Resolutions, by Deb Emily

Emily Winslow by Jonathan PlayerResolutions for 2010:

1) Finish the next book.

2) Exercise more frequently; cook more; snack less. (I find this less daunting and mind-twisting than “lose weight”)

3) Do a little email replying and a little tidying each day, so that I don’t end up with intimidating masses of Things That Need To Be Done.

The theory is that I need to change just a little of what I do every day (write a little, keep in touch a little, clean a little, and cook at least one proper meal), not make a Herculean effort all at once and then give it up after a few weeks. That’s the plan, anyway.

And now to look back for a moment at last week:

We just got back from a few days in Bristol, to jointly celebrate a big birthday and to do some background research on a new character. My sweetheart lived in Bristol for his teenage years, so he knows it well.

Our kids are really good sleepers, so long as they have their own rooms. There were few options of that size. We indulgently booked a “luxury penthouse” because it had three bedrooms, and figured, hey, it’s a big birthday! A splurge is okay.

The kids were wowed when they walked in. Statuary! Fake trees! A spiral stair to a rooftop terrace!

But within an hour flaws became apparent: Single-pane glass on all the many windows, in the middle of a bitter coldsnap and snowfall, left us shivering. And there was a creepy damp smell in our bedroom that I attempted, and failed, to dispel by propping the door open. There weren’t any dish towels or paper towels (for kid spills) or coffee mugs (for me!!) in the flashy, modern, otherwise-equipped kitchen. Oh, and a door handle came off in my kid’s hand.

Our older boy was the first to give up on his terrible mattress. Starting the second night, he slept on a couch instead. Our bed was pretty awful too, but I held out until the third night before I headed for a couch.

The funniest part was the fancy bathroom with an automatic light. A motion sensor by the door triggered the light on, and I suppose this was meant to be an indulgence. Really it was just a pain because we couldn’t keep the light on at night, as a beacon for the kids. And, we found out, the tub is too far from the sensor to have any effect, so every ten minutes or so the light goes out and you can’t restart it without getting out of the tub. Or calling for a visitor. My sweetheart had to be on a late conference call and paced the hallway, waving his hand through the bathroom door every few minutes to keep the lights on for me–thanks, honey!

All in all, we had a fun time, in the way that family camping is fun and at the same time really uncomfortable, and in some way fun *because* of the discomforts and coping with them together.

Perhaps the people who rent out that apartment could resolve to live in it for a few days, and make adjustments to it accordingly!

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Emily Winslow

53 thoughts on “Resolutions, by Deb Emily

  1. My resolutions resemble yours. Very funny about the bathtub and the light! And very true about how camping/coping with discomforts together results in fun. Memories, too.

  2. This will be a great family story you’ll repeat through the years! And that’s hysterical, about your husband waving his hand around while on business call… I can just see it!

  3. Oh no! I had a similar story this summer. Once we went camping despite iffy weather and when it was pouring down rain and we were all stuffed in our tent my son said our tent was named Character. I asked him why, and he said, “Because we put up our tent and you said this trip was for character-building!” Luckily, just as we were about to give up the rain stopped. So I suppose it was a lesson in persistence? Foolish optimism? How to eat hot dogs in the rain?

  4. Emily, you are a better person than me… I would have LOST IT at that place! Your patience is admirable. 🙂

    Oh, for the record.. I mave a mini resolution this year. I’m going to make more time to comment on everyone’s deb posts. I’ve been awful!

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