Jettison. If I accomplish but one thing in the coming year, I pray to God that it involves discarding that which I no longer need, want or will ever use. Otherwise my humble abode will be featured on A&E’s Hoarders in the very near future. I’ll be the crazy lady in the corner, babbling incoherently while clutching a dilapidated pot holder or some such foolishness. My husband will be the nut case hermetically sealed to a bucket full of antiquated tools—mumbling something about the very real possibility of fixing our antiquated schlock. And thanks to the wonder of DNA, our children will be the ones refusing to part with their dear playthings: good ol’ Headless Barbie and her charming beau, One-legged Ken. Furthermore, our closets, basement, refrigerator and beloved garage (i.e. the Home for Wayward Toys) could use major purging as well.
Attend. When it comes to parenthood, I would do well in 2011 to talk less and to listen more. What better way to acquire vitally important information from my increasingly private-ish progenies? For instance: Evidently fourth-graders “…don’t need help with their tangles anymore, Mom,” and apparently the aforementioned smallish beings are also perfectly capable of choosing their own library books, lunch menu items, friends and (gasp!) love interests. However, it’s rumored they still benefit from occasional (read: very nearly constant) reminders to flush toilets and whatnot.
Nurture. In my mind, success as a parent is defined in a great multitude of ways, but among those I value most are these: to cultivate within my children an enduring love of books, a willingness to stretch not only their muscles but their minds, a desire to explore the unfamiliar, to embrace change and to reach out to those who are less fortunate in this world. If 2011 includes steps that take me the least bit closer to achieving those goals, I will consider the year a glowing success. Moreover, if, during that same time frame, I happen to stir within my heathens a compelling sense of duty as it relates to the aforementioned flushing-of-the-loo, all the better.
Unearth. It’s a brand new year and an ideal time to rummage around this chaotic place in the name of recovering that which was tragically lost in the field—like my sanity, fortitude and inspiring tolerance of kid-related tomfoolery. With any luck, I could also awaken from the depths of dormancy my ability to bring order to my world (i.e. just once I’d like to find my stupid cell phone without having to wander aimlessly or—Heaven forbid—dial my stupid self).
Actually finish something. Here’s hoping 2011 will inspire me to “…open up a can of getting-it-done,” like that do-it-yourself ad so cleverly suggests to people like me who probably rifle through their pantries in search of said can. I’d also like to finish a stinking movie, a book, a household project that may or may not claim my sanity, a slew of yet-to-be-signed-and-mailed holiday cards—before the actual holiday, an email with a string of coherent sentences and/or a slightly brilliant 140-character tweet.
Read. That’s right. I’d like to think that the coming year will hold for me more time to read…between the lines, people’s minds, my dog’s pitifully vague I-have-to-pee signals and books, of course. Justin Halpern, David Sedaris and Sloane Crosley mostly—because I simply can’t get enough of their irreverent brand of humor. In fact, if I happen to meet an untimely demise in the next 365 days, for the love of God, please see to it that SOMEONE tosses the collective works of the abovementioned in with me before anyone lights any damned oven.
Yearn. As is the case with embarking upon any new year, I yearn to be healthier and happier in 2011, more spontaneous and unfettered. To get more sleep and to eat more vegetables. To spend less time with my gadgets and more time with my family. To be a better cook and citizen. A better friend and confidant. A better soul mate and lover. A better daughter and eradicator-of-dust-and-disorder in this circus called home. A better scheduler-of-events, listener-of-troubles and giver-of-love-and-guidance. A better mom in so many ways.
Planet Mom: It’s where I live (resolving to make January the start of something good).
Copyright 2011 Melinda L. Wentzel