I finally got around to opening my 2015 planner this week… halfway into January.

I am sitting in my dining room, drinking a cup of Builders Tea (milk, no sugar).  The sun is beautiful and I hijacked Kate’s disco ball last week because it sends tiny polka dots all over the room.  It makes me so happy.  The Christmas season was full for us, a good full, but taking down the decorations is like a breath of fresh air, a new beginning of sorts.

I’m not necessarily the Resolution Type, especially halfway into January.  But there is something about this season that lends itself to evaluation.  I will admit I’ve been eyeing spiderwebs hanging on the ceiling fans and daring to look under beds.  I even made bran muffins, though I’m not sure they’re healthy when you add a glob of butter on them and eat more than one.

 Sometimes when I look around me and all that needs to be done, I just tend to get overwhelmed and I quit before I start. But in an effort to keep myself sane, I decided that I would add to my planner just a few small goals I feel I can accomplish this year:

1. This year, I will teach my children to wear coats.  I don’t know about you, but my kids are forever arguing with me about what to wear when we leave the house.  They have lived in Michigan for their entire lives, and yet somehow as we leave the house, we have the exact same conversation about what they should be wearing to stay warm.  And they always seem genuinely surprised that I won’t allow spring jackets and shorts when it is January.  As we walk out the door, inevitably 10 minutes late, they ask: “Mom, do I need to wear a coat?” and I answer: “It is winter.  In Michigan.” Often they look at me after this statement with blank stares, like I haven’t really answered their question, which leads me to the next goal…

2.  This year, I will be more specific.  I have finally learned that flippantly telling my children to put away their dirty laundry just doesn’t cut it.  Instead, laundry needs to be put in the basket used for dirty laundry. Not beside the basket, not under the basket, not on the shelf of clean towels located just above the basket… but in the actual basket I have so kindly provided.  I will strive to close the loopholes, however many thousands there are.

3.  This year, I will call a truce. I will make peace with blue lumps of toothpaste that I find dry in the sink morning and night …and with the lone socks that I find under furniture and stuffed in the corners of the closets. I will learn to accept the foam darts and tiny legos, the rainbow loom bands and painting projects.  I will keep demanding that toots are to happen away from the dinner table, but in my heart I will know that it’s a battle I’ll probably never win.  Because these signs of life– the painful, smelly, patience building signs of life– will all too soon be a memory of the past.

Happy New Year, Friends.  May you have the courage to hold this blank slate of a new year in your hand, realize the gravity of what you’ve been given and then spend it wisely.  Keep your expectations low and when all else fails, just buy a disco ball.