I’ve always loved the idea of a new year. I have this philosophy that no bad shit may be carried across the 1st of January, whether it’s a dysfunctional relationship, clutter, frustrating fashion purchases that make me sigh when looking in the mirror, or just generally poor habits. Normally I take some time to reflect on the twelve months that have past, and prepare myself mentally for the fresh start (and in this case, a fresh decade). I clear my cupboards, reorganise, buy a new diary, sharpen my pencils. But this year I felt like New Years came and went and I wasn’t ready.
2019 felt like a year that didn’t want to end. Despite my best efforts, my to-do list kept having little task babies, and eventually I just gave up trying to clean my slate. And of course we also tried to fit an entire year’s socialising into the final work week, with nightly dinners and all the wine. And finally the day arrived for us to pack the car for our two week beach holiday with our new baby – a challenge that deserves it’s own medal. Somehow I remembered all the baby food I’d prepped, switched off the geyser and watered the plants, and with baba on my hip I blessed the mess and shut the front door on whatever I might have forgotten.
Our days (which started at 05:30) were a wonderful cacophony of tiny humans – mine and her cousins from Canada – who are freakishly fast, loud and prone to destruction. Our evenings were spent catching up with family and friends, cooking, eating, and soaking up the last bit of the year. I wasn’t prepared when we reached the 31st. We hadn’t bought any bubbly. I hadn’t even thought about resolutions. My year had slammed to a finish, and there I was, waking up to a new decade.
“What was your highlight of the last ten years?” I’d asked others at the party, and we reminisced about some of the best moments we’d shared. Moving to Cape Town, launching my career, marrying my husband, giving birth to my daughter. I started the decade as a know-it-all university graduate and ended it with motherhood, which mostly means shrugging your shoulders in uncertainty.
Our holiday came to an end, and here I am back at work. It’s officially 2020 and I’m still not ready. Should I make a list of resolutions? Be kinder. Listen. Be present. Stay organised. Exercise. Read more books.
If there’s anything I wish to achieve from this year, it’s a new normal. I hope that in this new decade I will learn to sway with the constant ebb and flow that parenting brings. I hope I can learn to be more patient with myself and gentler in my expectations. Perhaps this isn’t the time for resolutions. Resolve seems too rigid. Perhaps this is the time for fluctuation, movement, back and forths, aiming to learn and grow with every oscillation.
So here is to the new decade, where I am still the same me only perhaps a bit more flexible.
Oh, that reminds me, I need to start doing yoga again…