Happy New Year! I feel like Jabba with his excess rolls of bulging fat and inability to do much more than vegetate on the sofa, but all in all, it’s been a good Christmas. The kids were suitably spoiled, the shelf my carpenter husband promised to make me is still sat as a block of wood in the garage, and the Celebrations tub strangely remains unopened. And now we have the next two or three months of it being dark by four, iced-up windows, and winter sadness to look forward to. However, I’ve been thinking about New Year’s resolutions and whether or not to bother with one. Here are the top ten which I have been considering during the lost week between Christmas and New Year:
- The classic lose weight resolution – one that is frequently made across the world because you’ve just eaten your own weight in Christmas crap and you now feel like you have doubled the size of your waist. The TV is also screaming at you to go out and buy exercise goodies or to book some exotic holiday where you might have to flash your butt on a sandy beach somewhere. The trouble is, when January hits and I return to work, I’m going to have the willpower of a golden retriever. It’s a resolution that’s bound to fail before I’ve even started. I leave in the dark, at the butt crack of dawn, am on my feet all day with little people repeating my name I don’t know how many times a day, only to come home and have my own children repeat my name all the way until bedtime. I then have to check work emails, make sandwiches for the next day (God, I hate that job), prepare and cook dinner before I might be able to attempt to do a star jump. The thought of watching some over-enthusiastic fitness instructor who has the figure of a Barbie doll in real life, along with having to squeeze myself into a sports bra is enough to give this resolution the finger. Perhaps when summer hits or my clothes refuse to go over my curves, I’ll give this one a go. But in January? Na-ah!
- The learn a new skill resolution – I’ve tried this one for the past two years in the form of learning a language. I’m sorry to say, I’ve not renewed my Rosetta Stone App this year. I guess the inability to get away to Italy and use said language has finally broken my will to follow through with it. Not that I’m giving up on the idea completely, just not at the moment. I have to admit, this country is thoroughly pants for teaching languages. Having taught children who didn’t know a single word of English when they arrived in Infant School, I can tell you these children usually end up being my more able students. Because they’ve had to use different parts of their brain and show resilience, they generally excel in all areas. We leave learning a language far too late and don’t give children enough opportunities to exercise this skill. I achieved an A in my French GCSE and a B in Spanish, but can I speak it now? Un peu, mange tout!
- The be more organised resolution – Even though someone is laughing hysterically inside of my head over the idea of me being more organised, I was recently informed that I was once like this. You see, at school, you can walk into some teacher’s classrooms and feel overwhelmed by how uber organised and neat their rooms are. There’s a damn label for everything. When a child comes into my room to show off some stunning piece of work, they’re given an IOU for a reward sticker because I’ll be buggered if I know where I’ve put them. However, I can remember a time when I trained my class to organise their pencils by colour and all the correct way up inside of a labelled pot. If someone came into my class and asked me for a specific piece of paper (if you teach, you know just how many piles of paper are given to you on a daily basis), I could locate it within seconds. But then I had children. Organisation went flying out the window and an acceptance for just being dressed and out the door on time became a major win! So, this is a trier of a resolution, but if I’m being realistic, I still have the young demon child to deal with in the morning, and I am only human, people.
- The save more money resolution – Well, national insurance rises, remortgaging, higher energy prices and without a pay rise means this is a very boring no. I can’t even get excited over the fact I’ll be spending my money on stuff because the stuff it will go on is, as you can see, extremely boring. However, some people are a lot worse off than I am so I’m not going to grumble. Things are tight for a lot of families and if I think about how many people are having to rely on food banks, or worse, then I don’t really have much to complain about.
- The read more resolution – More hysterical laughing because this one’s a given and one I can actually stick to without it being at all arduous. In fact, my husband would be arguing for me to do the opposite. I’m ticking this bad boy off before I even begin the year. Why don’t we give ourselves more positive resolutions? Why have we always got to pick resolutions that make us feel like it’s a chore? In fact, with this one, I’m also going to add write more, listen to more music and generally broaden my cultural horizons.
- The travel more resolution – I wish with today’s covid restrictions!
- The quit smoking resolution – I don’t smoke or drink. Not because I have anything against them, I’ve just never taken to either of them. Smoking is a firm no for me for many obvious reasons but also because I lost two grandparents to smoking. I’ll never forget the fear in my nanny’s eyes when they told her she had cancer caused through chain-smoking. She died not long after. I don’t have an issue with anyone if they want to do these things, they’re just not for me. My husband has informed me that I could quit nagging him, so there’s that. However, I don’t believe for one minute that I’ll keep that one up. (‘Nag’ being a man’s definition of having to be told more than once to do something because they can’t be bothered to listen the first time).
- The try something crazy resolution – Again, this is more difficult to achieve with young children, however, it’s not something I wouldn’t consider. In my past, younger life, I have flown a plane, quad biked across the desert, ridden a camel, got my scuba diving certificate, self-published four books, run ten kilometres for charity*, cut my hair for charity, and had a go at pole dancing (an awful, totally unsexy attempt). This resolution could be a strong possibility; I just need to think of something. *This wasn’t through choice. The week before my wedding my sister called and asked if I wanted to do it. I said, no, ta very much, to which she laughed and informed me she had signed me up anyway. In fact, a lot of my ‘try something crazy’ activities have been down to her, including going to our local sports centre dressed as a ninja from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
- The spend more time with family resolution – This one isn’t really that hard. I already spend most of my time with my family. If I’m not with them, I’m at work or having time to myself. In fact, they might want to spend less time with me. I have given my husband permission to go away with his friends for his fortieth. The moody bugger always chucks a strop for the month of September, and this year, with the milestone birthday, he’s going to be extra miserable. If that’s the case, he can go elsewhere and grump. Besides, when he returns I can hold the fact that I let him go away without us over his head for at least a good few years. It’s a win, win situation.
- The be healthier resolution – Again with the boring chore of a resolution! Granted I could stand to be less of a pig and eat more salad or whatnot, but what an unappealing outlook for the year. So, with that in mind, I’m going to change this slightly. Instead of my health, I’m going to try and do my bit to improve the health of the planet by using less plastic and buying more responsibly. I already tried to do this over Christmas, which is bloody hard with kids’ toys, but I think I did better than the year before. I also believe in asking for presents that can be made rather than bought (for me, at least). Last year, my sister, the artist, painted a picture of Hades and Persephone, my mum knitted a cardy, and my husband bought a plank of reclaimed wood to make into a shelf for my books. As already mentioned, it’s still in the garage, looking very much like a plank of wood. Ah, well, you can lead a horse to water…
So, there, I’ve managed to poo pah a lot of resolutions, but I think I’ve also taken on a few to try out. What are your resolutions for the new year?
Don’t forget to check out my amazon pages for my existing releases. Gabe is due to be released next month, so keep a lookout for teasers and release details in the coming weeks!