Every year I resolve to give up the whole “New Year’s resolution” thing. Then I get caught up in the moment and jot down the many things I want to conquer. Foolishly believing that in a week’s time I am going to be one of “those” moms who always has the right forms, has every field trip for the year on the calendar, and can return movie rentals without wearing a full disguise and trench coat to hide her identity because of late fees.
My “new me” begins at Home Depot. According to my fix-it man, a crack in my basement wall was in need of sealant caulk. He recently emerged from the basement, looked me straight in the eye and proclaimed, “Mrs. Darah. I stuck my finger in your crack and discovered some moisture. I am going back down to take another look.” “Wow”, I thought, “There is a God!” I love going to Home Depot. For some odd reason I get a kick out of being surrounded by thousands of items about which I am totally clueless. I also get this bizarre testosterone surge that usually results in talking to strangers and dipping into conversations regarding duct tape and grout. I buy what I hope is the right thing, where it will sit in my car for approximately nine weeks before finally being prodded into action after the fourth inquiry call from Mr. “You’ve got moisture” fix-it man. At this point, I intend to keep tackling my resolution list while trying to pick up the pace.
Next on the agenda was plowing through the perfect storm, also known as the pantry, freezer and fridge. I had a surge of inspiration to clean out and disinfect the pantry after my oldest child saw a fuzzy little rodent (A.K.A. Mildred the Mouse) make a pilgrimage from the pantry to its apparent home under the dishwasher. I told myself, as the BIGGER and hopefully smarter mammal, I would not only clean the mouse feces from the pantry but also “relocate” said fugitive. I had to take care of matters quickly. Lauren was freaked out and was wearing her “cat ears” from her Halloween outfit and Helena begged me to humanely trap the little guy and start a nonprofit 501 c 3 and raise awareness for how cruel the world is for small rodents. We kept Maria clueless about the situation, which was code named “Squeak,” or she would never have entered the house again. Apparently Mildred the Mouse was not of the “church” variety. In fact she was a bit of a tart and appeared to have a few social “friends.” Once again, I found myself at Home Depot looking for just the right product to send Mildred off to a “better” place. Just a note of guidance that Martha Stewart will never give you: do not believe the “and simply throw away” part on the back of the sticky mouse trap box. It’s not that easy. Having a stuck Mildred look up at me with those brown eyes was gut wrenching and nearly threw me into therapy. Thankfully, things returned to semi-normal after our abode was critter-free. I even got a spanking clean pantry out of the ordeal! I kept opening the doors and standing in front of them like a Price Is Right model waiting for the “ooohs” and “aaaahs” of approval. The girls thought I was getting a little too enthused, which got me pondering — are the things on my resolution list for others or for me? I decided to rethink my list and broke it down into “Totally Doables” and “A Girl Can Dream.”
Let go of perfection. Martha attempted perfection and she ended up knitting sweaters in a cell block and had a daughter spill it in a “tell all” novel for everyone to read!
Rarely take yourself seriously. (As if I could!)
If you pick up something the sweeper couldn’t, throw it away. Don’t put it back on the floor to give the sweeper another chance.
Let watching “Super Soul Sunday” on the Oprah Channel (while drinking a latte in your polar bear bathrobe) or watching a sunset with your child “count” as going to church that week.
Remember that making the “fairy suit” for the school play or 74 mini bagels with cream cheese strawberry “faces,” chocolate chip eyeballs and pretzel antlers means more to your child than anything you could do with a paycheck
Bring people together (be creative: lure them with food, make up holidays and celebrate the ordinary)!
Remember, crying is not a sign of weakness but rather an indication that you have been strong too long.
Get excited over the B+, any art project even though you have no idea what it is or what to do with it, homemade lemonade that would throw anyone into a diabetic coma or the frog brought home from the latest nature hike.
Remember the words of Pooh: “You are smarter than you think, braver than you believe and stronger than you know.”
Forgive, let go, love always.
You don’t always have to follow the wisdom of Gram. I bet if I were in an accident, having clean panties would not be an issue.
A girl can dream
Write a book!
Read the operation manual first!
Believe the directions the Garmin is telling you so you don’t end up in Bono, Ohio AGAIN
Figure out why there are four remotes and one TV and DVD.
Be the hero of my own life’s story.
In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt (OK I’m paraphrasing BIG TIME), “Do something every day that scares the crap out of you."
In the year ahead, I may not reach my goals but I will always keep my dreams. I am certain the statistical probability of me having a perfectly balanced checkbook (heck, I don’t even know where it is at the moment) and remembering
to keep up with recycling, making the bed and having all those &^%$! decorative pillows beautifully arranged is pretty low, but I will continue forth, slightly crumpled, highly loved and always full of hope. Have a very Happy New Year.