New Year’s Day 5am

I wonder how many people out there are writing their New Year’s resolutions? This is likely one of the first years in recent history that Big S and I have thought about resolutions. Not sure if it is because of how our lives together are changing…buying Little House, having a school age child and a toddler, both working full time jobs…these last few months have brought a lot of changes for our little family. Can’t wait for all that 2010 brings.

Today seems like a good day to start our official countdown to closing day on Little House. January 28th, 2010…that is as long as the Seller obtains the occupancy permit. Keep your fingers crossed for us. Since a countdown of sorts has started, there are probably things that we should be doing to prepare ourselves for moving. Yesterday we took 4 large bags of old toys, old clothes and other items to the secondhand bin. It is only a few blocks from our current house. There are three in a row – one for toys, one for books, and one for clothes. We haven’t gone through our books yet. It is on the plan, but I’m not quite there yet. Anyhow, yesterday Big S and I were looking through moving checklists, to see what we should be doing to prepare. And well, I’m kind of freaked out now about the possibility of moving. Which means it is time to get prepared, to make sure we’ve done all the necessary things it takes to make a successful move (I’m still figuring this out).

All this time we’ve spent working towards the goal of buying and fixing-up a house, and now moving time is almost here…and it actually seems like it is going to happen. I’m freaked out. There’s so much to do. Wonder how we’re going to afford all the things involved in purchasing our little piece of paradise? This brings me full circle – New Year’s resolutions.

First thing on the list is a new budget for the new year. This is going to be a small/big budget. A five year budget. I have a dream of paying off the mortgage in 5 years. If current interest rates stay where they are, I think we should be able to do it (that is if we keep our current work schedule). But can we sustain the schedule that we’ve got for 5 years? I’m really not sure I can keep up the 5 days 40+ hours a week. The 40+ hours isn’t a problem. But the 5 days at work is…I started working full time on the agreement that I could work from home one day per week. My work is really quite accommodating, but over the last year, things have not been in the same place as pre-little O. So, for this year, I’d like to get work on track, back to four long days of work. To be strict about this. Post my hours at work. Let everyone know, that I will only be at work M-Th 6-4. Be strong about sticking to these hours, and to not feel bullied into working more. Or even worse, feeling guilty because I just can’t get enough done in a day – I can learn how to be more efficient. Avoiding email for the first two hours of work really helps with this, as I do have a lot of paperwork and it often gets out of hand. So, for 2010, I want to have a clean desk, filed paperwork before leaving work each day…so that I can leave work behind at the end of the day, and chose my children over work. Because Little S and O will only be little for such a short window, we’ll never get these years back, and I want to look back and think about how we did the things we wanted and spent the time being parents, enjoying each day (or most days) with our children, our beautiful children. Spending time with the kids is another thing that I want so much. So, for the first time ever, we are going to plan our time off for 2010. Maybe even go on a holiday (budget willing).

Planning time off is going to be difficult. As Big S works contractually, so trying to plan for the end of contracts is a bit of a crap shoot. As we’ve just learned over the last week, we never really know when a contract might come to an end. He’s been told that he’ll likely be back at work on or before the 15th of January…so surprise! A couple of weeks off! Which is so completely awesome. I couldn’t be happier, even though we are losing a lot of income, it is just so amazing to have Big S home everyday, all day and all evening. I’ve missed him so much. Being together, has made us both realize that working all day and night and not seeing each other is not going to work for 5 long years. So, how do other people juggle work/home? Do they have families who really help out? I know that lots of children are sent to daycare, but that just isn’t for us. I need to find some people who are successfully parenting and earning enough to live comfortably in Vancouver (I know, money isn’t everything, but it sure does make things easier), and it is intricately linked with our goals for the next few years.

So, how many things is that now?

1. Budget – long term/short term

2. Get work week under control (I think this involves a lot of sub categories)

3. Plan a vacation

Lastly, getting Little House into tip top shape. I’ve got a lot of other things planned out for this year, and will get to them in time. Today I’m just going to concentrate on goodness and what we can do to enrich our lives, to enjoy the short time we have together. On that note, and an incredible digression from what is above, this little stanza from Antonio Machado’s larger work is going to be my mantra for 2010.

I dreamt last night that a hive of bees had overtaken my heart

And were turning fragments of failures and old regrets into sweet honey

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