There is something about a new year which makes us feel like we have the chance to change anything we want to change, be anyone we want to be; a chance if you like for us to try to create – in our own small way – the type of world we want to live in.
As a teacher, in a normal year I guess I normally feel this epiphany slightly less than others might. My year starts in September with the arrival of a new sea of eager faces. That is the time I change my focus, shift my goals, and become excited about change. For me there is nothing like receiving a new class, each member with their own set of hopes and dreams to make me want to be the best me I can be. January normally passes me by without much of a second thought, in a post Christmas pre going back to school haze.
This year however, my September was very different, my focus was on my newborn, moving home and on trying to get Number One used to a new teacher. In short I was far too busy being a mum, to think much beyond that about what other things I wanted out of life. Besides if you’re not immersed in the school system, September makes very little sense as a point of life re-evaluation anyway. My guess is that as I will only be returning on a very part time (0.2) basis this shift of my New Year from September to January may well be here to stay.
So for the first time in my adult existence, this New a Year, I have thought about goals that I want to see for me and my family, not changes I want to make for my class. It feels self indulgent and hedonistic, yet I should also confess that it feels good.
But as well as those wider, overarching lives there are some little things that we’re going to add to our life in the immediate future, ideas I’ve picked up from other bloggers that I think will make us all appreciate our lives a little more. We are after all more than a little lucky to be happy, healthy and well fed. This year I want to focus on making sure we all appreciate those little things in life.
So, what are the plans?
The first is a memory jar which I first read about from Claire at Big Family Big Fun; the idea is each member of the family writes down good memories as they happen and pops them in a jar. On New Year’s Eve, the whole family then gather round as the jar is opening to talk about the memories from the previous year. I hope that this will allow us all to think about the good things as they happen, but that it will also be a way of remembering them as the years pass.
The second is a family bucket list for the year; an idea I’ve stolen from Donna, at What the Redhead Said. I love the idea of us all sitting down together to think about ideas of things we’d like to do throughout the year. I really want to make sure Number One feels like she has a voice, and I think that this will be a great way to do it. It will also mean I have chance to plan for her crazier suggestions, rather than our current system which means we sit down at the start of each weekend and get grumpy with each other because we can’t think of anything that everyone wants to do. Top of my list is going to be to see the penguin parade at Edinburgh Zoo, which I’ve wanted to do for years so I’m hoping that writing it down will make it actually happen.
And the third, the third is to not only take more photographs but to actually get as far as printing them out, and displaying them around the house. I want us to look around our home and see happy memories wherever we walk. After all, we all need reminding how good life is, right?
How about you, any little changes you plan to make over the next couple of weeks?