Friday, January 06, 2006

Out with the old

WELCOME TO 2006- the year of killing dead things. Yes, I'm going to lose weight, sort out my house, learn to drive (again) and generally finish the year on a high of perfection and general gorgeouseness.

Or maybe not. You see I don't hold court with resolutions- they just aren't my thing. Admittedly this is mostly because I'm absolutely useless at keeping them, but also it's because I just don't understand why one wee tick of a clock should force us to examine our lives and decide, invariably, that they are pants and we need to change.
It is my honest opinion that January is depressing enough without forcing ourselves into a purgatory of our own making by making sweeping changes to the status quo.
Generally I like new starts, but January doesn't feel like one to me- no matter what the calendar might tell us. You see it's the end of winter- the winding down of the festive season, the long wait for the credit card bills to plop (or thud in some cases) through the letterbox. And all this while we are dealing with the seemingly unending dark evenings and depressingly glum mornings- it's enough to make me weep into my leftover selection boxes.
Let's face it, life is tough enough in January. Getting up in the mornings is a feat in itself for me these days. My alarm clock may screech at me that it's about time I crawled out of my pit, but my head and heart are begging me to lie back down and snooze just another five minutes away.
Allowing myself the occasional (okay, daily) Kit Kat Chunky is the only way to get through the month without totally giving in to depression and melancholy.
All that said, I've not been a total slattern. Returning from our festive sojourn to sunny Cheshire (we had a lovely time, by the way), I looked around Chez Allan and realised we do in fact live in a house that would make Kim and Aggie walk away in disgust.
The in-laws all have houses which wouldn't look out of place in the Next catalogue. Despite having animals (pets and children included in that description) their cream carpets remain cream and their oatmeal sofas are still their natural oatmeal colour and not the strange mix of Digestive biscuit and slabbers our has become.
Unpacking in the 'comfort' (and I use the word loosely) of home I announced to a rather worried husband it was time to "declutter".
I'm not really a hoarder as such- I just have my own very unique method of tidying up. I prefer to refer to it as the "Shove everything in a cupboard and hope no one sees it" method- much to himself's eternal annoyance.

Minimalist Retreat
You see, at first glance my house is a virtual minimalist retreat. Open any cupboard or drawer, or look behind any chair and it's another story.
There are handbags, nappies (clean, thankfully), letters, magazines, even a swimming suit or two hiding in every corner. I have told myself what the eye doesn't see the heart doesn't grieve over but, occasionally, when it all threatens to spill its ugly contents over my cheap laminate flooring, I have to take action.
The wee man's room is the prime example. With his second birthday looming in the all too near future, we decided it was time to update his nursery and make it more suitable for the proper little boy our wee one is turning into.
Until now I have had a huge shelving unit in the side of his nursery wherein I have stored nappies, clothes, toys and assorted nonsense for the past two and half years since the day I found out I was expecting.
If we were going to update the wee man's room, this shelving unit needing tackling- but it was no task for the faint hearted.
Binbags, and a degree of courage, in hand I entered the nursery and started work. I was literally amazed at what I found.
There were nappies two sizes too small, nipple shields even though I didn't breastfeed (apologies for the use of the word nipple in the Derry Journal), a trial sized packet of Fairy Washing Powder, 6 packets of tissues, some moist toilet tissue (you know the stuff that is moist when you buy it...we aren't that disgusting in my house), approximately 2,673 bibs of various sizes, colours and conditions, three half used bags of cotton wool, an empty bottle of Tixilix, a selection of napkins (baffled at that one) and enough clothes to open my own branch of Dunnes- all along with the eeniest, teeniest, cutsiest pair of trainers you ever did see.
After filling two bin-bags, reorganising the shelves and crying broodily over the teeny trainers, I actually felt more in control and I vowed to start working my way through all the rooms in my house until the guys and gals from the Next catalogue would be virtually battering down my door to snap my stylish living habits to steal ideas for next season.
But this is not, and I stress NOT, a New Year's Resolution, because I know the moment I put that label on it I'm damning myself to failure. Sure as eggs is eggs, announcing I'm taking control of my home and my life for 2006 will automatically mean it will all implode in spectacular fashion around me.
So I'm not resolving to do anything. If my house gets tidied this month, it gets tidied. If it doesn't, I'll try again in February when the nights are bit shorter, the weather a little milder and my post Christmas slump has eased.
And if I have to make a resolution, and I mean really, really have to, it's simply that I will start a one woman campaign to have this silly tradition banned once and for all.

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