We’re going to need a do-over.
We started January with the best of intentions. Drunk off cookies and chocolate milk and those delicious mini hot dogs in puff pastry, we were going to return to eating fruits and veggies and lean proteins. We were going to return to bedtime routines and getting plenty of rest. This was the time for meal-planning and carpool organizing and recapturing the magic of a week-long outlook. After school meeting on Thursday? Tutoring on Tuesday? We would know about it and be ready the Sunday before.
January is for decluttering. The piles of paper on my desk, endlessly yammering about healthcare and taxes and field trips? Those were going to be HANDLED. Swiftly and efficiently. The 15 year-old comforter still in the box in our attic that we can’t seem to donate but certainly haven’t ever used? Outta here. In fact the whole attic is due for a magical transformation from cluttered box land that may or may not still contain my high school chorus handbook, to a gleaming mecca of plastic tubs, neatly organized by when the contents might be needed.
This is the year and January is the start of it all. This is the year that I will no longer push work to the back burner until 15 hot minutes before it’s due; in fact, I will proactively prepare for what lies ahead. This is the year the dog will finally complete puppy school (he’s nearly two, after all). This is the year my receipts will be logged before I am frantically trying to complete my taxes. We’ll plan an educational activity for the children each weekend, probably focused on the environment or volunteering or lifting up the less fortunate. Definitely volunteering, I should write that down when I find paper. I should add all of this to the stuff-I’m-definitely-doing-in-January list. Must find paper.
January was going to be glorious.
The thing is, January kind of sneaks up on you. There’s the fanfare of New Year’s Eve, to be sure, but after that, it starts slowly. The first day’s edges still blur with year-end holiday festivities, most of which we spend in jammies and noshing on cheese. Binge watching movies piled on the couch still seems like a good idea for the first day of a new year, certainly a better one that sorting the garage.
This year, it snowed three seconds after the children returned to school, and we were all home together for another five days. Christmas chocolates were on clearance, and we made good use of them floating in our unicorn hot chocolate. Baking seemed like a good way to pass the time. We played dolls and experimented with make-up and colored Shrinky Dinks. We were house-bound and had no choice.
Except for movies. We braved the ice-covered roads for movies. The Oscars are coming, after all. Our children couldn’t possibly miss Ryan Gosling dancing on a hilltop or Octavia Spencer’s black girl programming magic. Those are teachable moments. Also dark, quiet, popcorn moments.
Last weekend we would’ve made terrific progress on starting the year right, but we spent it playing in New York with Sara instead. She chose a trip as a birthday gift, and Gabe and I spent three days enjoying the city and our smart, capable, gorgeous girl (I’m not biased). We spent hours together roaming the city in search of art and music and food. She schooled us on Instagram. We stayed up late piled on the bed watching Saturday Night Live as it happened just a few blocks away. We slept in and celebrated each new day with croissants.
So,you see how this happened. You see how we might have forgotten about Talent Show rehearsals and somehow lost a single snow boot and skipped bath night.
We have made some progress. I returned to the gym once this month. Mostly to let them know they’d probably be tired of seeing me soon because I was going to be coming so often. We bought four gallons of milk and found ourselves stocked for the week (Gabe and I miscommunicated, but it totally still counts). We put the Christmas decorations away, except for the ones I haven’t found yet and the spoon rest that I keep forgetting. All is not lost.
You might think that we could just start over now. That’s what they say right? Let today be the start of something new. See, the thing is, today isn’t good for us.
The girls and I have spa commitments on Saturday. Caden and Jack are in the middle of a huge Lego project that I’d hate to disturb. Gabe snagged a great deal on Pringles and we can’t waste those (or our money on healthier options). Next week, I’m out of town for work and then we have a bit of a vacation planned. So, now just isn’t great for us.
February, though? February is the new January.