The crazy thing about taking time off from the day job during the holidays is that you lose all track of time. I do anyway. Take this morning for instance – I slept in until 7:20. 7:20! That right there is crazy. I normally roll out of bed at 5:20 to get ready for work before my boys start demanding things like food and clean clothes to wear to school.
And if it weren’t for the distant rumble of the recycling truck making its way down my block, I would’ve remained blissfully unaware of which day of the week it was. Instead, I roused the rest of my sleepy brood so we could quickly gather all of the stray wads of crumpled up wrapping paper from last week’s Christmas present carnage and rush the bundled mass out to the curb before said recycling truck arrived at our house.
“But wrapping paper isn’t recyclable,” my youngest announced as we rushed back inside in search of hot coffee and cocoa.
Craving caffeine, I let his concern float in the air behind us and asked, “Whipped cream or marshmallows?”
That’s my boy.
We stood together at the living room window and watched as the highly mechanized vehicle devoured our discarded paper and plastics, oblivious to my son’s concern.
As the truck continued down our street, my middle child joined us and announced with no small amount of delight that “Jonah can come.”
Recognizing the name of one of his buddies, I replied, “Oh good. To what?”
My boy gave me a look – you know, the one that says without uttering a single word, “What do you mean what? I told you at least a million times. You never listen to me!”
The incessant complaint of the middle child.
“Remind me,” I instruct with my eyes narrowed so he thinks I’m really listening.
“New Year’s Eve?”
“When is that again?” I wonder out loud.
His face is twisted in disbelief. Still, I admire his restraint. If it were me, I’d be hauling my mom off to the hospital for a brain scan.
I laugh. “Oh, that party.”
In a huff, my middle boy leaves me alone to ponder the impending new year.
As always, the clean slate beckons. What brave new goals will I strive to exceed this time around?
I pause. After the crazy busy year I’ve had, am I even up for making more changes? And what needs changing anyway…?
Must. Make. List.
I grapple for a pen and a pad of paper. And freeze, remembering why I dislike making New Year’s resolutions – I have to reflect on what I’m doing wrong and who likes to think about that? On vacation?
I stare out the living room window, examining my conscience like I’m about to spill to a priest.
The first offense that springs to mind is that, all-in-all, I’ve been a crappy friend/daughter/sister/mother/wife. In the name of meeting deadlines, being oh-so-busy writing books and meeting the obligations of my day job, I’ve managed to create this narcissistic bubble behind which I hide when social and familial obligations call.
So I write “Be a better friend/daughter/sister/mother/wife.”
I add a sub-bullet. “Create calendar entries.” Sorry, but that’s how I roll.
I set my list aside. The exercise has exhausted me. Perhaps a nap is in order. Or maybe it’s time to go to bed. I can’t tell. I’ve lost track of the time.