These are definitely not my New Year’s Resolutions. I gave up making them years ago. It was a counterproductive exercise – I’d resolve to do all these marvellous things that in the real world were only about 50% achievable, then by the end of January I’d get so down because of the 50% I knew I wouldn’t manage, that I would end up ditching ALL the resolutions in a fit of pique. Thus I managed to do myself out of even doable milestones. Muppet.
But I’m not immune to the thought of January being a new start, and as such a time to think about hopes (and dreams) for the year ahead – the problem is that as soon as term starts and we’re back into routine, the aspirational stuff is usually pushed on to the back burner while the every day fire fighting takes over, and before you know it, the year’s done. That didn’t seem to matter so much when I was younger but I’m horribly aware that I’m more than likely past the half way point in my life – possibly a LONG way past it, since you never know what’s round the corner – so it seems more important to work towards achieving some of those hopes and dreams rather than just letting them drift away.
So this year I have decided to write down a list of the stuff I’d like to achieve, and revisit it monthly. Not my New Year’s Resolutions, you understand – this list is not going to be about beating myself up if I don’t make progress (well, it probably is a bit, because that’s the way I roll) but more about giving myself some focus. Let’s see if it works!
- I’d like to take the kids to a festival this year. This is something I think every year, and completely fail to act on, and then get all grumpy when I see everyone else who’s managed to actually get their act together really enjoying themselves. Camp Bestival looks ace, as does the Green Man Festival, and there’s various others too that look like fun. This will be a fairly chunky addition to our holiday budget so I’ll need to start squirrelling away some pennies soon.
- I need to sort out my work life balance. Working 4 days a week is proving to be counterproductive for the kids – they don’t see enough of me, and I don’t see enough of them either. They are little for such a short time – and while I couldn’t give up work completely, for financial or sanity related reasons, I think I need to aim to go back to working three days a week for at least the next couple of years.
- I read an inspirational article earlier this year about a Mum who took her son running with her, and how they both grew and benefited through it. I’d like to try out running with my eldest, to see if he enjoys it. He clearly needs an outlet for the stress that he carries around, and school or team sports activities are a chore for him, so perhaps this might be a physical activity that he can enjoy and develop some confidence with. It will also give him the one on one time with me which he seems to need more than ever at the moment.
- I am going to make more one-on-one time with my daughter. She’s the one that misses out. Between her older brother who needs constant reassurance and support, and her younger brother who is something of a handful at the moment – we seem to have a typical middle child scenario going on, and I am going to try my hardest to redress this.
- I’m going to remember that my 4 year old is just that – a 4 year old, and that being a handful is what he is supposed to be at this age! And I’m going to try to do more stuff that is led by him and his choices, rather than expect him to tag along to whatever the big ones want to do.
- I’d like to have made significant progress on our House Project. Getting everything done this year feels slightly out of reach, but I’d like to have planning permission in place in the next couple of months; the costing out done in detail, the cash magicked from somewhere, a builder appointed and an agreed start date by the end of the year (even if the start isn’t till 2015).
- More writing! I’ve mentioned before that I’m having more fun than I ever thought possible with LearnerMother, and it has inspired me to try and stretch my writing wings and perhaps, at some point, even manage to integrate writing into my day job. I’ve put a couple of feelers out on this and the response hasn’t been completely negative by any means, which has left me feeling encouraged.
- Now the kids are a bit bigger, I think it’s time to do some serious marriage-type work. The little lovelies have (unintentionally, of course) have spent the last few years Dick Turpinning what was once a very solid relationship, and this last year seems to have brought everything to a head, with both of us, at various points, ready to pack our bags. But neither of us quite did. I’m taking that as a good sign, but even so, there are no laurels to rest on in sight. Some sort of Relationship Boot Camp is in order!
- Get the Cardiff Pound off the ground. I believe so strongly that this would bring benefits to our city, not just for indie retailers but for all local businesses; but I have not had the time to give the project any real input. I am hoping to refocus my energies on this in 2014, though this does depend a little bit on me securing that magical 3-day a week job!
- Read more books. I was given a Kindle for Christmas a couple of years ago, and began reading again for the first time since I had kids. Then last year I discovered blogging, and while I’ve loved discovering and tweeting with so many amazing blog writers, I’m missing the feeling of being totally absorbed in a book. So I’ll be turning off the phone when I go to bed, and firing up the kindle instead.
So, there they are – Not my New Year’s Resolutions…let’s see where they take me!
Happy New Year to you all, and may 2014 be filled with everything you wish for 🙂