Mom, Mom, Mom #34: New Year, New Me

Happy 2009 to all. Here is my latest Mom column that ran in the New Year’s Day edition of the Alameda Sun (my favorite newspaper). Here’s the link to the Sun Web site.

New Year, New Me

There are three times a year when I think, okay, let’s just get on with it. It’s when I am in a hectic phase of life, feeling overwhelmed and in need of a change. Most of it revolves around my kids’ schedules, of course, and I am sure that will evolve as they get older. But, for now, it’s just the way my life is.

One of these times is at the end of the school year, in the May/June timeframe. It’s just plain crazy. The heightened sense of school ending, sports seasons ending, life-as-we-know-it ending for the summer break. Yeah, summer, let’s just get on with it! Things will be calmer and it’s vacation time! Longer days mean more time to enjoy life and to accomplish things that I don’t get done during the school year. I always think things will be different during the summer. Well, they are and they’re not, but it’s summer. All things for me are good in summer.

The next “let’s get on with it” time of year is August/September. Please let summer be over, right now, is what I am usually thinking after 10 weeks of quality time with the girls and no set schedule while I try to work. Let’s just get on with school, with homework, new activities, the next level of knowledge. The girls need structure, or maybe it’s me that does. It will be another exciting adventure for them and back to the grind (with a welcoming attitude) for me.

The third time is now, January and the New Year. Honestly, I’ve been finished with “The Holidays” since Halloween when the decorations hit the stores. I am through with all the chocolate (really, I’m serious) that we’ve been eating (since Halloween) and I’m ready to move forward. It’s a new year and another chance to create a new me, and, well, yes, things are going to be different this year. I mean it.

Many people spurn New Year’s resolutions, but I welcome them. I consider the New Year an opportunity to reinvent myself—even if it’s just a tiny bit. Each year, I resolve to get it, something, anything, right. Eat healthfully, sleep more, write every day, give up vices, encourage good behaviors—even if it’s only for a few weeks, I get a taste of the endless possibility of my life, if I choose to work for it a little harder than I did before.

I believe that New Year’s resolutions are an important part of life, especially for Americans. We are a people of second chances. Our country was founded by groups of people taking their chance on a new life. Even more so, California is a state of new beginnings. How many millions of people, including me, move here specifically to start fresh, taking on new challenges and leaving an old life behind? Be it for the weather or the opportunities, Americans, and Californians in particular, have the propensity for second chances in their DNA. Just like me.

This year, my list of New Year’s resolutions is long and I’ve decided to break it down into 12 months. Spreading out the resolutions over the course of year means that each month I can have a new, fresh start. It makes the prospect of time passing more exciting than scary and depressing.

The first resolution? Bump up my exercise plan to the next level of fitness. I even got a pair of boxing gloves. They are pink! I can’t help thinking they are a symbol of taking on new challenges, with a little bit of fun.



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