On making New Year resolutions
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I‘m not usually one for making New Year resolutions. Loose weight,
drink less wine, spend more active outdoor time with the children, write more… there are lots of things I would like to do better or more regularly but resolutions without a plan feel like empty words to me. As Mary Poppins says, they’re pie-crust promises – easily made, easily broken.
So when our four and a half year old, Curly Girl, heard the phrase on television this Christmas and wondered what it meant I was a bit hesitant about how to explain it to her. “A resolution is a promise that you make to yourself to be better at something in the coming year,” I said. Then to check that I’d explained it suitably I asked her what resolution she might make for herself. “To be better at eating my school dinners,” she replied instantly. Yep she got it. She got it perfectly.
Then a thought occurred to me and I asked her what resolutions she might like us to make. She decided that Daddy should be a nicer Daddy (when pressed this actually meant letting her eat chocolate biscuits whenever she felt like it, naturally), Little Man should stop biting (yes please) and for me?
“I’d like for you to be a happier Mummy,” she said.
Out of the mouth of babes.
This got me thinking about what would make me a happier Mummy. I spent some time last year working on happiness with the Happify.com team but while I understand the principles behind the science of being grateful etc, what really ups my happiness quota is actually quite simple. It’s having some time to myself during the day.
Time to write, to blog, to run, to chat with like-minded virtual and not so virtual mates on social media, to read, to be creative, to share.
I seem to have lost this time recently, with Little Man crawling and now walking, with school runs and homework, Christmas and life in general I’ve got a bit lost in the mix.
And I’ve become resentful. Resentful that no-one is giving me the time that I crave. But that’s part of the problem. I need to stop relying on anyone else giving me that time. I’ve got to take it for myself.
And so this year I’m not going to make any pie-crust resolutions but I am going to make a plan. A plan to spend a little time by myself at least three times a week. Even it it’s only for an hour. Even if it means getting up at ridiculous-o’clock while the house is still asleep. It’s my New Year gift to myself.