Happy New Year.
As I have mentioned before, I love the start of things. With my leanings towards the over sentimental, I'm not much good with ends. They make me wistful and weepy. But beginnings? That's a horse of a different colour, as they say. I love the freshness, the tantalizing opportunities, the just not knowing how it will turn out that comes at the start.
The new year is no exception. I am eager to get the clutter and tat of Christmas behind me and to sweep through my house restoring clean lines and clear surfaces. And of course my mind is drawn to resolutions. I like thinking about them, I like asking others what they are hoping for. But I rarely actually make any these days.
I used to. In my youth I regularly resolved to be thinner, fitter, more interesting. Then in my thirties the theme was all about rescuing myself from the melee of nappies and broken nights. Me time, books and personal grooming all featured regularly. I'm not sure how far into the new year any of these worthy ambitions continued but I did at least consider what I wanted to change about my life and try to address it.
When I thought about resolutions a couple of days ago I came to a startling conclusion. I couldn't think of anything that I wanted to change. That makes me sound smug and horribly self satisfied, as if I am a perfect being living a perfect life. Of course that's not the case. But, I have a pretty strong grasp on what is realistic and what is not. I know that there is no point making certain resolutions because I don't want the outcome enough.
For example, I could resolve to compete in the Ilkley Triathlon. I know that with appropriate training I could get round the course in one piece. But I don't really want to. I'm not driven to achieve it and the training would take up precious time that I would prefer to spend on other things. I could resolve to take up something new. But my life is full and if I took on more I would have to sacrifice something else. The list goes on and on. For every potential resolution I have a perfectly reasonable answer for why it is unachievable.
I have come to the conclusion that rather than resolving to change things, I just have to keep on trying to do my best. Some days, my best is better than others. When I have let the children watch the telly for hours on end and have been grumpy, my best is pretty poor but it was the best I could do that day.
So I don't make resolutions any more, or at least not in January. If something takes my fancy, I'll have a go. If I'm shouting at the kids too regularly I'll try to mend my ways. If I've been on my own for too long, I arrange to meet someone. It's an ongoing process and not something that I decide on New Year's Eve and have abandoned by the beginning of February.
As I strip my house of twinkly trinkets, my mind will scamper through the possibilities that 2011 holds in store and I will get excited that somewhere, in the middle of all the dull day to day routine, I might find a diamond, nestling in the dark, just waiting to sparkle.