I love New Year’s Eve. It’s the one holiday we spend without extended family. I get to cook which, I know, sounds cuckoo-loco. But coming from a big family, where my sole job includes remembering the paper napkins, it feels luxurious.

The kids and I watch New Yorkers on TV waving Nivea foam fingers as the ball drops. Deep in our Ikea cushions, we scarf whoopie pies, and collectively morph into bliss balls. At midnight, we raise sparklers outside in bare feet, making bets on whether the chinch bugs got our lawn for good last summer. Looking ahead, my optimism knows no bounds.

So many things I’ll “fix” this year. Cleaning out the goo in the bottom bathroom drawer. Banishing sugar from the pantry (forever!). Returning library books. These dreams grow in scale. I tack on aerial yoga. Building a backyard retreat. Teaching myself to weld.

I’m fantasizing this while balancing fudge on my tummy, listening to kids fight and the hubs curse the junk mail coup that’s overthrown his desk.

Snapping out of it, I must forge a new path. No more New Year, New Me. Who am I kidding, anyway, glancing at the army of water glasses living on my bedside table? I pledge a year of Low Bar Living.

Instead of a vigorous gut detox on Jan. 1, how about I just skip second breakfast? Maybe third breakfast too, but let’s not go crazy. That clutter pile behind my bedroom door that fuels my fury? Top it with a cute plant and call it done. The fudge won’t last forever, either. And if I cast off extra tasks, that surely includes baking.

I’m pleased I’ve poised myself for success this New Year. Just getting up in the morning in certainly a win.


Cate Berry is a children’s book author and mother of two based in Austin. Visit her at www.cateberry.com. 

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