We rang in the new year last night. It's 2012, a brand new year with a fresh start for everyone. (Also a gory end sometime in December, if Hollywood and that ancient Mayan calendar deal are to be believed, but ya know, whatever. Let's focus on the positive, here.) Anyway, I never do anything for New Year's Eve. Last night was no exception. We watched a movie with the kids and then, once they were in bed, watched a grown up movie all by ourselves. (I know, party animals, right?) Once the movie was over, we went to bed. It was roughly 11:45pm. We didn't even acknowledge the impending shift in dates on the calendar. In fact, at the exact moment that the calendar flipped, I'm pretty sure I was in the middle of a rant about the obnoxious odors one might experience as a result of one's spouse having consumed Chipotle shrimp tacos at some previous point and gagging and fanning my face theatrically. (You weren't there. Trust me. The face fanning, no matter what Hunny says was not theatrical.) Some moments later, we heard our neighbors setting off fireworks and realized that it was, by all appearances, 2012. At approximately 12:04am, I held my breath, leaned into the noxious cloud of shrimp taco fumes, and risked a belated quick smooch with my husband. I can only pray that my activities at midnight will not actually have any bearing on what the rest of the year will hold.
Anyway, sometime in the wee hours, I woke up and started to contemplate the new year. Certainly 2011 was kind of a stinker. I mean, we had dead relatives, sick relatives, Hunny almost died and we've spent the last 5 months learning to manage his dead pancreas, I lost my freelance writing job... I don't think I'm going to miss 2011 much at all. Frankly, 2011 can be filed away as a rather unpleasant memory, and the sooner the better. Good riddance. But, 2012 is upon us. It's all new and shiny. I never make New Year's resolutions. Mostly because I get all pissy with myself for trying to be all controlling, and like 2 weeks in I’m all “Who does she think she is? She can't tell me what to do!” Which makes no sense, and frankly, confuses even me, but it's the truth. So, generally, I'm anti resolution. But, as I looked around in the wee hours, and took stock at all of the huge changes we've been through this past year, I thought about where I am and where I'd like to be. I thought about how things don't happen unless you make them happen, except life, which continues to happen all around you, whether you want it to or not. So, it seems that the only sensible solution is to make a plan. It's perhaps a bit cliched that all of these decisions occurred on the dawn of the new year, but there it is. One good thing that did happen in 2011 is that I started to get my weight and fitness under control. I ended the year 41 lbs lighter than I started it. I'd like to continue to see those numbers go down and my fitness levels go up, but since Hunny's diagnosis I've only been maintaining because I've very much felt that I couldn't handle one more point of focus without needing the nice doctors in white coats bring me the comfy jacket that lets me hug myself. Sometimes it's necessary to take a break. I'm happy report that I didn't gain during my break, but I haven't really lost any more either. I've been thinking for awhile that I need to get back to the gym, get my butt back in gear, but I haven't done it. Why not start that over with the new year? It's not like a better time is going to present itself. Then there's school. We're a homeschooling family. For the most part, I feel like I do a good job with my children. They are ahead of grade level in pretty much every subject, and I'm very happy with the choices I've made for their curricula. The problem is, for the last few months, I've been so caught up in crisis mode, learning about and coping with Hunny's diagnosis with type 1 diabetes, that while we've done school, and the kids are still okay, I haven't been nearly as organized or as hands on as I'd prefer to be. Back in the first year that I was homeschooling, I listened to a woman talk about her experiences homeschooling. She'd been homeschooling for many years, and had taught all 7 of her children. They had all gone on to successful careers in their chosen professions, and were doing quite well. But, what stuck with me most was when she talked about her husband being disabled, and that she had had to just basically abandon schoolwork with them for a year or more, in favor of caring for him. But, she said, they did just fine. Her point was not to get caught up in worrying over the day to day, it's the big picture that matters, and they will do okay as long as you give them the tools to succeed. I try to hang onto that, because especially over the past couple of months, I haven't always had the energy to be the best teacher every single day. There have been days when I've let them do the bulk of their learning online, and days when we've just read a book here and there. But, even though I know they will be okay, I would like to be the teacher that they deserve. So, why not make a new plan for a new year and commit to doing better in that area, too? Then there's the dreaded housework. Look. I'm not a housekeeper. I don't mind doing housework, but in general, I have better things to do. As a result, things around here are either immaculate, or a pigsty. True story. If I'm on my game, I keep things pretty well cycled through, and I keep things checked off my list. (Of course, those are my things. At any given time the hubs and the kids may or may not be included under the umbrella of order. Turds.) But, especially when I am feeling emotionally drained, housework is either all I focus on, or it gets shoved to the back burner. I used to have a schedule of things. Every day I did a different room and at the end of the week everything was still pretty clean. There were no giant messes in general, because I kept things done up from day to day. Somewhere between one emergency with my mom or another, I let that go, and it has not worked out well for me. I need to bring that back so I'm not killing myself to do everything all at once. I also need to get my kids back on their discipline charts. Those were fantastic tools for eliciting the type of behavior that I wanted to see in my children, and in maintaining order, but again, I let it slide in all the chaos. Then there's this blog. When I was getting paid to write? I wrote all of the time. Now that it's just because? Well, who has the time for that? And yet people keep telling me that they love reading my blog or that they think I should write more because they love to read what I have to say on facebook. It's a bit of guilt since I haven't posted a blog in well over a month. I need to update my blog more frequently. I also need to do a little more writing in general. The thing required of me to get this done, is simply to commit the time and energy. So, essentially, all of this boils down to getting a handle on all of my emotional ups and downs and forcing myself to take a more organized approach to life. I have the tools to do this. Why not do it now? A better time is not going to present itself, and besides, if those Mayans are correct, I only have the next 11 months to do it in anyway. Might as well give it a shot, right? So here's to 2012. May I get a handle on my crazy and succeed in getting some organization back into my life. Bad things happen. I can't let them keep me from functioning. I still have 3 kids to take care of and a life to lead. The world does not stop turning just because I'm too emotionally drained to deal with it. Happy freaking new year, people. Things are about to change around here. Let's get over it and move forward.