Paved with good intentions: pretty much sums up my life.
It is over a week into January and the post I was going to put up as dawn broke on the new year is yet to written. Or is being written, perhaps.
I am fully aware that the New Year often brings resolutions. I am also fully aware that I have rarely kept any of them, which must be part of why I refrain from doing them nowadays. I double-checked what I’d written last January. I wrote about Charlie Hebdo, my husband’s broken ankle and the overburdened NHS. No resolutions.
So I can safely say that I kept all of last year’s resolutions.
[In fact, I can record that I managed to fulfil a resolution that always permeates (lose weight) as I lost 10kg and have kept it off, though the Christmas/New Year celebrations have challenged that!]
This year? Well, I’ve a few incomplete and non-specific ideas…
- Publish Beware the Falling Avocados. (Perhaps a launch date in April. Can you hold me to that over the next few months?)
- Read more.
- Updating and redesigning the blog (might need my teenager’s help with that one!)
- Write the novel that is floating round my head.
- A renewed dedication to the education of my children and – probably more importantly – to helping them become fantastic adults.
- Lose weight (I told you: it always permeates…)
- Visit friends. Play games. Have fun. (Always good to resolve to do a few things that you know you will do: can’t fail!)
Life’s too short. I don’t want to be controlled by rules and targets that I won’t achieve, and then will feel miserable about failing. But it is good to have a review and reanalysis of priorities. I think there may be big changes ahead this year, but only time will tell. Come back next January and see.
“Christmas comes but once a year!” my grandfather would declare, stretching and sitting back in his chair.
Thank goodness for that, I hear people up and down the country chorusing. Once is quite enough!
A quick search shows me that there was a short film of that name released in December 1936 – about the right era for my grandfather to be paying attention (he’d have been 26!), but I also see there is a poem from the Victorian era which repeats that mantra in the last line of each verse. Knowing Grandpa, that was where he took the line from. (My family have all been interested in books and words!) You can read it in full here.
Christmas comes but once a year. Turkey and sprouts. I don’t think my family eat these at any time other than Christmas Day. Similarly with Christmas pudding, which my husband adores and the rest of us tolerate. He has decided that this year he’ll buy up all the 1-person puds in the supermarket on Boxing Day and eat them throughout the year.
Christmas comes but once a year. The Queen’s Speech: her address to the Commonwealth, broadcast at 3pm on Christmas Day. Her 10 minutes of talking to the nation and world. Growing up, our day stopped so that the entire family could crowd around the television to watch it. Marriage changed all this, as it wasn’t part of their tradition, and for many years I never watched it… but it is creeping back in to my routine. Perhaps it is personal sentimentality, as I long for my children to have fantastic memories of childhood Christmas, just as I do.
Christmas comes but once a year. A midnight service, quietly welcoming in the Christ-child. I love this time – time to reflect and be peaceful, when the rest of Christmas (wrapping presents, food preparation, family to organise) is running riot all around me. Here is half an hour when the real reason for Christmas is allowed, not with pomp and ceremony but that incredible joy that comes with a new birth.
Christmas comes but once a year. And I can’t wait!