I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around 2010. It sounds like a prescription from the optometrist, or a verse from a song designed to teach kids to count by tens. Backwards. But maybe I'm saying it wrong? Is it "Twenty-Ten" or "Two Thousand Ten?" Or maybe "Two-oh-one-oh?" Just hours into the new year and I'm already confused.
Maybe it's because I don't really want to let go of 2009. The sparkle of the holidays still lingers in our house, and I mean that quite literally because those glitter snowflakes I put up have shed all over basically every flat surface. But I'm still not quite ready to take them down. Though the Christmas tree is beginning to look a bit pathetic, I can't bring myself to separate it from the little boy who races down the stairs each morning and yells "1...2...3!" as I turn on the lights. Christmas 2009 was certainly a memorable one: the first ever for a sweet baby girl who arrived 6 months and 2 days before Santa; the first time a certain 2-year-old boy really understood what was going on. And I, for one, just don't want it to end.
"It will only get better," my been-there, done-that friends say, and I'm sure that's true. Because as wonderful as this past holiday season, and the year as a whole have been, there are definitely areas that could use some improvement. Which is why, like most people, I'm working on a list of New Year's Resolutions. But this year I resolve to not resolve anything involving weight loss or exercise. And let's face it, I will not likely write the Great American Novel in 2010, so I resolve not to resolve to do that either. In fact, in honor of this nonsensical sounding year, I'll think I'll try some non-resolutions.
1. I will change fewer diapers. No, I'm not going to leave my children to sit in filth, but I will allow others to help more when it comes to diaper duty and all the rest. And I suppose it's also time we get going on the Great Potty Training Adventure.
2. I will sit down more. Yes, I know all about the obesity epidemic and the lazy-fication of America. But in my corner of the world, I too often find myself hovering over the table at meal time, slicing grilled cheese sandwiches with one hand, mixing baby purees with the other, eating my own food with.... well, there's the problem. Even prisoners sit down to eat.
3. I will break traditions. At least the ones that no longer work for anyone involved. Like the giant family holiday get-together that takes place too late at night with too much food, too much drink, and too little quality time. "That's the way we've always done it" isn't a good enough reason to continue. New traditions have to start somewhere, and somewhere is now.
4. I will not always focus on the present. I'm pretty sure the moments that seem so incredibly stressful, so draining, so intolerable right now will look and feel very different 10, 20, or 30 years from now. When my son is 12 and is too cool to acknowledge me in public I'm sure I'll long for the days he begged me to sing "Frosty the Snowman" for the 27th time. Staying up all night with a coughing baby girl won't seem so bad when I'm staying up all night waiting for her to come home.
Sure, there are other areas of life that could use some work, but I'm just going to start with these four. I'm hoping that working on what matters most in my life will bring more inner nourishment than any new diet, more strength than any gym membership could provide. I'm still not sure what to call the year, but I pray that 365 days from now I'll be looking back, holding onto each last moment, and just calling it unforgettable.
Mona Shand is a TV and radio news reporter and a contributor to annarbor.com who lives in Brighton.