Happy new year (and long post alert)!
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and are ready for the fresh start. I know I am. I’ve loved our Christmas so much, but now I’m ready for a reboot.
What New Year’s resolutions do you have in store for 2015? Mine are quite simple and I’m keeping them to three, because I tend to go overboard on these things and then feel like a big fat failure when they don’t play out. I also don’t call them resolutions – ‘thoughts’ works better for me.
1) My first is to be a more conscious, connected parent. I always strive to be a better mother, so that’s why I don’t call it a ‘resolution’, because it’s a running theme for always… I’m going to write about this in an upcoming Let’s All Look At Some Blogs post that’s sitting in my drafts, so I’ll explain what I mean then.
2) My second is also for my children: to feed them with more variety, freshness and thought. I used to be a good cook, but now I’m in the humdrum of the weekly food plan and shopping delivered to the door. I’m bored and so, probably, are they. Sometimes they eat supermarket pizza a lot. That’s totally fine and I in no way beat myself (or anyone else!) up about it, but I’m out of the baby years now and have more energy, so I’m going to try and set us all on a slightly healthier path. I bought myself these two books to help, because I love clean eating and its resultant lightness – there’s lots in both I can try on my kids, too. FYI, I’m going to ask for some help from you with this – a post is coming up about a new series.
3) My final ‘thought’ as I come closer to turning 40 is for me. As I wrote in my post at the end of last year about the beautiful radio interview between Terry Gross and Maurice Sendak, I don’t want to wait until I’m old to notice the little things and the people around me.
Towards this, I’m aiming to ‘do’ an idea I read about on A Cup of Jo, which is the blog I’ve read longer than any other. It’s written by New Yorker Joanna Goddard, a woman who should actually be my best friend because she’s a former magazine journalist like me, half English like me, and also has two boys like me.
Almost two years ago, Joanna the post ‘What are three things you’re grateful for?’, citing ‘The Happy Movie‘, which seeks to ‘search the world for the secrets to life’s greatest emotion’. Jo’s post explains how the simple act of keeping a ‘gratitude journal’ (highly American but let’s grit our teeth!) can significantly boost happiness. This is writing down three things you’re grateful for each day (which I’m grateful for because it gives me the excuse to invest in a nice notebook). I’m a pretty happy person, but I’d like to do this just as a way of appreciating how lucky I am. It’s also another way to remember my special time with my kids and to adopt a glass-half-full approach (within reason of course!).
Already I know I won’t do it every day – and I need no more deadlines hanging over me, so I’ll just do it when I can. But I experimented with this two days ago on a trip to Bexhill (post coming, it was so amazing!) and came up with:
I should add that Jo followed up that post with another, about rejecting the idea of always seeking happiness, and instead going for ‘wholeness’ (again, so American, try not to puke). The passage she cites in this follow-up post says that writing down of things that make you feel HAPPY, because sadness, disappointment and frustration are all part of who we are.
I totes agree – which is why I amended my three things each day more to being about pausing to notice and appreciate the small things as I have done above (and which chimes in with how I felt when I wrote the Sendak post), and less about giving a shitty day a Pollyanna sheen.
Meantime, I wish this blog was my job, because I have lots of energy for it right now (probably from having a week off from it!). I’m excited to start some new series, and publish a brilliant list of guest posts to introduce us to the best that towns like Rye, Hastings, Tunbridge Wells and even Brighton – all from people who live there.
P.S. Something else I found on A Cup of Jo that already helps me with my first ‘thought’, is nice way to try and rid myself of guilt over working and my kids being in childcare: making our home a ‘haven’ when they’re here. This already in fact happens, but it’s nice to read about it as a ‘thing’.
P.P.S. One of the things I’m grateful for today is the Christmas tree and its real candles. My husband is intent on removing this fragrant friend from our lives tomorrow (“Christmas is OVER!”). It always leaves a gaping hole.
Disclosure: This post is largely a big-up to my blog crush Joanna Goddard, but otherwise just random musings. There are two or three affiliate links in it, whose placement has not affected the content of the post, which was written first.
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