This is what my living room looks like today. We officially rang in the new year yesterday by cleaning up the remainder of the Christmas detritus, and more importantly, taking down the tree and all of the decorations. Now the kids' chalkboard has returned to the corner and our lives have returned to normal. (Whatever that is?) Dave is back at work. Kara is at school. And, thank the New Year gods, Jamie is napping.
Is there any task more unwelcome than taking down the Christmas stuff? This job, which really requires all hands on deck, has the universal effect of making us all grumpy. Even Kara, who was actually enjoying hunting for Santas and the missed ornaments hiding in the tree, stopped at one point and said, "I don't want Christmas to be over." I hear you, baby.
But since it is January 3, I feel compelled to make some "resolutions." I actually prefer to think of them as goals and I also think that if you write them down, you substantially increase the probability that you will at least come close to achieving them.
First, some oldie but goodies. These are the ones I make pretty much every year, with varied success.
- Sit and stand up straight. Good gracious, when you are as short as I am, you need every inch.
- Read a classic piece of literature that has passed me by. I have managed this one most years. Recent additions to my literary repertoire: Anna Karenina (2009) and Death of a Salesman (2010). In truth, I read Miller's play in high school, but since I didn't understand or remember 99% of it, I count it as a new addition.
- Lose that last five pounds. This has really come to the fore since having two kids. I know that I should embrace my body for all of its beauty and not be oppressed by society's unattainable standards. I should break free of the body image anxiety that plagues me and so many other women. Right. But I live in this crazy society, and I was raised in a house that encouraged a robust fear of being overweight. So what can I do? I should adapt a Zen-like approach to those last 5 pounds, but that's just not how I roll.
- Eat less meat. This is the second year for this one and I am proud to say, we really have cut back on our meat intake in our family.
- Eat locally grown food as much as possible. Another repeat and another success story, I think. Yes, in the dead of winter, I buy fruit that comes from warmer climes. But I try to find produce that has traveled from California instead of Chile, whenever possible, at least. Another rationalization -- If I didn't give them fruit, I think my kids' nutrition would be seriously compromised.
- Write in this blog at least 4 days a week.
- Dramatically reduce my dependence on my check card. Use cash to buy groceries etc. and therefore have a better sense of what we are actually spending on a daily basis.
- Remember my friends' birthdays. (I have high hopes for this now that I have realized that Facebook will do the reminding, if you make it one of your settings. The one legitimate use of Fb, perhaps?)
- Be kinder to my husband and children even when I am having a horrible/hormonal day.
- Learn how to use our fancy camera more fully.
- For Dave, the most generous husband and bestest friend I could ever hope for.
- For Kara, the smartest, sweetest kindergartner on the planet.
- For Jamie, the cutest and most amazing toddler who makes every day an adventure.
- For my friends and family who never fail to be supportive and generous, compassionate and kind, funny and wise.