Saturday, 31 December 2011

Take a deep breath

I like the run-up to Epiphany far better than the days preceding Christmas. The presents are unwrapped, the hysterical BUYING is over. There's usually time to rest and relax, to read, to help the Lattes make pictures with tissue paper. Our tree stays up forever. Each year, I give thanks to the Magi for taking their time.

Not this year. This year it has been hard; a period of pain and tears and physiotherapy. (The tears have not all belonged to Eldest.)

It's not exactly the most reflective or inspirational environment in which to make New Year's Resolutions. But though we might be capable of changing our own destinies, we can't do a lot about the date.

Each year, we sit down in the Coffee House with a bit of fancy paper each and write our resolutions, which we keep in a little gift bag on the kitchen noticeboard. In 2010 we made little mini-books which, whilst beautiful, gave us rather too much space; we all felt obliged to come up with enough pledges to fill the things. Faced with the possibility of quite so much life-enhancing change, I began to make vague and sweeping statements which had no hope of being satisfactorily fulfilled.

By 2011 I thought I had it sussed - I was all about the SMART goal, with specifics. Do this once a week. Don't eat that.  But by far the most disheartening part of resolutions is opening up the bag on New Year's Eve and being confronted with the unhappy truth that the resolutions we make every year, however we word them, boil down to more or less the same thing: a thing which we still have not achieved. And if we rely on a magical date to get us going, it's probably never going to happen.

I was just feeling rather maudlin about this when I came across Littlest's resolutions from last year, which Mr Coffee had transcribed for her. These are resolutions I hope we can all try to keep this year.

My resolution for 2012? The clue's in the title. I don't know if I'll manage it  tomorrow; or even this week. Another week in hospital looms - for rehab this time. If you do ever think of us, think training montage. Let the soundtrack in your head be Eye of the Tiger.


  1. Eye of the Tiger - Littlest feeling unwell but trying hard to not actually vomit, eldest standing by a frame with a disturbingly healthy looking physio standing with her, they both pump the air with their fists.... This could work?

  2. don't forget to breathe out. xxx

  3. No! I had always imagined you as the Family von Trapp climbing mountains and wrapping parcels with string and brown paper. It fits with the whole watering the flowers and watching the stars image better than Eye of the Tiger. Although maybe not the vomiting.

    May 2012 bring fewer of the deep breath moments and strength to you all.

  4. I do often think of you, and will definitely be doing it to Eye of the Tiger from now on. Love the 'don't be sick in a bowl' resolution and its implication that being sick elsewhere, like in your bed, is fine.

    happy new wotsit

  5. Being sick in a bowl is infinitely preferable to being sick on the carpet. At least for the person who must clean it up. It's all how you frame it.

    My New Years resolution is to be Pollyanna about everything. Until my family cotton on and club me until I promise to stop. How many days do you give them? Who will crack first?

    I do think of you often. Now mostly on that crazy bed.

  6. I can definitely go with the look at the stars resolution. And breathing. Breathing is good.

  7. ugh.
    Try not to be sick in a bowl, will you?
    I have medication to help with the breathing part.

    Chin up, we're all thinking on you.

  8. Both lists have friends in them. Friends can help you feel a little more Eye of the Tiger-ish. We'll try, anyway. I pledge to send you texts about cheese.

    Much love to you xxx

  9. Thinking of you.
    May 2012 bring you enough breath to be strong and still some to laugh with your loved ones.

  10. Happy New Year for you too, Paola.

  11. I think of you frequently and now I will have to adapt and sing that song in my head at the same time - that could be challenging! I hope the hospital stay isn't too bad and that things will be easier afterward.

    Wishing you all the best for all of the year.

  12. I prefer to have those like Littlest - those you do rather than not do. Hope it is a wonderful year for you all!

  13. eye of the tiger... isn't the film where he eats raw eggs in a glass before going for a run? Yuck. That would make me be sick in a bowl and outside the bowl.

    But I get the sentiment. And I'll hum it everytime I think of you.

    My resolution? a part from trying to stop chewing my fingers (something I've been 'resoluting about' for the past 26 years) is to shout less.

    My family will be grateful.

  14. If you get too loftily yoga-esque, I might have to be sick in a bowl.

    Just saying.

    (Happy New Year, and I'll be thinking of you as you revisit the hospital.)

  15. New year's resolutions are pants aren't they? I am not making any - but I have set myself some small acheivable goals for this week and this month - not doing the whole year thing as I never keep them - too overwhelming.

    Being sick in a bowl? Maybe not ideal - but far better than leaning over the edge of your cabin bed to be sick, believe me (the clean up has left me scarred I tell you)

    Will be thinking of you, and especially the eldest Latte and hoping that the hospital stay goes well.

  16. jfb57 - and the same with you - a Happy New Year to you.

  17. Happy New Year

    My resolution for this year is 'be grateful'.

    Much love x

  18. CalmDownDear - Happy New Year. Keep warm ;)

  19. A belated Happy New Year! May 2012 hold many air punches and not much sick, in bowls or elsewhere x

  20. I like to make lists of good things that have already happened rather than things I should really do but haven't. My resolution list looks suspciously like the one I made when I was 13 - lose a bit of weight, exercise a bit more, be nicer! Deep breaths work too.

  21. I almost feel like I shouldn't comment because I don't know you and clearly all these lovely people do. I have only recently found your blog and know nothing of your story, but I will delve deeper and try to understand. Hope 2012 is good to you

  22. I seem to have had my head permanently in a box in recent weeks but as I moved house ihave often wondered how you were getting on. Had I known you have your own theme tune I would have hummed it tunelessly to myself as I went (best muffled by all that cardboard). No resolutions in the House of NKK. I think I used up all my resolve Hosting my family for Christmas.

  23. Happy New Year to you all; and wishing you lots of strength for all those deep breath moments.
    I love Littlest resolutions - she has it nailed, hasn't she.

  24. Like the earlier commenter suggested, you are writing about such personal things I often hesitate to comment, but I've been thinking of you all and your rocky moments all January and hoping that your blog silence is because you are breathing so very hard.

  25. I didn't make resolutions this year . I rarely keep them. I had thought perhaps of resolving to sit around more, waste more time, eat more cake, take less exercise, go to bed later, get up later.
    Because it would be ok to break those.
    Don't be too hard on yourself.


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