Today is the first day I really feel close to the sort of enthusiasm the New Year generally brings out in a first child, perfectionist-wanna-be such as myself. My dearly loved grandma passed away just before Christmas in a manner that, although she was ninety actual years old, we all continue to think of as sudden and completely unexpected. I was counting on another decade with the lady, and secretly hoping for more. Sigh.

My favorite picture.

On New Year’s Day my attitude was sour. Whereas normally I love the thought of New Year’s and am all about shiny, new beginnings, this year I was all, “Bah. Stupid 2014. I’m going back to bed.” It just seemed like too much work to contemplate. Plus, this is the year Miss Teen Wonder leaves for college, which, when she isn’t driving me totally mental, seems end-of-the-world, zombie apocalypse terrible. Luckily, as tends to happen with those eager to flee the nest, she is often belligerent enough to make me want to toss her out in the snow, so I think I’ll survive.

Yesterday morning I felt the first stirrings of enthusiasm, but that was quickly squelched by two weeks of procrastinated errands, paperwork, laundry and a houseful of uncooperative children. But today, people, today I might admit to a returning optimism about the upcoming year. Not enough to make actual resolutions because, blech, hard work, but enough to look forward to the good things the new year has in store. For example:
1) I’m starting a new volunteer gig with an Alzheimer’s group home, something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time.
2) Hubby and I just signed up for Grandma’s marathon, which is our first non-Twin Cities marathon and also means a trip to see my sister and brother-in-law. Fun, except for the actual running part.
3) I will probably break down and let Little Man get a hedgehog this fall. Given that our current pet, the neurotically phobic cat, Speckles, hates us, this will most likely be a welcome change.
4) Hubby is busy planning our “very-last-trip-all-together-before-Boo-leaves-for-college” summer vacation. It will be a two-week long road trip to the East Coast involving periodic camping and allowing Hubby to complete his goal of swimming in all five Great Lakes. The kids are hugely opposed. It will be character-building.

I’m sure there is more, but for this morning, it’s enough. I’ve even mustered the energy to make one resolution; to act more often than not on my good intentions. To not let the impulse to meet a friend, send a card or visit with a neighbor fall victim to the tyrannical relentlessness of daily responsibility. To follow up on the little acts that make life sweeter and damn the errands that get in the way. If I can follow that one, single resolution, 2014 will be a mighty fine year, after all.

The Rise & Fall of a Momocracy

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