I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. I haven’t always felt this way, but anything that involves me “resolving” to do something that I have been unable to discipline myself to do the many years I have been alive, seems to be a set-up for failure. There have been some years that I have purchased the obligatory gym membership in January, and other years I have bought a new journal vowing to write everyday of the year. We all know how this goes… By May the gym barely knows I exist, and the journal is buried under a stack of books and magazines with the last entry dated March 3rd and the entry before that is probably February 13th with the first line being, “sorry I haven’t written in a while.” (Who am I apologizing to anyway?)
The nature of my job and the fact that I have four children means our year revolves around the school calendar. Our “new year” really starts in September. I like to picture our year as a mountain with a lush valley and lake on the other side (not that different from our natural habitat). We start up the mountain in September and it is a grueling climb fraught with promise. School and sports schedules control us with the trifecta of holidays looming ever closer. The powers that be might want to revisit the idea of having Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas all within two months of each other.
In the course of our climb we lose sleep, get cranky, and want to give up, but we keep going because with each week and holiday we pass, we are that much closer to the top of the mountain. November and December pass quickly filled with food and fun times with family. By the end of December we feel almost comatose. Then we reach January. January is the top of our mountain. The routine is set, the rest of the year is downhill, and sometimes we can even see the plush valley below that I like to call summer – ah, summer!! The most refreshing word in a teacher or child’s vocabulary.
With the fall behind us and the holidays over we can take a deep breath and prepare for the downhill climb – which in the nature of the school calendar includes several relaxing breaks.
The downhill climb is much more conducive to breathing and thinking. Having time to breath and think enables me to put my priorities in order and make positive changes in my life. I usually have time once again to exercise, get my house in order, and even read for pleasure. But, don’t get me wrong. These positive changes are in no way “resolutions.” I make no resolutions except to arrive at that lush green meadow in one piece and bask in the sunshine while trying not to think about the next mountain that looms on the other side of the valley.