Resolutions? A New Plan

New Years resolutions are not my cup of tea.

Come to think of it, they aren’t even my glass of champagne.

Sure, I make some in my head each year that manage to be broken by the time the kids head back to school from Winter Break.

But I have a new approach to resolutions this year that I wish I’d thought of sooner. You may like to steal a few of my ideas yourself, come to think of it. Since it’s Wednesday I am hanging out at Moonfrye today, talking about my hot new inspiration for New Years Resolutions.

I would love for you to visit me there. I may even offer you a glass of champagne if you stick around long enough.

Calendars for Organizational Freaks

I start thinking about it sometime around Halloween, maybe sooner.

It takes a special trip to the Office Max store to pick it up. You can’t just buy one anywhere, you know. It has to be that specific brand that is made of regular paper, with none of that glossy coating that causes ink to smear and mechanical pencil leads to snap.

I look forward to this all year long.

It’s the Purchasing of the New Family Calendar. Which is closely followed by the Filling out of the Family Calendar.

In my house I am the official Keeper of the Calendar. Hubby knows he is not allowed to write on the calendar, and all plans need to go through me.

I think he likes it that way, actually. It keeps that part of his brain free to worry about whether the car needs to pass smog inspection this year, if the thickness of his socks matches, or if it’s time to aerate the grass.

And like most people who admit to a mild case of OCD-ness, I have a system for filling it out.

Birthdays are written at the bottom of that day’s square in red ballpoint pen, then (when the pen dries) are highlighted in yellow. So I can’t miss them.

Which I think has happened in the past, hence the addition of the highlighter.

Daily events are written in mechanical pencil in chronological order. Which means that if there is a dentist appointment written down for 4pm and a scout meeting at 7pm and then another meeting creeps up at 6pm it must be written between the two existing entries.

If there’s not room, there will be erasing and re-writing, which must be neat enough to not be noticed.

For Events covering several days (like Spring Break or summer camp) a straight line must be drawn to show the entire time span. If the line drawn doesn’t look particularly straight, it must be carefully erased and re-done.

If an event is written on the calendar but does not actually happen, it is erased. This serves the purpose of helping my old brain remember what I really did on a specific day.

Which has come in handy once in a while when I need to prove a child wrong or give an alibi.

A few years ago, I started keeping my old calendars from year to year. It has proved quite helpful when I cannot remember for the life of me where we ate Thanksgiving dinner 2005.

Or what strange family that was on our camping trip when I’m organizing family picture albums.

If I actually did that.

Today as I sat and copied the birthdays (in red pen) from last year’s calendar, it occurred to me that these calendars, these precisely engineered timetables of life in our house, really mean nothing to anyone in the house except for me.

I could write totally random stuff on there and nobody would even care. Or notice.

So just to spice up my life a bit, maybe make myself feel a little less control-freak-ish, I may add a few things. Things that may or may not ever happen:

January 8th: hot wax the dog
February 13th: photo shoot for cover of Rolling Stone magazine
April 29th: Wedding: William and Catherine. Confirm Macy’s delivery of salt and pepper shakers.
July 8th: take whole family for pedicures and bikini waxes
October 5th: Guest hosting spot for Dave Letterman. Bring rainboots.

You know, spice up our regular lives a bit.

And someday? When my kids inherit 45 plus years of my exact-same blue and white calendars with red birthdays highlighted in yellow and everything else in pencil?

They may see a few entries that leave them scratching their heads.

New Year’s Resolutions for Moms

The end of the year always brings with it the baggage of the past year; painful remembrances of what really didn’t go well for us. These are usually resurrected in the form of resolutions of what not to do in the coming year.

Why do we do this to ourselves year after year?

There’s just something cathartic about starting anew, getting a 47th chance to succeed, and setting ourselves up for failure achieving our goals. A new diet, exercising every day, being more patient, or getting organized usually top the list. Great ideas, at least on paper.

But most of us aim too high with those resolutions, making them so far out of reach that we’ve failed by February January 2nd around noon.

Or sooner.

So this year I’ve created a list of totally attainable resolutions for the Modern-Day Mother. Feel free to print this out and stick in on your refrigerator next to the Pizza Town magnet and that picture of your nephew in his soccer uniform.

Top Ten Resolutions for Mom

  1. I resolve not to keep each and every painting/piece of artwork/book report/macaroni collage/ceramic ashtray created by my children. Contrary to popular mom folk lore, there isn’t a special place in heaven for me if I do.
  2. I resolve to banish the word thighs from my vocabulary unless it pertains to those from a chicken that have been marinated in some wonderful sauce.
  3. I resolve to smile at each of my children at least once a day. This serves the dual purpose of making them feel loved and making them wonder what I have up my sleeve. Or what they’ve been caught at. It’s a win-win.
  4. I resolve to stop wasting my time looking all over for the missing sock. A close-enough mate is good enough.
  5. I resolve to buy myself one candy treat each time I go to the grocery store, and hide it from the kids.
  6. I resolve to stop asking silly questions like, “Why are these socks still on the floor?” or “When were you planning on telling me about the science fair?” since I don’t really care about the answer.
  7. I resolve to start being more spontaneous. I plan to start this soon after the new year begins, or whenever I can schedule it in.
  8. I resolve to bite my lip when my kids aren’t asking for advice. I may have to bite quite hard.
  9. I resolve to start referring to myself by my name, and not as “Junior’s Mom”.
  10. I resolve to delegate more chores to the kids, who are more than capable of doing them and quite possibly might do a better job than I do.

What resolutions do you have this New Year?