Wednesday, 8 January 2014

New (school) Year Resolutions

The regular reader of my 'puerile witterings' (their words) might recall my previous renouncing of all things resolution, new year's or otherwise.

Partly (I'll admit) this is because I'm rather poor at keeping them. But the main reason, I like to think, is that they're actually rather set up to fail. Because if a New Year's Resolution was something you really wanted to do, surely you'd have done it by now (or resolved to) rather than waiting until 'new year'?

Nevertheless, the start of term and a return to the dreaded 'school run' has brought to mind certain irritations I could well do without. So I thought I might give the ol' resolutions another go in the hope of achieving a certain zen-like peace each morning.

A fortnight of being blissfully unaware of the traffic chaos on local roads, being free of pushchair wars and dog-poo dodging has made the culture shock of the start of term this year even more acute. So here are a few of the stress-points of my daily round that I hereby resolve to avoid getting worked up about. For a few days, at least.

First, I resolve not feel smug about those parents we pass on our daily walk or cycle to school and whom we see still trying to park their cars as we arrive at the school gates, unload bags and say our goodbyes. Some are still  trying to find a legal berth for their cars as I stroll home for breakfast. Others don't bother, and park anywhere and everywhere which brings me on to…

Number two: parking. Talking of cars (as I was) this year I resolve not to stress about the atrocious, dangerous and downright deplorable examples of parking near the school gates. Nor will I allow myself to get annoyed by those motorists who go to great lengths to avoid causing congestion to their fellow drivers by instead causing enormous inconvenience to those of us who use the pavements.

I will also try desperately hard not to stress about the irresponsible dog-owners who allow their pets to foul the many footpaths we use on the way to school. And I promise I won't threaten them with the return of their canine property once I've scraped it off the pushchair wheels.

I will not under any circumstances remonstrate with the drivers of vehicles we see each morning doing this…

or this...

Nor will I do more than tut and sigh when yet another motorist cuts us up while we're on the bike, or passes and then deliberately pulls to within a millimetre of the kerb so we can't pass on the inside when they're stuck in the inevitable traffic queue.

Next, I will try my damnedest not to care when people spit in the street. I will walk past as if the ground has just been strewn with sweet-smelling rose petals, rather than a glob of gelatinous green gob we're in danger of taking home on our shoes.

And finally, on what should be the nicest part of our daily route as we cross the town park (and - yes - as early as eight o'clock in the morning!) I will resolve to ignore those poor inebriated souls who feel the need to relieve themselves in full view against a tree...

All this I resolve to do in order to lower my blood-pressure on the school run this year.

Oh, and one more thing.

I will maintain a  constant vigil of the skies for airborne pigs, too.
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