It's 1:30 pm on Friday, January 1, 2010. I'm sitting at the desk off my kitchen. My family and I -- husband Peter, almost 16-year-old son AJ, and almost-4-year-old Hannah -- rolled out of bed at varying times between 10 am and noon, since we were all up until 3 last night (except Hannah, who crashed, finally, around 1 am.) I made omelettes for Peter, AJ, and myself, and Hannah had a cold Oscar Mayer hot dog and chips and dip for breakfast. Hannah just informed me from under her open pink umbrella that she "decorated her floor" with a tube of purple glitter. AJ has only moved from the couch to cheer for the Nittany Lions and to (reluctantly) fetch his breakfast,which he consumed mostly while lying down. Both the kids are still in their pajamas, and there are puzzle pieces, shoes, shipping boxes, torn-out magazine pages and tumbleweeds of dog hair scattered about. Peter's in the basement family room learning PHP from the internet, having fulfilled his household duties by rinsing the dishes and leaving them on the counter above the dishwasher -- technically, it's AJ's job to load, which would take three hours' worth of nagging, so I'll probably wind up just doing it myself. The dog and cat are fighting again, knocking things off the counter in their chase. And me? I'm just sitting at the computer pretending to mentally plan closet reorganizations and Hannah's upcoming birthday, followed by a bracing dogwalk to the park, when the likelihood is that I will pick up this Entertainment Weekly that I've already thumbed through twice and lie down the couch for an hour, listening to a football game that I could not possibly care less about. There may also be a nap.
This is pretty much how things go here. And for the most part, it's cool. I'm happy, the kids are happy, Peter's happy (I can't say for sure about the cat, but the dog's happy as long as there's food within reach of her paws left on the counter.) But, like most people, I feel like I could do better, like I should have been doing better all along. I should have a book written by now. I should be ten pounds lighter and my triglycerides level twenty points lower. My floor should be visible, instead of covered in used tissues. And, as my mom has noted on more than one occasion, the dishes should be done, seeing as how I have a dishwasher for god's sake, her dishes are always done and she doesn't even have a dishwasher...SIGH.
Well, I thought about it carefully for about thirty, thirty-five seconds yesterday, and decided that what I'm lacking, what I've always been lacking, is what the old folks call stick-to-it-iveness. I start a million things and never finish...hold on. Hannah's coming up the stairs crying.
Ah. She's upset that she can't use the computer downstairs. Well, the couch DOES look lonely, and I DID miss this article about Li'l Wayne's newest track...here's the deal in a nutshell: starting Sunday, January 3, I will take on a personal challenge each week of 2010. All of those "I really should..." and "I'd like to try..." and "maybe if I" things that float around in my head constantly, I'm going to give a shot for a week. Small habit changes, like filing bills as soon as they're opened, and big habit changes, like exercising daily. Attitude changes, like being totally honest with everyone all day, and lifestyle changes, like buying nothing for a week. And maybe tap dance lessons. At the end of the week I will evaluate whether it's a change worth maintaining, or if I'm going to ditch it.
Since my family will be bearing the brunt of these changes, I'm letting them in on the action by letting them make their own suggestions. I mentioned this to my mom this morning, and she said, "Great! Mine's going to be a long list." And, I will look to you, my friends, for the fun suggestions, because I frankly don't think I can do 52 weeks of organizational challenges and introspection without throwing myself in front of a train. I have a couple of ideas for the first few weeks, and then I'll present the list as it unfolds and go from there. Maybe votes on which challenge to take on next? Who knows? I still have to figure out this blog shit, so we'll see.
If I do it right, this is going to be embarrassing, honest, funny, and difficult, and I guarantee you in about four weeks I will be ready to call it quits. So there you have it. Computer's all yours, Hannah.