorial Library. 

 

 


 


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Last Modified: November 25, 2020