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This Time Next Year

By Kellie Purcill

This evening, I’m pulling down all the Christmas decorations. Our baby Christmas tree will be casually folded then cheerfully shoved until it (mostly) fits in the box it came in. The decorations will be jiggled carefully into their special container, the cards decking our windows put in the recycling bin, and the last of the tinsel will be swept up and away. At my place tonight, Christmas will be over, and we’ll be getting ready for “the next big thing”.

The big event is fast approaching, bringing much noise, chaos and dancing (and unheard pleas for quiet) – the long awaited, much anticipated celebration, which happens to be my baby’s tenth birthday. I’m not excited about it at all.

Sure, I have some presents for my son (as yet unwrapped), and he’s picked out the cake we’re having (cupcakes, in the shape of a ten, in two different flavours) and while I crushed his dreams of three eight-course meals during the big day (menu thoughtfully provided a week ago) he gets to choose what we’ll have for dinner, so he’s still happy. I’m just finding it a little difficult to accept and adjust to the fact that my baby is turning ten.

And that this time next year, he’ll be eleven. And that in five years’ (four Christmases, fifteen birthdays, one [please God?!] completed university degree and a whole lot of desserts) time, my eldest son will be old enough to go on a mission and in doing so miss my fortieth birthday party (which, considering the next five years,  may include straight-jackets as party favours – wanna come?)

He-Who’s-Nearly-Ten whirled up to me recently and said “You know, now I’m turning ten, I can definitely stay up all night until midnight for New Year’s Eve. What are your New Year’s resolutions?” I considered his question, pulling him in for a hug. “You know,” I told him “I’m not sure I’m going to have any.”

He pulled his head back, saying “Whaaaa-? But why not?”

“Not sure. I haven’t thought of any.”

“Ha! You’re funny, Mum” he laughed then spun off to another tangent.

As it is, every time I think of New Year’s Resolutions I think of a quote by Neil Gaiman, one that I have read to myself at New Year’s since I don’t know how long:

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”

That’s a New Year’s goal, wish and resolution I can fully agree with and aim for, even if I don’t know what I’ll be doing this time next year.

I don’t know what I’ll be doing, but I can hope. Hopefully I’ll be getting ready to pull down the Christmas tree and bake whichever cake is on Mister-Almost-Eleven’s party plan. Maybe thinking about what resolution I should/shouldn’t make (more dessert/less dessert?) for the upcoming New Year. Most of all, I plan that this time next year I’ll be thankful I recognised I (hopefully) have five tiny, fleeting hurtles around the sun left before I kiss my firstborn farewell for two eons, and that I spent the year accordingly. That I wore the year out with laughter and enthusiasm, with love and new memories, and look forward to more of the same.

Which future event is looming on your horizon? Do you make resolutions? What do you hope you are doing this time next year?


About Kellie Purcill

lives way on the other side of the planet in her native Australia and gives thanks for the internet regularly. She loves books, her boys, panna cotta, collecting words, being a redhead and not putting things in order of importance when listing items. She credits writing as a major contributing factor to surviving her life with sanity mostly intact, though her (in)sanity level is subject to change without warning.

18 thoughts on “This Time Next Year”

  1. This past year was pretty eventful (got divorced and turned 40) so I'm hoping the new year is less so. I'll be happy to end next year feeling much as I do now–finally in a peaceful, contented place in my life that is turning out to be nothing like what I expected.

    My resolutions are still just ideas bouncing around in my brain–to be more present with my kids, to have more gratitude, etc.

  2. Instead of making a list of specific resolutions (though I might still do that), I decided to choose a focus for the coming year. I love my lists but I inevitably forget about the majority of my resolutions by March, so I wanted to try something different this year. I want to strengthen my relationships so I am focusing on people. I think some weeks this will mean making those phone calls I keep putting off to friends who are far away and other weeks I'll invite someone over for dinner or games. I want to keep this "focus" simple and attainable and see if it sticks.

  3. What a great quote!

    'This time next year' is a difficult subject in our home right now. After living in North Carolina for the last 16.5 years my husband was unexpectedly laid off in October. It has been an interesting experience to have to move from talking about having faith in God and His plan to 'walking the walk' and being willing to trust His plan if it includes leaving a place and people that we adore. I know that I have been extra aware at each moment during the season that this could be the last–the last time to carol with our friends, the last time we share a Mexican feast on Christmas day, the last time we will plan a menu for the Christmas holidays because we are spending so much time together. I have felt gratitude that we know this in advance so we can cherish these moments, but it is still painful to contemplate…

  4. Well, I don't know what's coming up for me. But the more my own boys grow, the more freaked out I get about what kind of experiences are ahead as far as mothering goes.

    I hope next year at this time I'm at my house with my kids having just spent a lovely holiday with my in-laws. And maybe there will be snow. I also hope that we will have saved up enough and stored up enough that we will be that much more self-reliant. And I think this last year was eventful enough and would really like a quieter year. 🙂

  5. I love your writing, Kellie! And happy birthday to your boy. As for goals, I'm big on them. I do best with a "theme" for the year. My theme for 2012 is from a scripture: Let patience have her perfect work.

    I'm teaching the YW this Sunday. About goals, of course. Meta-goals, mostly. What kind of person to you want to be? What will you do to move yourself in that direction? We all need more BE goals. The DOs will naturally follow.

    But when I fall flat, I'll reread this quote and be comforted. Good stuff!

  6. I hope to channel more through Christ–it's something I've been thinking about today as I deal with my ornery teenager(s)–the ones who will be leaving for missions soon. I don't like to be upset with them for their stage of life right now (it is a stage, right? Oh please let this just be a stage! ;)) So as I sat across the table from one of them the thought occurred to me that for my own sake I don't have it in me to be pleasant with him (at least not as much as I should be) but if I keep reminding myself that for Christ I can do it, then I can do it. (I hope. ;)) So that is my New Year's resolution.

  7. Love that quote!

    I love goals and resolutions but have a pretty bad track record of actually accomplishing them. And this past year threw several things at me that were not on the radar at all in January. So this year I hoping to choose a few simple things to work on and see what comes.

    Happy birthday to your boy!

  8. I understand your pain, Kelly. Each minute of my life seems to be about a year in my children's. How I hated to anticipate the longed for/dreaded mission! And yet, it came. We survived it; you will survive it. My best advice to you is to treasure each silly or boring moment. Each minute you have is one that will never be, nor never need to be, repeated. My children range from 22 to turning 9, possibly on your son's birthday. Each age brings new treasures and the certain knowledge that the age before was easier. Enjoy the moment! Give your energy to the things you love and the resolutions will take care of themselves.

  9. That's a great quote, especially because I don't believe in making goals based on what day it is. I look forward to the coming year to continue with the goals I already have and helping my children survive.

    As much as those years with your son seem like they'll fly by, there will be struggles that make the days drag and your heart ache. When the time comes for a mission you'll see that it's just the right time, keeping him home would put his future on hold. Letting children go is the only way they can fly!

  10. Excellent quote. I struggle to make productive goals, not ones that will just make me feel bad or obsessive. Goals that even when I don't reach them will stretch me in the right direction.
    My only serious goal for 2012 is to get rid of diapers in this house once and for all. If we don't get it done in 12 months, I don't know what I'll do.

  11. I like what Lisa G. said:

    We all need more BE goals. The DOs will naturally follow.

    My RS Pres launched a "12 traits for 2012" in her lesson last month. I am writing one of the traits at the top of each calendar month right now so that they will be in my mind.

  12. I stink at resolutions, but am fairly decent at embracing the crazy fast-paced roller coaster ride that is this life. All I know about the next year is that for the first time in nearly four years we should all be together again. I look forward to that–for better or worse (most times with family you get a bit of both).

    Happy New Year, Kel! Love you–

  13. KJ – having been through divorce last year, I know just surviving can be a huge battle (and victory). I hope you have a lovely 2012!

    Kate – a focus sounds like a great idea. I may just find a focus of my own.

    Cindy – that sounds difficult and bitter-sweet. I hope it all goes really well for you and yours.

    Tay – I hope you have a quieter year too (though with boys, 'quieter' is kind of relative I think!)

    Lisa G – Amen! I'm aiming for more BE than DO goals as well. Patience? I can try!

    Ana – thank you, I think I'll be using "I'll do it for Christ" often. Thank you for the different approach.

    Melissa Y – January radars do seem a little reluctant to work… A few simple things seems to be a common theme.

    Forgotgingkoba – loved this "Give your energy to the things you love and the resolutions will take care of themselves". Thank you!

    Jendoop – thank you for your advice. I'm hoping the struggles will be overcome!

    Eliana – a nappy-free year is a beautiful thing. I hope it happens quickly for you!

    Jewel – a trait a month is a good idea. And ten year olds are AMAZING!

    Dalene – you made me realise that in 7 years I'll have my oldest back again, a great thing to look forward to. I can't imagine how wonderful that will be, and know the return of yours will be much anticipated.

    Thank you all for sharing, and from He-Who-Is-Now-Ten many astonished thanks for the birthday wishes. And to close, another Neil Gaiman quote sent by a friend:

    “I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you'll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you'll make something that didn't exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.”

  14. I'm a no-resolution kind of person. Definitely.

    In fact, my goal in life right now is to try not to constrain my life too much, to learn to take each day and try to follow the Spirit better, to do what makes sense today, rather than place expectations on my life, body, others, self, and that process of becoming. The older I get, the more I realize how sllllooooooowwwww that process really is.

    I honestly don't know how to balance that kind of dance with the wisdom of goal-setting, though.

  15. Yes! A perfect New Year's quote. Thank you for that. And Happy Birthday to your son. Happy Next Year's Surprises to you!

    My favorite resolution (from seven years ago and I'm still keeping it religiously): wear more bracelets.


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