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New Year’s Resolutions

I’m not making any.

Last year’s were depressing or not worth it or completely derailed by life sucking massively.

There’s an article by Peter Gorski in The Sydney Morning Herald about trying to be a better parent which is definitely a good thing to try, whether it be the start of a new year or the middle of the year or any time at all.

So what do I take from his 10 tips? Firstly, there’s a lot packed in those 10 tips. While he has briefly covered them, I think that musing over the points and then working out how to apply them would easily take a full year – and what a year it would be! Challenging ideas, some are not new, some I’m already doing and want to continue.

I was reminded about number 4, Set consistent, secure boundaries, or rather, the fact that DD has variable boundaries depending upon who is looking after her. DD knows what my boundaries are. She knows the boundaries for behaviour and care at childcare and preschool last year. This school year she’ll learn what it’s like in kindergarten (how did my little darling suddenly become so big and ready for primary school so quickly?). But like every other 4, nearly 5 year-old, she pushes boundaries and some people cave in faster than others. So, yeah, it’s easy for some other parents to have a go at me because I’m a single mother and I share my child’s care with her teacher and others. I should add, I look after other children who come over to play with DD and I’m happy to do that. (Should add, my friends do not comment like that, for which I am enormously grateful.) DD would have probably loved to have a brother or sister, but having time to play with other kids and learn how to get along with people is very important.

What about number 5, Know and respect your own emotional thresholds and physical limits? I found my physical and emotional limits were variable last year. I was far sicker than I thought I would be, never anticipating how badly I would be shaken with asthma and viruses. It felt like my body was a battleground for emotional battles fought out in my immune system. How can I make things better this year? I have to be strong and well to provide the best care for DD and me.

First up, I’m fixing my messed-up ankle so that I can continue my regular walking for pleasure and health at lunchtime and on the weekends with DD, as well as using the exercise bike in the evening after DD has gone to bed. I want to increase my aerobic capacity bit by bit. Secondly, I also saw an immunologist last year about my allergies and asthma and I am getting better at managing the allergies, with asthma problems decreasing a bit. Thirdly, I’m seeing a GP regularly if I am ill and that is helping me to keep on top of the illnesses rather than suffering in silence and becoming worse. Yes, it costs more but it’s better than ending up feeling revolting and not being able to be there for DD.

I don’t see these as resolutions. I’m currently doing these things so it doesn’t come under the heading of “New things for torturing myself”. By the way I’m still doing a resolution that I made for New Year in 2009. I’m not watching repeats of television episodes. I still have to work harder on reading more and more books but I’m getting to the point where I’m having difficulty finding more hours in the day.

 

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How many shopping days until Christmas?

I would faint at the closeness of Christmas and how it seems to have come at an alarming speed this year, except, well, something seems to have happened.

I simply don’t give a stuff.

I have bought presents for my immediate family and my in-laws. One gift certificate to buy (either today or tomorrow). I have some presents for my darling daughter. I’m not sure how I’ll get round to buying anything else. Chronic conditions have returned thanks to stress and I am honestly not up to fighting crowds in the mall, and it’s a bit late for internet ordering. I figure, as long as I’ve covered the important bases, that’s it.

I’ve given up on Christmas cards. I’ve sent out the most important ones. I feel too exhausted to sit down and write more.

I realise that the reason why I feel that way is because I’ve had weeks of writing thank you notes after DH’s funeral. I lost count of the number of notes I wrote after I had written 50. I now see why people put an ad in the paper under the heading of “Return Thanks”. Not my sort of thing and I honestly can’t put my finger on it. Maybe it’s logic – not all those who assisted at that difficult time are all from this same city. Maybe it’s the manners that were drummed into me – always send a handwritten note, even if it is only a few words to express your appreciation for kindness.

Today DD gave her Christmas card and a box of chocolates to the staff at her childcare centre. She had great pleasure in signing the card with her name and adding a couple of kisses to it. (My mum taught her that – fantastic, Mum!) I am very proud of her desire to write to people, even if it means I have to write down what she dictates.

I have cut down on the amount of television DD is allowed to watch. None at all on some evenings, maybe half an hour (Dora the Explorer or Sid the Science Kid are great favourites). It depends upon DD’s mood, how much I need to do without her under my feet, and what things we two are doing together. I can tell when I am having a ratty day: those are the days when DD gets over an hour of television and is a total pill to get to bed. She reacts like it’s a drug, honestly. So hard to get her tushy out of the chair and get her to clean her teeth, etc. It’s easier to avoid the television in the first place if at all possible. I’m not saying it’s always possible. I’m only human, I have limited time to get dinner made and I would rather we sit down to eat dinner together. No television at meal times. Think of it as an end of year resolution. Much easier than those made on New Year’s Eve.

Speaking of resolutions, you’ll be pleased to hear that I have managed to keep one of them. I am not watching repeats of TV programs that I had previously seen. I suspect I still watch too much TV (and exactly what is too much for adults?), and I have deliberately tried to read more books, though that’s easier said than done when there is a certain somebody who loves to interrupt her mum. 🙂

 

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Where did the week go?

I think that I should make a resolution – at least a resolution to write here more often!

I have been struggling through The Picture of Dorian Gray. I’m not in the mood for that style of prose and despite being a fast reader (tho not a speed reader per se), in one reading session I only got to page 50. If I don’t pick up my rate, that’s where it’ll stay! OTOH I hooned through a Get Fuzzy book of comic strips as relaxation before going to sleep.

That, I think, is the trouble with my reading patterns. I read before I go to sleep, and only occasionally during my lunchtime. At night, I really don’t want to read things that will agitate me and keep me awake after having to deal with insomnia and rotten sleeping patterns in 2007 and 2008.

I am intrigued by the reading order for Biggles books. There are some of my much-loved books on that list and I suspect that as an eight-year-old, I read many in the correct chronological order. It looks like the author, W.E. Johns, went through a compass stage in 1938 with Biggles flying East, West, North and South. Anyway, maybe Biggles would be suitable bedtime reading. You can stop laughing now.

One lazy summer day, I rediscovered my love of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five, and another week I found I liked Malory Towers a bit more than St Clare’s. I think the monkey put me off. I say that I’m buying these books off Ebay for DD, but really, I’m kidding myself.

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2009 in Books, Uncategorized

 

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Resolutions

Who needs to make resolutions only on 1 January? Why give in to the pressure?

I decided a few years ago that my January resolutions were going swiftly nowhere, and they were the same ones each year, to boot. Lose weight, exercise more, work harder. The latter only seemed to apply to the workplace rather than my studies or writing, which would lead to more frustration. A resolution without project infrastructure or cost benefit analysis is likely to end up merely a wish.

Last year I made a resolution in October which was to not watch repeated episodes of television shows, or even repeated movies. I found that a little hard this summer on days when I’d worked very hard and had little energy in the evening to even write. The good bit is that I’ve read more books though I am still not up to my novel-devouring level of several years ago.

A few years earlier I resolved to stop buying so many magazines. Two have remained, That’s Life! and Take Five, and I kid myself that this is so I can enter competitions and win a car. (Oh, that would explain the complete absence of a brand new Ford Focus in my carport!) OTOH, I now have fewer zines sitting in the recycling bin and I try, whenever possible, to donate zines to the local doctors’ surgery.

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2008 in Life Matters

 

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