Some Non-Resolutiony Thoughts at the Start of the Year
And so the holidays are over. The decorations are not just down but are stowed away in the attic; Steve is back to work; and, from next week, the toddler groups strew their primary coloured plastic balls across community centre floors once more.
I'm glad to get back into something resembling a routine. I used to tut at mums (always mums) who complained that life was harder when the dads (always dads) had time off work; I thought it was some sort of outdated nonsense about men not knowing which end of the baby was which. But I kind of get it now.
I would always rather have Steve at home with us. Always. Not just for the times when I get a lie in, but for the times when the three of us run around the garden squealing. Life is better when we're all together.
But... Matilda and I have such a calm, easy morning routine (the "Daddy go-ed to work" discussion over breakfast; a cup of tea behind her back while she watches Bing; heading out the door by half nine) that we can start our day on autopilot; having Steve here throws the schedule into disarray and that results in the cats not being fed on time (sorry, cats), Matilda clutching her outdoor things impatiently while her parents stumble around, flipping coins to see who showers first, and me having to use my brain before lunchtime. It wasn't until the very end of the holidays that any of us seemed to adjust.
Add to that a busy social calendar, more booze than usual and so many dirty dishes that we still haven't cleared the draining board and it's no wonder I was feeling so tired.
So I'm happy to be back to something more closely resembling normality.
Anyway, I blundered into this post planning to talk about toddler growth spurts (I spent Hogmanay hastily washing larger clothes and everything Matilda wears now looks comically oversized), back molar teething (bless Mini Milks and all their sugary coldness) and maybe Humans (oh my goodness!), but instead I've got the new year on my mind (because that's all that's in my Feedly at the moment).
To me, it doesn't feel like anything significant just happened.
I mean, you could argue that nothing significant did just happen. Dates are just a way for humans to organise our lives; shifting from 2016 to 2017 just means that people will spend weeks typing the wrong date and reminiscing about cheque books; blah blah blah.
But we're supposed to place significance on the new year, aren't we? We're supposed to think about all the ways in which we've been rubbish over the past year, spend lots of money on the stationery, gym memberships and diet shakes we deem necessary for changing ourselves, and talk expansively about our goals and resolutions.
And, although I don't really go in for resolutions (because January seems like a particularly masochistic time to inflict perfection upon ourselves; because procrastinating about making a change until a cute date suggests that our hearts aren't really in it; because I worked in marketing long enough to resent being sold a magic bean), I have always spent a little time looking back over the past year and looking forward to the coming one.
And this year I skipped that entirely.
It didn't even occur to me until I started reading what other bloggers had to say on the matter.
But I'm happy with my attitude to life; I'm surrounded by people I care about; I like where and how I live; I don't fancy creating goals for my blog.
I spent the past year parenting, not going out to work and elbowing in time with my friends; this coming year, I expect to do more of the same. There's only so much thought I can put into continuing on as I was.
So the changing of the year, to me, was entirely nothing. And I can't be the only one who felt that way? Is anybody else entering this year not trying to change who they are?
More here: the one resolution we should ALL make (I stand by this); 31 things to do in January which won't make you feel bad about yourself; and that bit when I was still coming to terms with my "stay at home mum" status.
P.S. One thing I have done at the start of this year is switch my photo-a-day blog to private. I didn't want to be worrying about showing Matilda's face or the view from our living room window. It only had about ten readers, anyway, and I expect five of those were robots. So Elise, Emma and whoever the other three were: that's why it's vanished from your reader. I'll come up with some way of sharing my favourite photos here.
Hi! I'm a 30-something stay-at-home feminist mother-of-one. I live in Aberdeen, Scotland with my toddler, boyfriend and two black cats. I talk a lot about this stuff: