Friday, January 16, 2009

A Housewife's New Year's Resolutions

I tried hard to have some deep, deep thoughts about what I should accomplish this year.

It took me a while.

There was so much to think about. This blog, for starters. What the heck is it anyway? It's embarrassing how I can't keep up with the bling-y aspects. Even is sending me emails saying, "Look, you loser. This place could be waaaay better. Do you even know how to operate a camera? Why aren't you using Flickr and Twitter and all the other pretty stuff we give you?" And the writing. Maybe I should commit to something, have a plan. Say, oh, two times a week, and figure out a way to handle comments. Decide to drive around the U.S. of A. to meet readers. I don't know: Something cooler.

But then I remembered, "Oh, yeah! I'm not actually getting paid to blog, and so spending more time thinking about it really only gets in the way of Thing I'm Supposed to Be Thinking About No. 2, which is coming up with something more exciting to say when people ask me "And what do you do?" than "Uh.... Nothing, hee hee hee. Have another cookie. Don't trip over that skate."

And so I spent some time thinking about that. But it turns out that 12 years of having your soul sucked right out of you doesn't leave you with enough energy, wits or stamina to figure out how to get out from under the laundry, let alone develop a major life plan that you are able to convince yourself you can actually do.

So you know what? I tossed out the deep thought plan.

There is no shame in it. It was weighing me down and causing me to be even more neurotic than I already am.  If you could see my head, you would know: It's really dark and scary in there. Don't make me go back!

But I have a new plan: SHALLOW thoughts for the coming year. I figured I could manage a couple o' those for all the people - Hi, Dad! - who've been waiting so patiently.  And here they are:

Mad Mad's Resolutions for the Coming Already-Started But Still New-ish Year:

1. This year, I will scrape the dog boogers off the window BEFORE the Garden Club meeting, and not after serving the egg salad sandwiches.

(Speaking of Garden Club, I will remember to sign up for bagel duty next Christmas, too, because apparently no one eats carbs any more, and thus you can bring home the entire batch untouched, and recycle them for church coffee hour the next day, where Wow! Ditto! and then send them off to school teacher luncheon Monday before throwing them away, still largely untouched, shaking your head about waste and starving people in India. (Wait-wait-wait. Are people still starving in India or did we find a new country? I think they're all set in India now, aren't they? I'll have to ask next time I call customer service about my microwave.))

2. I will stop trying to trick my kids into thinking I've used regular sandwich bread by flipping the butt ends toward the inside and hoping they won't notice, all because I just couldn't stomach a trip to the grocery store.

3. Speaking of those fiery pits of hell, I will recognize that convincing myself to get to the supermarket by telling myself the Necco candy hearts might be out already is really only setting myself up for failure in my attempt to lose the five ten pounds gained over the holidays from consuming too much food wine.

4. I will promise that in my next life, I will have real job BEFORE my child wears the same shoe size. (I'll still not let her wear my shoes, though. So she should not even ask. Especially while we're still in this life.)

5. I will work harder at getting it through to my kids that a rousing debate over whether it is better to be a poo or some pee - complete with gory instances of each - is not appropriate dinner table conversation. Especially not when we have guests.

6. I will stop testing whether I have become allergic to cats and just accept that when one leaves the animal shelter covered in hives and gasping for air, it's probably time to finally put away the litter box that has been sitting on one's stair landing, catless, (but happily, poo-less as well, which is not something I can say for the one in the basement...) for two years.

7. I will stop bragging about how great it is that both my dog and my son - back when he was still crawling - play(ed) ball by themselves. Dog will bounce the ball and catch it over and over and over, and it reminds me of when Boy would throw it and crawl after it. And throw it and crawl after it. I will recognize that the widened eyes are not shorthand for How cute! but instead for What was that number for Department of Social Services? And that a story comparing my son to a dog does nothing for my son. Or my dog, if truth be told.

8. I will stop trying to teach people to knit in odd circumstances. The particular low this year came when I tried to teach an acquaintance to knit AS I DROPPED HER OFF IN FRONT OF THE HOSPITAL FOR HER CHEMO TREATMENT.

"No really, you can do it. It will make the chemo more fun."

(OK, no. I don't know that I actually said that. But each night as I'm trying to fall asleep and I replay all the stupid things I've ever done - What, you don't do that!? -  that's how I imagine it.)

9. I will try to be kinder to myself, and let things like No. 8 go. 

Because really? I'm not wrong: It would make the chemo more fun, darn it.

On second thought, perhaps all this is a lot to expect of me. I forgot, after all, if I'm busy with all that, who is going to do the laundry? So I think maybe I'll just go check out the soaps, instead. 

And where'd I leave those bonbons?


The folks over at humor-blogs are thrilled I got that planning over with and can continue with the regularly scheduled psychosis programming.


Five Ferns Fibreholic said...

My resolution for this year is to get a cushy job where I don't have to do much so I can spend my days knitting and collect a good paycheck.

It could happen!!!!

WA said...

Finally, a long post. And a very funny post. And the chemo thing wasn't that bad. Really.

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

I'm a knitting proselytizer myself. It's all I can do not to accost people staring blankly ahead while sitting in waiting rooms.

And you should definitely not be too hard on yourself - I mean, you took French in high school, you know.

hokgardner said...

Oh Mad Mad, how I love thee. And I'm not a stalker, really.

Yesterday I tried to teach a friend who is on bed rest for the duration of her pregnancy (we're hoping it's at least 8 weeks) how to knit. It didn't go well. Especially when I threatened to stab her husband with a knitting needle for making fun of knitting.

Cathy said...

Great post--I hear you--I think about my blog as much as I would putting together a newsletter in my former life, but I had a reason to do that--I got paid. This blogging thing was supposed to be a hobby to get my mind off the mundane aspects of SAHMness, but it can definitely take up as much time and energy as a real job.

Don't feel bad about the knitting comment. My dad is having health problems, and I've been finding patterns on the Internet for my mom to knit while she's at the hospital. She already completed a pair of Leslie's mitts.

amy said...

Oh, #5. So I'm wrong in thinking that my problem there is having two boys? Girl participates in these conversations as well? (If the answer to that is "yes," you will crush any remaining will of mine to live, do you hear?)

Jan Ross said...

I could TOTALLY support these resolutions.

These are my kind of resolutions.

I think I need to print them out for myself. Except the dog boogers. And insert grandson for son chasing ball.

The Arizona Harkers said...

Glad to know IM not the only laying awake at night replayingconversations, snipets of moments...shuddering under the covers at what came out of my mouth!

Maraiya said...

"darn it?" Good pun although I'm sure it was unintended.

#2 - I thought I was a genius when I thought of that; I had long tired of being the only one in the house who would eat the ends. So, it's not a bad thing - it's a thing of beauty that you're trying to trick your kids. The fact that they're catching on only means that you need to be even more clever.

Kathy said...

9. I will teach boy and girl how to do laundry. It is a life skill that they will need later on, so I'd be doing them a favor, really.

Deb said...

Hi - Delurking to say:

1) I like your blog. It is calm and peaceful looking and does not bog my computer down with endless ads and banners. Also, I don't know from twitter or flickr, so no worries there. I'm 37 years old and not interested in learning new technology thankyouverymuch.

2) Totally on board with number 9. This is the year of accepting myself. Scaping other people's dried pee off toilet seats is not what fulfills me. There, I said it.

Barb said...

Please, if you get all techy and stuff, would you please NOT put music on your blog? Every time I go to a blog with music, I exit immediately.

I love your blog look. But then again, you've seen mine.

I'm having such a hard time starting my New Year's resolutions that I've about decided to change them to 1. Eat More Chocolate and 2. Watch more HGTV just so I can succeed at something.

Mrs. R said...

Really, you should get an award for number 2. That's just sheer genius.

bernthis said...

I just found you and I love you. I love your resolutions, I mean promises to yourself, okay suggestions.

The knitting, I so relate. I've started to tell stories to people, involved stories when they're running to catch a train or their kid is bleeding from his ear. My timing is real good like that.

a friend to knit with said...

i SO love you, too!!!
you always make me laugh.
i for one will continue to turn the bread over. someone has GOT to eat the heal. it is wasteful to throw it away! :)

kim said...

You are WAY too hard on yourself. Seriously. But... I would So like to see these extra pounds that you speak of. Would I even notice?!

Rose Red said...

You have garden club? That you go to? Wow, you're posh.

Rose Red said...

PS - when you do your roadtrip, why limit yourself to the US? Australia is an excellent driving destination - we even drive on the correct side of the road! Also, it's hot here.

Ree said...

I love you. You are my hero.

TinkingBell said...

Aaah - my resolution was to pick up the food which son dropped off the table before it petrified. Or grew things.

And I fully intend to wash the windows while we can still sorts see stuff through them. a bit.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Hey--somebody has to do the laundry and bake/buy the cookies.

Trannyhead said...

I don't think the chemo thing is bad. And it totally would make chemo hawter.

IslandMom said...

OK, glad to hear you're FINALLY giving up (for real?) the 'You've Got to Get a Job' thing. I did
(get a job.) And it's not all it's cracked up to be. I want to worry about making corn starch gloop, but instead I have to worry about clients and timelines. It sucks. And the laundry stacks up more than ever. Happy New Year Mad Mad; you always make my day!

Bells said...

this is a great post. I feel we are even more alike now, esp re #8.

ps would it be ok if I ever come for dinner, that your kids and I have that debate re poo and wee? I love a good, funny conversation like that!

Beth said...

As for #5, you say that like there is something wrong with talking about excrement at the dinner table. Isn't eating the beginning of the recycling process, for crying out loud?!

Marinka said...

The next time that you have the poo vs. some pee debate, please page me. Because I need to have a say.

Gray Matter said...

1. Poo

2. You must never stop blogging because even your "off the cuff" is better than 99.26% off the other blogs out there (especially mine).

3. We need our self-flagellating guilt, what else would motivate us to get up in the morning?

Pamela said...

It is so very useful to have tried to teach your acquaintance on chemo how to knit. It is superfun, and her head is bound to be getting cold now that it's winter, and hats are pretty easy. She would thank you for helping maintain her body temperature and keeping her cozy. It was the kindest thing you could have done.

lucky knitter said...

Wow, these are some very deep thoughts here. If you accomplish just a few of these you will make the rest of us look bad.

the mama bird diaries said...

I like number 9. We should all do that. :)

Melissa said...

That's it girl! You've totally got the right idea now. Superficial and useful. That's what it's all about!

lilypotter said...

I've opted out of Resolutions this year. Too much pressure. Instead, I'm implementing "Wouldn't It Be Cool If"s. Like Wouldn't It Be Cool If I got to brush my teeth before noon? And Wouldn't It Be Cool If I was able to shower at least three times a week (and not just when I get pooped or puked on)? I had intended to do a post on it, but I haven't had time. So maybe I should add Wouldn't It Be Cool If I was able to blog daily?

Alison Wonderland said...

At least your son (and dog) were playing ball by themselves, my kids hit about a year and ahalf and I totally play fetch with them. They bring me a ball, I throw it, they go get it and bring it back, repeat (ad naseum). They love it!

cbh said...

"I will stop trying to teach people to knit in odd circumstances."

My favorite! And I really believe it could make chemo more fun!

Jonny's Mommy said...

I have to get a root canal next week. Could you teach me how to knit before I go in? I think it would make it go faster.

Jonny's Mommy said...

BTW, you are my idol. My bloggy idol. Not my mentor. Sorry, that's been taken. But my idol. :-)