We’re not big ones for New Years’ Eve in this house, really. The older you get the faster it comes around, and instead of a fireworks champagne celebration it feels like marking another year getting older. It’s funny, isn’t it? When you’re young it seems like time stands still interminably. As you get older I swear the clock spins at 3x normal speed. And sometimes all you want is to celebrate each moment without already preparing for the next one.
All of which sounds dark and depressive, but I’m really not. Really. I’m introspective (but when is that new?) but not down.
Christmas was lovely. Although I was knocked out by the norovirus for a good five days and may in fact be the only person to come out of Christmas weighing less than when I went in, it was good. We did very little – watched movies on TV. Enjoyed our presents. Spent family time. Played a fabulous new game that we all love.
I did have my Christmas theatre and meal out with my friends, and in case you thought my Christmas story wasn’t real here’s photo proof that I really did get dressed up with two of my closest:
(My friends do have faces. They’re quite handsome, actually, but they didn’t ask to have their photo published so I am taking artistic license).
On Christmas night Nora woke up at 330 am (I know this as we kept the bedroom door open so we could hear them) and all I heard was whispers of joy “He’s been! The mince pie is gone! The milk is gone! There are stockings!” I gently guided her back to bed through her tears (“I can’t sleep, this is much too exciting!”) and we all got another 3 hours of sleep, until two little people went screaming through the hallway, banging on the doors of their older brother and sister and exploding into our room with “He’s been! He’s been! Santa’s been!”
I got to have Christmas day the way I love it – everyone opens their stockings on our bed and we ooh and aah over what Santa left us. We head downstairs en masse and have coffee and more presents (it would normally have been mimosas and more presents but I was still very much struggling with not vomiting, so coffee it was). The twins had a marvelous Christmas – we aren’t big on mounds of presents but they got about 4 each, and they were loved (particularly his remote control train and digger. She got a Milky Bunny, which she loves but I find creepy (and which is substantially cheaper over here, surprisingly)). Christmas was also loved by the older kids – iDocks, computer equipment were popular. In hindsight I should have re-thought the recorders I bought the twins, and the iDock does mean that really shit music is played out of Melissa’s bedroom.
Clearly, I am aging.
For Christmas I got the one thing I’ve been wanting for ages – I got a chicken coop. Rather, I got Alastair and Jeff building the chicken coop. Once it’s ready, I am getting 6 chickens – 3 standard stock, and I get 3 ex-battery rescue chickens in early February. I am beside myself. I can’t wait to have the chickens here, I think it will be brilliant.
I look back at 2012 and feel conflicted – I think it was a good year. It was probably a good year. The truth is, most of my years are so tumultuous that I don’t know what’s good and what’s not good. There was a lack of tumult this year (apart from a dire stretch in October which we need not go into). The absence of drama is a good thing by and large, and in fact even having some drama helps show me that coping? I can do it these days without breaking down.
In 2012 the following happened:
- The Olympics (and I got to see the Opening Ceremony rehearsal and the synchronized diving finals).
- The Diamond Jubilee (during which it pissed down the entire time).
- We celebrated Alastair’s 50th birthday in India, overlooking the Taj Mahal.
- Melissa moved in for 6 weeks. It then became 18 months.
- We hopped in the car and went to Italy for a week. As one does.
- Maggie died.
- I left a bad job role within the company into something that I look forward to doing every single day.
- Extensive DIY happened on the house (more on that later).
And we keep going. Life keeps going. It’s not deep, saying that, it just is. I like this life, this lack of insanity life.
I close with this – yesterday Nick and I trooped off to a nearby city to pick up a new digger. His one from Father Christmas broke on its second day so we picked up a new one. He completely accepted that Santa took back the old one and arranged a new one to be delivered to a local toy store. He commended Santa for his prompt organizational skills.
Thus the little boy and I rode off into the sunrise. We got there early and so indulged in a coffee and a chocolate milkshake at McDonald’s accompanied by Nick’s pet dinosaur Dararara (I have no idea how the name came about).
We picked up the digger and came home, where a little chap has been incredibly happy since.
When my life is as complicated as replacing a digger, accompanied by my son with his cheeky grin and a tummy full of chocolate milkshake and his relentless chat, when my daughter’s imaginative stories start out as “Mummy, imagine you’re a giant fish finger and need to swim to New Zealand! That would be amazing!”, when the biggest conflict I have of the day is what to make for lunch, when I watch the foundations of my chicken coop go up accompanied to the good music of Mumford and Sons, then that….that is the definition of good in my life. That.
Happy New Year.