If it’s not working, try restarting, they say. They are full of wisdom, right? The new year is always a good time to try out the old adage, along with clearing out the old and making way for the new. I’m well overdue for a refresh and like most of you kind readers out there, I’m taking the opportunity of a new year to burst forth with fresh plans. My attic needs a good sorting out.

What have you been holding onto that no longer fuels your fire? Is it time to gently place it on the burn pile and release the tether of its energy? After the smoke clears and the embers release their last blasts of flame, the feeling of lightness and clarity that comes might just overwhelm the nostalgia for the past.

This is very hard to apply to our relationships. A friend once said, “How do you end a friendship? I don’t understand.” Like family, it may be beyond our imagination to decide it’s time to move on from someone we once held in love. If you have tried in good faith to work it out, and it’s not working, it may be time to restart. Unplug it, plug it back in. If it’s still not lighting up your life, it may be time to retire the relationship. No guilt, no blame. A mediation is a good place to bring a close to a long relationship. It can be a space to respectfully extend gratitude for what was shared and peacefully part on good terms. Oftentimes, there are bits and bobs that need to be tied up, and a neutral meeting to part amicably can be a great help, and a very good way to honor the goodness that once was.

As a cook, my pantry is a great place for me to begin. Old spices that have lost all their flavor, stale crackers and such; a spritz of water and vinegar on the shelves. Maybe I’ll find something I didn’t think I had, in the back, in a corner, under some reusable bags. I’ll sort through it all and bake up a new recipe; or maybe some stew for these cold wet nights.

Happy new year!