Here we all are, full of good food, good drink, and too many sweets. We love the holiday season, but we also love to return to our regular routines.
At least, I do.
I’m not at all ashamed to admit that I am a creature of habit, one who quite happily entrenches herself in the minutiae of day-to-day living.
I function best when I have a schedule, when I know what I’m supposed to be doing on any given day, at any given time.
I have a good friend who says I should be more spontaneous. My response is always, “I’ll put it on my schedule.”
My beloved returned to work yesterday after taking his traditional week off between Christmas and New Years. Here is where I hang my head in shame and admit to all and sundry that I’m really glad he’s back at work.
Because, you see, while he had the week off from doing anything, I only had the week off from driving him to work. No small thing, I loved having my sleep uninterrupted for 11 straight days. I appreciated that, I really did.
But otherwise those eleven days didn’t feel like any kind of vacation time to me. I find it very difficult to stick to a one-person-in-the-house-routine when there’s someone else there with me.
He came home from work yesterday exhausted, of course. I’d warned him he would. At our ages bad habits form in about an eighth of the time good ones do; his body had gotten used to spending the day in the comfort of his lounge chair—or stretched out on the sofa—or in bed having a nap—and it therefore complained bitterly about going back to work.
There’s something to be said about being a body in motion that stays in motion. Whereas he was whipped by yesterday’s return to routine, I was energized (well, except for the driving part).
Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? I didn’t. I don’t believe in setting myself up for failure. This year, I simply took some time to think ahead to the kind of year I want to have. Just as each evening my prayer is for me to be just a bit better the next day in each area of my life from the day before, so I hope this New Year is just a bit better than the one just passed.
For me, better no longer has anything to do with finances. I’ve lived long enough that I understand good times come, and they go...but they usually come around again. My beloved says the economy is cyclical, down in years ending in an 8 and up in years ending in a 2.
No, better for me means that I do better. As a writer, it means that my words are clearer, more evocative, more creative; as a wife that I am more attuned to the moods and needs of my husband, more patient and less demanding; as a mother that I pay attention to the very fine line between helping and enabling, and am freer with kind words and hugs; as a granny, that I make sure the freezer is always full of popsicles and ice cream, and the cupboards overflow with cookies and that I listen and again am freer with kind words and hugs.
I can’t change anyone but me. So rather than focus on how I am treated by others, I instead choose to focus on how I behave, myself.
Because, you see, I have learned that it’s only my attitudes and my efforts that directly fill my ‘happiness’ tank.
Available January 13th the next episode in the Lusty, Texas Saga
Love Under Two Navy SEALs