Happy New Year! Usually, I try to not be specific about resolutions other than to try to be a good person, as invariably I’ve forgotten about them by March, but this year I intend to be different. My resolution for 2011 is to be on time. So far, we’ve been half an hour late for New Year’s Day lunch with my brother’s in-laws and small daughter has avoided a late mark in the school register by a whisker on the two days she’s been back. It’s not looking good. And you could be forgiven for thinking, reading my previous posts, that I have something of an obsession with time passing me by, but in this case, it’s all about good manners. It costs nothing to smile at someone and even the tiniest tot can learn to say please and thank you. Being on time is just an extension of that – not to mention a costly exercise in some cases if you miss appointments!
So my plan is to slow down and be on time. It sounds like a contradiction, but I think it’ll work. Usually, I’m ready to go before I need to be – so far, so good. I forget how long it takes my daughters to get ready, especially if we’re going on a journey that involves needing something to do in the car as they will invariably change their minds about three times, and then come back downstairs from their bedrooms wearing something completely different but without any books or toys. My biggest downfall, however, is suddenly remembering something that I need to do before I go and thinking ‘I’ve got ten minutes before we have to leave’. I do it every time and it’s fatal – at that moment I have doomed us to being late as whatever I think I can squeeze into ten minutes will always take longer.
2011 is going to be the year that it all changes. My cunning plan is to not do whatever I think I can do in ten minutes and leave it until I get home. Usually it’s not something vitally important and the world won’t stop if I spend that ten minutes calmly reminding my girls what they need to take instead of screeching like a banshee once we’re already late and they’re still ambling around as if we have all the time in the world.
I intend to actually use my diary to plan my time so that I give myself plenty of notice for all those little things that steal my time – like stamps on birthday cards, or finding overdue library books. I’m an on-and-off Flybaby – a follower of the Flylady cleaning routines (www.flylady.net) – and they really work for me, so I intend to be more on than off this year then I won’t need to be vacuuming instead of collecting my daughter from school. I hate having to apologise for being the last parent in the playground, and it deeply upsets my sense of good manners so, standing at the top of a whole new year - a clean sheet if you like – I intend to be different.
And perhaps the best thing for me about this resolution is the sense of relief from stating an intention that is actually achievable. There’s no reason why this should all fall down in March if I’m just organised today. You know, I’m feeling calmer already!