I’ve made a resolution …….not to make any resolutions.
The girls have been asking me for some time now what my resolutions will be. Theirs are:
Child One – to eat less chocolate (which worries me as she has suddenly become quite weight-conscious. She has finally realised there is a connection between eating large amounts of food and getting fat. Sounds strange but it’s amazing how long it takes a bright child to cotton on).
Child Two – do Pilates every Monday. This is, in theory, a great resolution – but Child Two is already doing ballet on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and ballroom dancing on Saturday. It makes me tired just writing that! There’s no way I’m going to force her to do Pilates on Monday, which is the only way she’d do it, even though it would be very good for me to do it too.
Both Child One and Child Two were justifiably fed up when I informed them, after intense questioning, that my New Year’s Resolution was not to make any resolutions. To them, it seems like complete party-pooperdom. I am not joining in the game. For me, it’s a short-cut out of guilt. Yes, I have made resolutions in the past – to control my own chocolate peanut intake (where does Child One get her love of choc from? It’s a total mystery), to be less slothful, even to be less divorced. But I have always broken them, and then felt bad. Surely it’s better to sidestep the feeling bad, by not setting myself up for the inevitable fall?
Ah, but that’s a very disappointing, old-money style of thinking, and rather downbeat for the girls. They are still at the age when staying up incredibly late is exciting in itself, even if the only thing that happens at midnight on New Year’s Eve is hearing the thud of fireworks they can’t see and catching a brief glimpse of people singing incomprehensible Scottish songs on BBC2 before their mother turns into a grumpy witch who drags them off to bed.
If I do have to make a resolution, if they really, really force me, I suppose it will be – to be happy. The simplest, and the hardest thing. I have already made a start, I feel, by not buying today’s Guardian. Its banner headline was ‘exploding the positive thinking myth’, with the serialisation of some book out to prove, no doubt, that there’s no escape from grimness. Well, no thank you very much. This is 2010, and I am NOT buying that.