Ah, that’s better. The tree is down, the cards sorted for recycling, the last mince pie has been eaten and the sherry banished to the back of the cupboard until next year. Much fun has been had, presents lovingly given and received. But now, in keeping with tradition, the house has been tidied and the calendar is about to have all the important dates written on in pretty silver pen.
And also following tradition, the mind also turns inexplicably to new starts, challenges, hopes and plans for the coming new year. Three hundred and sixty five days; fifty two weeks; twelve long and empty months stretch ahead, lying like a blank canvas waiting for us to paint whatever picture we choose. We can doodle absent-mindedly in the corner of the page, make enormous fun potato prints, or create a masterpiece – or an eclectic combination of whatever our heart and mind desires.
Last year wasn’t the best year I have ever had. For no great reason, it just didn’t flow as smoothly as I would have liked, and turned into a bit of a choppy ride. I have made a decision that 2014 will be better. I have lots of changes to make in my own mind, which I hope will make me a better mother, wife, daughter, friend, person. A great many people (some very good friends included) go through far worse times than I have, through no fault of their own and cope marvellously. I am incredibly lucky to have a fabulous (and rather gorgeous) husband, two wonderful (and naturally exceptionally handsome) children, and a fantastic family, not to mention some amazing friends, and I am grateful for each and every one of them. (Thanks, you lot).
So, on to my plans for 2014… I like to have a project. I love cooking, taking photographs (I hestitate to call what I do with a camera “photography”), learning new things, walking, family and my dog. I will continue to do and enjoy all these things, of course, but I also enjoy a challenge, so this year my main project shall be attempting to teach Bonnie (my doting mini poodle) a new trick or command each month. This might not sound too difficult and I am sure I can do more, but I’d rather do fewer and do them well – if a job’s worth doing, and all that. They shall vary from useful general obedience (I will be working on improving her overall obedience so that her responses are razor sharp) such as a perfect “fetch” to more entertaining things like closing the door behind herself after she enters a room and ringing a bell to ask to go out. I’ll be logging my progress here to keep me spurred on and on track.
I’m actually looking forward to this year. It’s going to be a good one. I can feel it.
(Other things I am going to do are become Ruler Of The Universe, by cunning use of my rather spectacular new diary, learn to cook perfect poached eggs, and make sushi for the first time).