Christmas is nearly upon us and before we know it, January 2015 will come knocking on the door of the last day of December. Once Christmas Day and my birthday are over (I am lucky to have an excuse to continue the festive celebrations) those long days of comfortable reflection will be here once again as one year’s business is closed and the new one’s not yet begun.
This year I plan to use this period of calm to approach my New Year’s resolutions in a slightly different style. Instead of giving something up or seeking self-improvement, I would like instead to resolve to live life to the full. When Adventure comes knocking on the door, I will try not to find excuses based in the mundane as to why I should not join it. With two kiddies, a house and a living to make, it’s easy to get bogged down in chores and responsibility and yet surely the biggest responsibility we all have is to make the very most of the life we have been blessed with? How can we expect to pass on a zest for living to our children if we do not practice what we preach?
Being a parent does undoubtedly make it harder to just jump up and do something. Spontaneity with young children in particular is always tricky – there is always a nappy bag to pack or meal breaks and bedtimes to think about. It is easy to lose your sense of individuality in the daily family routine and it takes a concerted effort to step away from the norm at times. Yet doing things with children can also be so rewarding and often more fun than doing them alone. Seeing new places or sharing new experiences with someone who has definitely not ‘been and done’ that before is incredibly rewarding. Every time we manage to get the wheels on our wagon and escape, whether for a local family walk or a week long adventure, we wonder why we don’t do it every weekend.
Completing my ‘Family Fun’ list for the Living List project a few weeks back got me more determined than ever to keep the good times rolling in next year, whatever circumstance might have to say about that. I had so much fun compiling my list and going over all the brilliant family experiences we have had so far and those which are still firmly on my ‘to-do’ list. I’m particularly hoping the Natural History museum still keep doing their sleepover nights when Roo is old enough to go – I can’t tell you just how excited I was when I first found out that was possible and have been looking for a child to take along to give me an excuse to go ever since!
I am also keen to book some adult-only adventure time too. Just last weekend my husband took me on a surprise wedding anniversary weekend to London where we climbed over the top of the O2 Arena (it will always be the Millennium Dome to me), sipped on champagne from the top of the Shard and explored London by night. It was fantastic to have some time just to ourselves and to experience things we can’t yet share with the girls. Reliving that exhilarating feeling of climbing up the side of one of London’s most iconic landmarks has also given me strength-of-self this week whilst I blur into a background of regularly dosing up and comforting a poorly baby who has not slept at night now for five days running. Next year it is my turn to plan our anniversary weekend and having had a browse through some of the other lists on the Living List page, I already have enough inspiration to fill a month long itinerary, let alone a weekend!
Quite what will be on our family list for living life to the max in 2015 is yet to be planned and is reserved for fire-side dreaming in the lazy after-glow of Christmas next week. I’ll be sad to see the end of 2014 – it’s been a good year with some fantastic places visited and fun things done as a family. With new adventures to plan, places to go and things to do, I am hoping 2015 will be just as fun.
What are your plans for 2015? If you have a particular adventure you need some financial help with making a reality then do check out the Living List competition. They have up to £1500 up for grabs to fund one of the projects on your list! All you need to enter is to tell them what you want to do and why you deserve to win, accompanied by a photo that means ‘happiness’ to you. It’s open until 31st January 2015 so perfect for that New Year’s resolution list.