The fact that I’m posting about new year’s resolutions when we’re already 5 days into 2016 probably indicates that I don’t take them too seriously. It’s not that I’m anti-New Year. I like the ‘this year is going to be amazing’ feeling; I also like the idea of starting the year with ideas of things you’d like to achieve.
What I’m anti is making myself miserable at what is already quite a challenging time of the year. The weather is bad, most of us have no money, festivities are over, the lights have been packed away, the mince pies have nearly all gone and we’re all struggling to get back into the normal routine – ie up, dressed and out of the house before 8.30am.
And the children are struggling too. My 3 year olds sensed yesterday that something was going on – daddy went back to work and they went to the childminder for 3 whole hours. They realised that this was the start of getting back to normal, and that getting back to normal is a bit rubbish. They expressed their displeasure by screaming every time I spoke to them, by telling me I was doing everything wrong when I was doing exactly what they’d asked; and by getting hysterical over me getting them tissues instead of letting them get their own.
I can understand their distress. For the last two weeks they have enjoyed both parents being around, as well as grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends. There have been chocolate coins, Christmas lights, Jingle Bells, Christmas parties, the Stick Man adaptation, and no rush to get out of pyjamas. And then all of a sudden mummy announces that the lights are coming down and the decorations are going away and that it’s no longer necessary to say ‘Merry Christmas and Happy Boxing Day and Ho Ho Ho have a brilliant time’ every bedtime.
They’re not happy about it, and I don’t blame them.
So quite frankly, this isn’t the time for me to be making grand promises to give up chocolate or pies or cake or wine. This is the time of year when I quite need those things. Getting myself and my boys through long and dark January days is an achievement. Getting us all through long, dark January days AND depriving myself of things I enjoy seems unnecessary.
Last year, my resolution was to do less – instead of booking up all our weekends months in advance, I tried to keep plenty of weekends free so that we could say yes to last minute, spontaneous meet-ups; enjoy our local area, and do normal things like go to the park. I think we succeeded – last year featured noticeably more at-home time and spontaneous arrangements.
And for 2016, my modest (and hopefully realistic) resolutions are:
- To take my vitamins
- To de-clutter my work handbag (you haven’t seen my handbag – this is actually a mammoth undertaking). Perhaps even to keep it de-cluttered.
- To make an optician’s appointment.
I’m not sure whether this last one really counts as a resolution, or just something for my to-do list. But given that my glasses now won’t stay on my face due to being repeatedly pulled off by small boys, it is definitely something that needs addressing this year.
If I achieve these things, I’ll be pretty happy. But I’ll be even happier if we get through January with smiles on our faces – and if that means consuming a few biscuits and pieces of cake along the way then that’s fine with me.