New Year Resolutions are made to be broken, but they must at least be made. In my case, if for no other reason than that they make knocking off this simple column (yes, I repeat, any of you could have written it) simpler still.
We are in the midst of what in certain parts of India is known as the “fastive season”, and it is the time to “make marry”, so what can I do but to show you that I am more in touch with my indolent side than usual?
In any case, when it comes to parenting (a subject in which the dynamics change continually), so many rules are no sooner made than broken. What value do resolutions have? I don’t know. Do you? With parenting, who can tell?
Resolutions, then. They are mine, but they (or some of them, or variants of some of them) could be yours as well. We are all sort of in this parenting business together, aren’t we?
So, four resolutions. Why four? Well, why not? Four is just a number (as good a number as any), just as January 1 is just a date (as good a date as any, as good as, say, January 2 — which is when you are reading this column, although I wrote this well before the year reached its dying moments).
Be patient: No, sorry, that’s all wrong. Be more patient. Be still more, ever more patient. Try deep breathing, try green tea, try standing on my head, try collapsing in a heap. But every time that I am trying to understand how a sentence works (really works) in a book, and I am asked, in a high-pitched, urgent voice, a question I don’t know the answer to and frankly don’t care about, I shall not be instinctively short or evasive or dilatory. Most of all, I shall not postpone an attempt at answering till the question has been forgotten.
Stop whingeing (1)… About how the demands of parenting are leaving me with less time to write than I would like. Cyril Connolly talked about the pram in the hall being the real enemy of writers, but given that I have always published books with the pram (or the Lego set or other accoutrements of childhood in the house), I have no business cribbing. Get more used to it. At least try.
Stop whingeing (2)… About how the demands of the day job are leaving me with too little time for quality parenting. I signed on for the sort of day job I currently have, I went into it with my eyes open, and as long as I have it, however annoying and consuming some of its aspects may be, there is no point feeling put upon. One simply has to get on with it.
Savour it: There is nothing quite like being a parent of a growing child, nothing as uniquely rewarding and fulfilling. Savour each moment. None of them will ever return; each of them is unrepeatable.
Have a happy new year. Onwards…