I have taken a while to come up with my new year’s resolutions this year, mostly because I DON’T WANT TO DO OR CHANGE ANYTHING. Having said ‘good riddance to 2015’ I am welcoming 2016 with enthusiasm, open arms and gusto, but my word for 2016 is consolidation.
I must be the only person ever to say this. If asked to sum up their ambitions for 2016 I suspect most people would chose the word ‘change’. For me, 2016 has got to be a year of minimal change and calm.
In the last two years, in no particular order, I have:
- Moved house five times (six if you count the fortnight when I was between homes and living with my parents).
- Moved country once
- Renovated a house (major building works)
- Renovated a flat (no major building works just copious amounts of waterproof wallpaper stripped).
- Got engaged to be married
- Arranged a wedding
- Separated from my fiancé and therefore cancelled a wedding, but celebrated my (un-)wedding weekend nonetheless.
- Had a baby
- Become a single mother
- Returned to work and to a new job after a 6 month period of maternity leave
- Got a promotion at work
- Dipped my toe into some very unsuccessful single mum dating (which provided blog post material but not much else)
- Started a blog.
In 2016, I especially want to DO NONE OF THE ABOVE!
I do have some goals for 2016. In 2016 I want to;
1. Feel less guilty.
I have got over the guilt of separation. I am fully content that separating from my ex was 100% the right decision for both me and Cygnet. Cygnet now has a chance to have two parents who are happy and that is a great gift.
To me, feeling less guilty is about making conscious decisions. I often feel guilty that I don’t spend enough time with my son, but I recently made the decision to cut down my hours at work so that I spend two full days with him a week. This is really important for me and for Cygnet. I have taken action. I have made the positive change. I can’t afford to cut down my hours any more, so there is no need to feel guilty.
I also feel guilty that I am not spending enough time at work. If I worked 80 hours a week there would always be more work to do in my office, I have made a conscious decision and have a 36 hour a week contract. This is what I will do.
2. Make the most of our days
Cygnet and I now have two days a week together. For most people this is the same as having a weekend with their children, but for many weeks in 2015 I only spent one day a week of quality time with Cygnet and this was nowhere near enough.
I am very conscious that I need to make the most of my two days a week with Cygnet. This means leaving the washing until he has gone to bed. This means not checking emails or reading blogs or just generally spending time on social media when I could and should be spending time with him. This means going to rhyme time and singing and reading and playing with him.
3. Make the most of my day
My ex and I split weekends with Cygnet. This means that I have Cynget one day and he has Cygnet the other and I get one day a week when I am neither with Cygnet nor at work.
A few times recently I have been out with friends, drunk too much and then spent my day without Cygnet nursing a hangover. I then feel guilty at the end of day. Not many mothers get a day to themselves each week. I am privileged, I need to make that privilege count.
4. Not let my ex get to me
My ex gets to me.
He is demanding, domineering, unbending and unpredictable. I need to find a way not to let my ex get to me. I left him so that so that I could live my own life and not his. I need to make sure that he doesn’t get his own way by default just because I don’t have the courage to stand up to him.
At times in 2015 I have had a wish bone where my backbone should have been. 2016 is about having a back bone.
5. Make co-parenting work
There will be obstacles and challenges, but I am going to try to make co-parenting work. I owe it to Cygnet.
6. Read more and go to the theatre once a month
I read a lot of blogs and tweets and Facebook updates. I don’t read many books anymore. There are endless opportunities for adventure and escapism in books and I am going to make better use of them in 2016.
I am also going to make a pact with myself to go to the theatre or the cinema once a month. Cygnet stays with his dad two nights a week. This is ample opportunity to go to the theatre or to the cinema.
7. Take a vitamin tablet everyday
Easy peasy! They are now by the kettle.
Let’s be realistic, in 2016 I will probably:
1. Have a few too many hangovers.
Despite my resolution to make the most of my day, I am probably still going to drink more than the recently revised alcohol guidelines recommend.
2. Rely too heavily on coffee
Cygnet often wakes in the night, whether it be teething or just the fact that he seems to be quite a light sleeper, it means that my ‘beauty sleep’ (if only!) is often disturbed. Coffee gets me through the work day.
3. Dabble in some online dating
Although I have decided that I don’t want to meet anyone until 2017; 2016 is about me and Cygnet and us alone, I will probably dabble in some online dating. Why not? Some dates might be fun.
I’ll let you know how it all goes.