Happy New Year!!

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 258px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/Sx1V_i-OBGI/AAAAAAAAD8c/26aQU1BbJ0M/s400/happynewyearsimage.jpg” border=”0″ />top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>No other time of the year births such feelings of hope and anticipation. I love the turn of the calendar from one year to the next, buying a new agenda, searching the shelves until I find the perfect Day Planner to organize my year, my life. And then I pull out the colored markers from my childhood and I write reminders to myself, highlight significant dates and prepare to personalize my year with the little details that scream ME! Call me old fashioned, but I like to see what I’m doing spread out in scrawled handwriting in front of me and my Blackberry tends not to be used to its highest function merely because I like the written word – the physical act of writing. I like to tuck business cards and pages torn from magazines into the back pocket of the Agenda, and gather the tidbits that symbolize my year.

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/Sx1VymLWnGI/AAAAAAAAD70/_hAdQlL1jlY/s400/093.JPG” border=”0″ />As I open last year’s agenda to copy a few dates into this year’s, I lose a leaf from last October in Prague. My husband and I were walking arm & arm and on the back of a bright orange car a leaf hung as if placed there by an angle. I bent and picked the waxy leaf twirling it in my fingers, before tucking it into the notebook in my purse, a perfect symbol of the day.
to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/Sx1Vx8YbnGI/AAAAAAAAD7k/3hLKqgll-Wc/s400/009.JPG” border=”0″ />A paper candy wrapper is taped to a page in November with the phone number of a drag queen I met in Amsterdam and for the life of me, I can’t remember why I was going to call him, but I smile remembering that crazy night when me, my photographer friend and her British photographer boyfriend, my CFO husband, a Belgian drag queen, a Christian missionary and a Dutch TV game show host went out for drinks after a gallery opening. What an eclectic group we were and what a wonderful gamut the conversation ran.

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/Sx1V_AYs7eI/AAAAAAAAD8M/4aoNQshSl4c/s400/443.JPG” border=”0″ />to 10px; WIDTH: 300px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/Sx1VzXyPAKI/AAAAAAAAD8E/CI2gVurOdCU/s400/313.JPG” border=”0″ />to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/Sx1VyQAuVoI/AAAAAAAAD7s/rJBrdibFlAg/s400/058.JPG” border=”0″ />to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/Sx1VzNVIB6I/AAAAAAAAD78/qo48DRgXECY/s400/166.JPG” border=”0″ />A hotel business card sticks out of August, reminding me of those long hot days on the Amalfi Coast and a brochure for a private cruise marks mid-year. Our skipper wore Armani, I remember with a smile, thinking surely I overpaid for that exposition but not caring because it was the perfect day this year. We sailed to a private island for lunch, caught fresh from the Med, and wiggled our toes in the sand while watching our boat bob with the light rise and fall of the sea.

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/Sx1V_R_R5KI/AAAAAAAAD8U/jshE3sSwLHw/s400/553.JPG” border=”0″ />Last January finds notes scrawled of frantic to-do’s before our move from Amsterdam to Berlin and one day is circled with a giant red heart that reads “Going Away Dinner with IWC Officers” as I remember all the ladies who showed up for my last dinner in Amsterdam before moving. We took over the restaurant in a gaggle of laughter and friendship and fun.

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 240px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/Sx1bHL0B3dI/AAAAAAAAD88/QlkcZMWIGFg/s320/german-flag11.jpg” border=”0″ />February is filled with organized lists, fitting for my new life in Germany. Meeting with relocation agent, meeting with electrician to hang chandelier, meeting with guy from phone company to hook up the internet in my new apartment and so on and as the year progresses it shows my life evolving in Berlin. From noting the date of my first German class, to the address of a friend from church and the Women’s Bible Study information to noting details about a new friend.

March finds notes on my interview with The Swiss News reminding me to tell the article’s author a few important informational bites, while April is filled with pink ink, writing Parisian notes, as I planned an outing to meet Travel+Leisure. And then there was May in Florence – twice we were in Italy this year and one page is filled with websites listing real estate listings in Italy.

On the pages of my agenda, I write of life and love, of laughing and of crying. I note the date of a friend’s death and ponder what an amazing lady Jill was – knowing her changed me, made me better than I was before, inspired me for the future. And I mark babies born, my friend Kelli’s daughter’s birth being documented in the same blue ink as Kelli’s eyes and I note the meaning of the name of her daughter – “’We asked for this child, now she is ours” and I pray blessings on her, wishing great things for her future.

I’m an old-fashioned girl living in a modern world. My Blackberry travels everywhere with me and I find myself answering phone calls in foreign countries, writing emails while on the S-bahn and setting alarm reminders for later in the day, taking pictures on my phone to post on Twitter or recording my own voice as I’m driving down the autobahn and would like to remember an important inspirational point that had risen in my mind. But I’m an old fashioned girl living in a modern world. I like paper and pencils, a tangible book that serves as much as a diary as it does my agenda.

And as this new y
ear births and my new agenda is a blank page, I pick up my pen – a red felt tip – and write confidently my plans for the future.

Happy New Years, my readers – may this year shower you in all good things and blessings.


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Author: Toma Clark Haines

Toma Clark Haines is a Global Tastemaker, Speaker, Writer & Entrepreneur; and founder and CEO The Antiques Diva® & Co, Europe, Asia and America's largest Antiques Sourcing & Touring Company.

  • Happy New Year Toma, wishing you a wonderful year with much love, happiness, good health and many blessings.
    Thank you for the wonderful posts you share with us.


  • Toma dear .. .
    Just a great post!
    It's good to hear that someone has good memories of 2009 … .
    and yours make me feel more hopeful for the coming year.
    Happiness / Joy to you-


  • Bonne Annee cher AD
    It's been another great year for our friendship, and I look forward to 2010 and all the bits of our lives we will experience, exchange, plan and reminisce; but most of all, share.
    gros bisous toujour
    la Reine

  • Hi Toma—Thanks for the wonderful final post of 2009! Have a splendiferous (don't know if that is a word) 2010!!! As for me, I'm spending today assessing 2009 and setting my sights on 2010 and cleaning out my office in anticipation of a flocking back of the decorative arts buyer. Sending you and "The Wine Guy" blessing for the new year.

  • Happy New Year, Toma and BJ! I love the photo of you, me and Fabiola, the cover star of my Bicycle Mania book. It was a crazy book launch night, wasn't it? And you drove all the way from Berlin to Amsterdam to share it with me. What good friends you both are to me. I'll never forget it.

    All the best for 2010, and see you in the new year!

    Shirley Agudo

  • #1 I love your post.
    #2 I love the way you travel, I knew that almafi
    coast the second I saw it. My cousin has a house there.
    #3 Wishing you and family a very wonderful New Year.
    ( making lists ) ha, ha,

  • Happy New Year Toma and BJ! We loved seeing you in OKC and hope you have enjoyed the crazy snow. We actually had a white Christmas in Dallas. Can you believe it? We are now in Hilton Head Island, SC and it's beautiful. Wish we could meet you in Europe in 2010. Love you both!

  • Toma, I would say that you have a full life, but you have a least 2 full lives you're living. I'm inspired. As I sit at home, waiting for the cold winter to pass, you make me not want to miss a thing. I do hope we can meet someday. I long to dig through the Paris flea markets with you. Happy new year to you and yours.