Happy New Year!

This morning, for the first time in more than two months, I set the alarm clock.  It’s the first day of the new school year and it’s back to business for all of us.

As I write this, the house is entirely quiet and I have the whole day to myself.  While my husband Craig pictures me spending this ‘free’ time eating bon bons on the couch and
watching The View, I’m actually running around like a maniac.  The first thing I did when I got home from walking the kids to school, was make a list of things I must do today.  The list is unreasonably long, but I’ve learned that this is the kind of thing I like to do to myself.  I just can’t stand it if I don’t have some sort of pressure weighing down on me.

But today is different.  It’s New Year’s Day.  While it’s generally accepted that this is the mindset of kids going back to school, I would also say that it’s true for us adults.  You never really get over the lure of brand new sharpened pencils and a perfectly blank notebook.   It signals a fresh start full of endless possibilities for the future.   And so I find myself looking for ways to get that feeling.

Today I will finally vacuum.  I will clean out the front hall closet and reorganize my kitchen cupboards.  I will respond to all of those ‘do later’ emails that have piled up over the summer, I’ll send a cheque to our investment guy for our kids’ RESP account and I’ll reconcile six months worth of bank statements for my home based business.  I will get back to my routine of daily exercise and will break my dessert habit. I will make banana muffins so that my kids have a freshly baked treat in their lunch tomorrow and I take extras to my neighbour across the street who lost her Mother recently, so her kids will have a nice treat too.  In short, I will be a better person.

All of this was on my mind as I gathered up a week’s worth of newspapers and retail flyers for the recycling bin.  And in doing so, I spotted a disturbing trend.  It seems that my local grocery retailers are not very supportive of my New Years pledge to eat healthier.  Right there on the front page of almost every flyer (Fortinos; Longos; Metro; Food Basics; Freshco; Shopper’s Drug Mart; Pharmasave) was Coke or Pepsi advertised at a great price.  The exceptions were No Frills which featured chocolate milk, Wal Mart which featured pudding and Sobey’s which featured Haagen-Dazs bars (how cruel!)

Interestingly, Sears seemed to be the only retailer going after this adult marketing opportunity.  On their cover is a picture of a woman my age (or so I`d like to think
so) wearing a stylish outfit, featuring discounts on shoes, handbags, fashion accessories and home decor.  All relatively small ticket items that I can afford, even with that back to school VISA bill looming in the back of my mind, and that feed into the mindset of refreshing one’s home and wardrobe for the new year.

It will likely be January before we start to see Weight Watchers advertise in earnest.
But who is going to be able to stick to a new diet and exercise program in the dark and dreary days of winter?  Now is the time to get outside and start exercising.  Now is the time to make something fresh and healthy with all those tomatoes that are finally ripening in your garden.  Now is the time to do a good housecleaning and get those little projects done before the snow flies.  I swear to God I’m going to follow through on all of these plans and resolutions this fall.

I celebrated this decision by having a Dairy Queen Blizzard last night.  Peanut butter cup.  With extra stuff.

Anyone else out there seeing today as a fresh start?  Use the comment bubble to share your New Year’s resolution and maybe in January we can check in on our progress.  Or maybe not…  depending on how I do with mine!

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3 thoughts on “Happy New Year!

  1. I guess everyone had a name for this day…my wife and I called it “Mother’s Day” because it was a day when Mom could do whatever she wanted. You seemed to choose the “high risk/high reward” challenge of the overstuffed project list. Probably an artifact from your days in big corporations. My wife would have chosen differently, but that’s OK because it is Mother’s Day and you can choose to do what you want to do. Just don’t forget to allow the evening hours for the annual “run to the office supply store to buy all the stuff your kid’s teacher wants him/her to have for the year” event (which was always my contribution to Mother’s Day!).

  2. Don’t get me started on those school supplies! We are provided a comprehensive list in advance with things like Kleenex, Ziploc bags, paper towels, coloured copier paper and hand sanitizer for each kid to bring. These sound more like classroom basics to me but I guess that’s public education for you. Last year Taylor had white board markers on her list. Well, they come in packs of four so with all 22 kids complying with this request, the teacher had 88 white board markers! Interestingly there are no white board markers on the list this year. I suspect that last year’s grade six class supplied enough inventory to carry the whole school through this year. But yes, the teachers always remember a few more things on the first day. I laughed when I read you comment because Jack and I just got back from WalMart where we jostled among crowds made up what felt like every other family in Oakville for the meagre inventory that is left. Felt like a peanut scramble! I’m just glad that Jack was happy with black binders.

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