Thursday, December 27, 2007

Forget your troubles...

Welcome to the annual New Year’s Resolution column. You just knew I was going do this, didn’t you? I mean what else can a woman write about a few days before the start of the new year than what she is going to do to change herself and finally get her life in order?
I considered writing about how Christmas went over in our house - but it was largely uneventful and I would only be boring you with tales of the boy and his many weird and wonderful Christmas questions. (Does Rudolph like broccoli mammy? When will the baby Jesus be old enough to play with me? etc etc).
Or I could do one of those things were I look back over the last year - but elsewhere in this paper you will find my tales of all the good things book related and if I were to talk about the bad things (bereavement, illness and poverty) I’d only end up maudlin and it really would take the glean of my new Next sale purchases.
So instead we’ll look forward but with only a hint of cautious optimism because last year I was bouncing off the ceiling with excitement only to have the best of times matched with the worst of times.
So now I’m going to look forward and take positive steps to make myself a little happier. When I do the sums, life is pretty happy as it is. I have a lovely husband, a wonderful family (with the best mammy and daddy in the world, so there!), a most gorgeous and hilarious child and a nice, comfy home. I work in a job where they actually pay me to do the two things I like most in the whole world which is write and talk to people.
But still, like most people I suppose, I like a good grumble. I would like some more money in the bank, a nice holiday in the sun, health for those I love, a nice trim figure and a nice new car on the driveway as opposed to the chugging monster I currently possess. (I do love my wee car, but I feel like kissing it every time we arrive at our destination for not conking out on me midway).
I guess, however, it’s all in my mindset. When I was at school we had a substitute RE teacher with us for a few months and while I don’t remember her name, or even what she looked like, I do remember that on the day she left she gave us all a little card with the serenity prayer printed on it. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”
Those words have stayed with me in times of sorrow and joy and perhaps it is my biggest resolution of all for 2008 to find peace with all that will happen. I’ll try not to chew my nails down to the bone when my second book comes out and I’m waiting for the reviews. I’ll try to have the courage to keep trying to change myself - losing weight and getting healthy, even when I want to comfort eat myself into oblivion.
I’ll try not to beat my chest in protest at the fact my granny has Alzheimer’s and is sick in hospital and instead make the effort to visit her a little more - even if I know she doesn’t recognise me from Adam.
I will try and retain my patience with the boy when he asks his many, many questions about Rudolph and his favourite vegetables or goes into his refrain of “Mummeeee, Mummmmeeeee, Mummeeeee” like a fog horn waking me from my sleep.
I will try to appreciate the things my darling husband does do around the house instead of focusing on the things he doesn’t. (Although in fairness, my patience may be severely tried with that one and I don’t expect it to last beyond the 3rd or 4th of January at the very latest.
I’m also determined to be a little kinder to myself. Thanks to a lovely giftset from Lush! this Christmas (Why does Derry not have a Lush!? We need Lush! - perhaps I’ll start a campaign) I spent several evenings in the bath, candles lit, glass of wine at my side, good book to read and pampered myself. It felt deliciously indulgent and was the highlight of my festive season. I’m determined to keep that tradition up and put myself first for a little bit in the new year.
I will also, I sincerely promise, try to not to spend my days moaning and groaning about every little detail of my life. I have definitely found that a negative frame of mind is contagious and the more I grumble and complain, the more I find to grumble and complain about.
I won’t go as far as becoming one of those relentlessly cheerful people who says “Smile, it might never happen” to the point where people will want to beat me around the head with my own shoes, but I’ll try and not let the little things in life get on top of me so much.
If I manage that, I’ll be happy (or at least happier) and perhaps that the best we should all aim for in the New Year?

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