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  • Writer's pictureRobyn


It's that time of year, the dictates of our calander say "New Year; time to look back, time to look forward." "Be introspective, but not too much." "Don't dwell on the last year, but use it to inform your ideas for the year ahead." "Be ambitious." And a little voice says "Try not to cock it all up." It's enough to get one diagnosed with a split personality disorder, but Janus seems to have it covered, he can look both ways at once.

So, to look back - it's been a pretty good year. Personally anyway. Political insanity is not something I particularly want to go into. But for me, I actually achieved a bunch of the things I wanted to. I really enjoyed my new role at school in the drama department sorting out costumes, and working with a team to get the Minotaur on stage was amazing. I've also taught quite a lot of English and enjoyed at least most of it. At home I managed to get the living room at least three quarters done, I still haven't made new cushions, but we have bookshelves, pictures and curtains from this decade. I managed to get the pony out to a few competitions - dressage rather than show jumping which was my inital goal, but my expanding belly put paid to that, we even got a couple of rossettes.

Most importantly, I still have two beautiful children and a husband and everyone seems to be happy and healthy.

Sally has done so well in her first term at school - I can't believe how much she has learnt and Pip has gone from a giggling infant to a fully ambulatory, opinionated little person who loves to make everyone laugh. The ambulatory part is pretty important, he's going to get ousted from the buggy in approximately 8 weeks! (He did walk for about 2 miles around The Vyne on our last outing of the old year which was encouraging.)

And to look forward? I really ought to be careful here. The chief goal and the one which I expect is going to take up most of my time is going to be getting to next Christmas with a full compliment of three children and a husband. No accidently leaving anyone anywhere, remembering to feed everyone on a daily basis and probably doing a ridiculous amount of laundry. Some sleep. Oh please let this year have some sleep in it. I've had two pretty good babies where sleep is concerned, I'm not holding my breath with a third. I'm praying for a nice cute bundle of cuddles and happy snoozing but I'm braced for a squawling little terror.

But I wouldn't really be me if that was all I was thinking about.

One of the things I'm a bit bothered by at the moment is plastic in my life. It feels like an area that despite a concerted effort remains somewhat out of control. An endless procession of the stuff seems to parade its way through my house and I flounder in its face. And you know what, it's me that brings 90% of it in. I'm not entirely daft, I expect some of this new resolve is a reaction to knowing how little control I'll have at points over the next few months. Nonetheless, it is something I'm determined to get a grip on this year.

Writing something down, even in the limited readership of the 10 reliable readers I'll get for this, has a habit of making things happen. So, little battles with plastic is going to take another step. I'm aiming for a Gwyneth Paltrow style conscious uncoupling - I've become more conscious of which products bring the most plastic in, and now I'm going to go about stopping them. Yes, in theory a lot of is recyclable, but that is hardly a clean or reliable process and significant amounts of plastic are incinerated or end up on landfill the other side of the world. So, new year, new, significantly less plastic policy. I do have a bit more of a detailed plan for this, but it wouldn't do to write it all in one place now, would it?

There are a few other things which I jotted down one evening last week:

Enjoy maternity leave as much as possible, but try not to overdo it. Get outside lots with the children. Try not to be selfish with my time and show my husband how much I value him as a person rather than someone I can tag in on childcare by making sure he has the time and space to do the things he likes to do.

Get back riding in the spring and see if I can't get Keith to a few shows over the summer, it really would be fun to do some jumping on him and he might in fact make quite a good dressage pony. Plus I got new boots for my birthday, and a new bridle for Christmas so I ought to show them off!

Try to be less crap at growing things in the garden. The raised beds did help last year, but the massive heat wave and the drought did not. It would be nice if some of the plastic reduction came from actually growing things myself and then eating them.

Get photos of the whole family rather than just the children. Putting together a photo book at the end of the year did highlight just how bad I am at this, not only was there just one passable photo of the four of us, there was also a very limited number of the grandparents or the rest of the family.

Finish War and Peace. There is a back cover, so I assume it ends at some point.

Get the baby out. Two months left, but please can it be time to get the baby out? Get the baby out safely obviously. (I have the meeting with the midwife soon where I get to make my birth plan. I've done it twice, I know the drill, promises are made, promises are broken, some people report delightful water births with mood lighting and calming whale music, but really, just get the baby out without too much faff and palaver and if we're both in one piece at the end of it I'll be ok, honest.)

Name it, feed it, cuddle it. Wear not maternity jeans that don't try and fall off everytime I sit down or climb some stairs.

SLEEP. Pretty please?

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