It’s a new day, and I’m going to make some changes.
OK, more accurately, it’s two months in from the new day specifically known as New Year’s Day, and I’ve been thinking about all the changes I should have made then to ensure a successful new year by now.
Here are the goals:
- Stop being so tired all the time
- Get back into writing
- Exercise the doggos with regular walks so the backyard doesn’t look like a poorly planned out but nonetheless enthusiastic reenactment of World War I trench warfare
- Spend more quality time with the kiddos and Missus before they grow up/old and hate me
Note: goals not necessarily in order of priority.
So I chugged down a few (iced!) espressos and turned the ol’ noodle loose on the problem of how to make my dreams come true.
Here’s what’s gonna happen:
Every night, kiddos in bed by 8, me by 8:30.
Get my minimum eight hours sleep in, wake at 4:30am. Shower, breakfast, and the like.
5am: Write for two hours.
7am: Scream at kiddos to wake up and get ready for school. Leave for work, dumping aftermath of screaming on the Missus.
5pm: Leave from work.
6pm: Arrive home.
6:30pm: Dinner. Missus, strangely enough, still annoyed about the morning scream despite the passage of nearly twelve hours. Dinner is cold and moderately poisoned.
7:00pm: Still apologizing to Missus, trying to smooth things over with now-terrified-of-me kiddos.
7:30pm: Dogs, picking up on the others’ feelings, may be turning on me. Take them for a walk in attempt to win them back over / tire them out so they can’t dig up the yard tomorrow.
Note to self: Walk in the front yard, not the back. Too many trip hazards in the backyard due to last two months of not properly exercising the muddy mutts.
8:00pm: Kiddos in bed, each clutching an improvised weapon as they are concerned I will snap in the middle of the night.
By following this simple formula, I will not only be refreshed, productive, able to mow the lawn without taking my life in my hands, and a better father/husband, but I will also set a shining example for my family, friends, and you, dear readers, on how to succeed.
It’s a good plan. Too bad it’s also a load of crap.
Even if I cajole the kiddos into their beds by 8, they won’t be quiet, let alone asleep, by 8:30. The whining at the announcement of bedtime alone has triggered multiple complaints from the neighbors and two, yes two! welfare checks by the police.
On top of that, I’m a night person, so even if I was in bed by 8:30, no way I’m asleep before 11.
And sure as shooting I ain’t getting up at 4:30 (at least, not 4:30 in the AM). Oh, I might wake up for a moment, but then I’m rolling over and going back to sleep. Not to mention the beating the Missus might inflict on me when my alarm wakes her at 4:30.
That’s not the least of the problems with this ‘brilliant’ scheme. I wish I could plan regularly scheduled quality family time, but that’s not how it works. People have bad days, freak out, need to be hugged / restrained, all unscheduled.
And that’s just me!
The rest of the family (and those bloody, digging dogs) will need me for indeterminate periods at random times as well plus help with homework and listening patiently to the terrible things that happened at school and the horrible things the kiddos did when they got home from school not to mention the most minute details about how the latest Minecraft mini-game works and why it’s hilarious kill me now the kiddos alone can go off for hours on video games and [INSERT YOUR DEITY HERE] help me if I’m not paying attention and can’t answer a spot check question failure to do so triggering another hours long lecture about the importance of listening to your kids. Ugh.
So really, I don’t just not have a plan for a successful new year, I can’t possibly come up with one.
Instead, I have a plan to survive the new year:
Do the best I can. Be there for my family. Squeeze in fun and writing and relaxation where I can. Nap in the car at lunch if need be.
And, most importantly, drink a lot of coffee.