So here, (in the order in which God presented us to our parents) are the three muses:
Coq au Vin
Resolution: Prepare my family to handle the practicalities of life in the wake of my demise
Yes, I know how that sounds, and no, I am not ill nor do I appear to be in any way on the verge of death. However, in 2015 I did become rather obsessed with the idea that if I died suddenly, Baguette and the two Oeufs (my husband and our daughters) would be left rather adrift. The thought upset me and I was determined to do something about it.
I do realize this may well be over dramatic (quite a la Bouche really!) not to mention paranoid (no Macaron I am not talking about you), but the fact remains that I run our everyday lives and as wonderful as Baguette is, he wouldn't know where to find the nail clipper, let alone what class Oeuf 2 attends at 3pm on Wednesdays. Add to that the fact that my death may depress him a bit, and, well, it just seemed best to use 2016 to make sure I was thoroughly organized.
I am not an untidy person, and I do believe in a degree of order and method, but I found that my existing filing and storage systems were rather idiosyncratic. So I spent January putting up four broad shelves in our den. One for each of us (why do I get one? Because there is nothing as wonderful as hunting through years of hoarded paper trying to find documentation for someone who has died. Been there. Didn't enjoy it) These shelves will eventually house everything from medical and dental information to files for school reports and certificates. I have also started individual books which contain recipes of favourite food (because after someone dies it is terrible to hear 'I want it the way insertdeceasedpersonsnameortitle made it' and realising that you don't know where to start).
While this month has been a lot about planning and layout, I did manage two very important items. I made a will and I paid for my funeral. Bouche is very irritable about all this and says I am a morbid control freak. But I like to think of it as making things marginally easier for those I leave behind. Besides I really don't want to have to haunt my husband just to tell him that the pair of paper scissors is in the right hand drawer of the desk.
(Note from Bouche: Yes I do think this is ridiculously depressing of you. Oh and I jolly well hope you are leaving me a book with my favourite recipes too. Humph)
Resolution : Bury the hatchet for Trou's sake
I don't think I am a bad parent but there is one aspect in which I know I can do better and that's how I manage things with Foie Gras (my ex husband and Trou's father). This is a tall order and I admit it isn't the first time this has been my resolution. I tried about 4 years ago and failed spectacularly.
This time though I am more optimistic. I loved Foie fiercely. Then I hated him equally fiercely. Both of those were a waste of energy. Now, my emotions are much less tumultuous. More than that I am convinced that this is what Trou needs.
The fact is most of us have children with someone because, well, won't the children born of our love be just wonderful? However, when you divorce, those traits which were once so inviting seem a lot less so. At best they make you rueful, at worst they make you dislike your child. There is probably nothing more futile for a child to hear than a disgusted and distressed 'Oh god you sound like your father/mother" Well of course he or she does. Why not?
Bottom line. I married the man. I wanted to have his children. So now, the order of the year is to stop my visceral negative reaction to the fact that my boy is sometimes like his dad.
How am I doing so far? You know I wasn't absolutely sure about that till a couple of days ago when Trou said "Ammi, are you ok? I know I behaved just like Thaththi this morning, but apart from chanting OOOOOMMMM under your breath you didn't say a word!"
Resolution: Pursue happiness
My battle with the bulge (or several bulges, in many places) has plagued me for practically my entire life. Apart from a brief fling with slenderness in my twenties, I have been losing and gaining the same 23kg for the last decade, and while I did recently have a great deal of success (I even borrowed Bouche's clothes!) I have, again, fallen off the wagon. To what extent? Well let's just say that the next time I wear a dress belonging to Bouche it will be on one of my thighs.
Normally this 'failure' would have led to an emotional spiral of depression and self loathing and I would have begun yet another year with 'Lose weight' as my number 1 resolution. But late last year I decided that this time I am not going to do it. To hell with this 'If I am thin I will be happy' nonsense! I am going to be happy first and see if that helps. Maybe happiness will keep me from sticking a spoon in a jar of Nutella and eating my way into a hazelnut induced stupor.
The fact is, 2016 is a landmark birthday year for me, and with it, I have had to admit to myself that I will very likely never have a child. I have made a reluctant peace with this. That being the case it seems downright silly to base my happiness on the size of my ass.
One month into the new year and I think I have done reasonably well. In honour of my 40th year on earth I made a list of 40 things that I want to accomplish in 2016. Some are small, some large. Some are things that will make me happy, some are things that will stop me being sad.
So far I have:
Got long dramatic false nails. You can blame Adele for the inspiration. I had them painted in a colour called Midnight Magic. I love them.
Started buying myself flowers every week (and no, I don't pretend they are from a man). Often I buy lilies (yes I know it's a funeral flower but I love them and they smell beautiful).
Got rid of all my 'one day I will be thin enough to wear these again' clothes. Good riddance.
Wrote a letter to the man who hurt me the most.
Wrote a letter to the man I shouldn't have broken up with.
(Both these letters are very comprehensive. No holds barred. They are in my desk. Maybe I will post them. Maybe I won't).
Signed up for singing lessons. I have my first class next week.
Each time I put a little 'check' by an item on the list, my heart lifts.
Oh yes, and I threw away my bathroom scale. GROBR to that too.
Bouche says that I sound like Coq Au Vin, like I am going through a bucket list, but unlike Coq Au who is rather gruesomely preparing for death, I am making room for happiness. So far? So good.
This is Bouche again. So here we are, three women, three very different resolutions. One wants to die better, one wants to live better and the third? Well the third just wants her son to know that she loves him, for everything he is.
Here's to keeping our resolutions.
How are you doing with yours?