So it's time for New Year's Resolutions. I generally make a few. I don't usually keep them for more than a day or two, but as we all know, effort, not quality, counts, in 2011 as in any other year.
Now, I usually keep my private life intensely private, hidden from all but my closest confidantes, my blog followers, my Twitter followers, my hairdresser, my babysitter, the guy who delivers my shopping, and pretty much anyone who sits next to me in a cafe, stands behind me in a queue, or enters a lift with me on any given day.
However, today, I shall overcome my natural reticence to share, and will disclose to you my New Year's Resolutions for 2011.
Just please, keep them to yourself,
1. I resolve to keep my house clean from now on. This won't be easy, as my house is very white, and very beautiful, thanks to an architect husband who believes in form over function, and has a thing for very white, very beautiful sofas. But I'll do it, godamnit, even if it means banishing the children to my parents' house and eating on the lawn. Except that I won't, of course. I'm not very good at housework. But I promise to put a new bag in the rubbish bin when I take one out. Will that do?
2. I resolve to get the kids to school on time. I haven't quite worked out how I'll do this yet, as I already wake up 90 minutes before leaving time and I've never yet got us all ready by deadline. But I'll figure it out. Or move the kids to a school that starts at 10am. That would definitely work.
3. I resolve to get fit. Somehow, over the past couple of years, my exercise regime has degenerated from 'regular' to 'sporadic' to 'I'll do it tomorrow'. And it's not like I don't enjoy exercise. I do. I just enjoy other things more. Like sleeping. And eating. And reading the paper. And ironing. And stabbing myself in the eyes repeatedly with a blunt object. You get the idea.
4. I resolve to be an ideal parent and wife. Which is completely ridiculous, of course. I will never come close to being an ideal parent or wife. No-one can. So let's just say I resolve to be the best parent and wife I can possibly be. That's all anyone can aim for.
5. I resolve to write my second book. My son tells me this is premature, as "Your first book might be an epic failure, Mum, so what's the point?" But I shall forge ahead nonetheless. One has to take risks, and one needs a bit of faith. And if my first book is an epic failure, then at least it will set the bar low, so I can achieve a personal best on the second. Right?
6. I resolve to laugh as much as possible in 2011. Life is hard, and full of pain. Life is unpredictable, and full of unexpected dips and turns. Life is short, sometimes unbearably so. But life is also full of joy and wonder. I think of my sister and I ache. I think of the terrible suffering experienced by so many people I know, and even more people I don't know, and I want to scream at the injustice of it all. But I look at my children - my heart-wrenchingly beautiful children - and I cannot believe how blessed I have been. I think of my husband, and my parents, and my wonderful friends, and I feel intensely grateful for all the love I have in my life. I don't know the meaning of life. I do believe, however, that we need to laugh and love and celebrate the good stuff as much as possible. Otherwise, what on earth is the point?
So to all of you, my friends and readers and commenters: THANK YOU. You will never know how much it means to me, to log onto my computer and see how many of you have read this blog; to read your comments - sometimes touching, often hilarious; and to feel your ongoing support and your caring. THANK YOU. I am grateful for each and every one of you, and I look forward to seeing you all around here next year.
I wish you all a 2011 filled with joy, good health, and happiness and I am sending big virtual hugs and kisses to you all.