There is a kind of ancient, magical feel to this last day of the year. In Germany it was always referred to by its saint's name, Sylvester. The short days and long nights--but with the knowledge that the shortest day of the year is already past; the cold outside and warm glow of the Christmas lights (still up until at least Epiphany) within; the end of the old and beginning of the new...
It is a time of fresh beginnings and resolutions to improve one's self. It always seems such a daunting task to set out on paper what one hopes to achieve in the coming year. And so often we bite off more than we can chew and by February we are sick of winter and sick of ourselves and our failure to stick to our resolutions. In light of this, I am going to keep my resolutions very simple. Better to make few resolutions and keep them (I hope!) than to make many and fail at most. Here are the ones that come to mind first and foremost:
1) My new schedule for household and school will be structured around times for prayer, however brief, and the children will be included in these with the exception of my early morning and bedtime prayer. I will try to have this schedule worked out by the end of January (this gives me some time to work out the bugs).
2) My husband will not constantly be bumped to the bottom of the list of priorities. It's easy to do; after all, there are all these needy little people around me and Bret can take care of himself pretty well. But we have been passing by one another too often lately and failing to connect. The best thing we can give out kids is to have them see mother and father loving, laughing and interacting with one another (I said this to Bret the other night and he responded by asking, "So we don't lock the door?" Please: Lock the door. )
3) I will try to be more patient and joyful with my children, and when I must discipline, I will try to do so without screaming. That's a tall order, as my boys are rather noisy and rarely hear me unless I scream. And they tend to ignore my pleas for quiet even when they do hear me. But I will try, because my being loud certainly won't make them quiet. I don't know that I can fake patience, but I will try to control my volume at least.
I have other goals, lesser ones. But these first three are for the spiritual and emotional well-being of my family, and any other goals are secondary. The other goals also rely on my coming up with a workable schedule, so really everything depends on this.