I always make New Year's Resolutions, although I have a poor record of follow through. About five years ago, I decided I wanted to learn how to swim, and that one worked out really well - the only stroke I can't do is the butterfly. And maybe 3 years ago I decided I had to lose weight, so I joined Weight Watchers, and lost 30 lbs, which I still haven't gained back yet (although I do work on it sometimes - damn you, Shady Glen and your delicious crispy cheeseburgers). Other than that, my resolutions have been utter failures: I haven't finished my degree, I haven't saved $2000, I haven't exercised on a daily basis, and my house is still a mess.
This year, I decided to deal with the messy house. My resolution is to do one thing every day that will help rather than hinder the ultimate goal of having a neater house. My sister suggested I sign up for Fly Lady, but I had to immediately unsign up after receiving 20 e-mails at work telling me it was time to deal with that entryway closet* and asking me if I was wearing laced up shoes**, and wondering if my sink was shining***. Thanks, but no thanks. In addition, she recommended a James Dobson parenting book, and I'm sorry, I cannot trust the judgement of anyone who would do that, I don't care if you can eat off her floors.
So far, it's going pretty well. I've made a dent in the piles of clothes in my room that need to be donated or thrown out. I take about 10 minutes a day to just throw out crap that I would ordinarily walk by without a second look. Instead of thinking "I'm going to have to deal with those books that someone has taken down and not returned," I just get up and deal with it.
And I have finally, after a lifetime, cultivated the habit of making my**** bed when I wake up. I've made my bed every day so far this year, and changed the sheets twice. What's more, this bedmaking has caught on, so now Monkey makes her bed everyday, too. (Sio is a compulsive cleaner, her room is completely spotless and she's always made her bed. Loki and I presume this is a recessive gene.)
So far, so good.
*My house was built in 1920, when it was apparently unfashionable to have closets on the first floor of a home. Our bedrooms have substantial closets, which is actually unusual for homes built at the time, because our neighborhood used to be *the* neighborhood, where all the chi-chi people lived. It's still a really nice neighborhood, even though we live there.
**I don't even own lace up shoes, because I cannot reach my left foot due to my hip. I'm a fast learner - the first time I had to ask someone to tie my left shoe for me was the last time I wore shoes with laces.
***My sink hasn't even been empty, let alone shining.
****Loki never makes it through the night in bed with me (his skin is so heat sensitive, and I'm an oven when I sleep. Plus, I have sleep apnea, and Loki is a light sleeper, so the sound of the CPAP keeps him awake. He nearly always ends up on the couch, which he says is his favorite place to sleep anyway. And after 16 years of marriage, I have come to believe that Rob & Laura Petrie had the right idea, sleeping in separate beds - it's easier to ride the bumpy road of marriage when one is well rested.