Family comes first

Posted December 30th, 2005 by Penny Wise

Another Christmas done and dusted and my freezer has never looked so good! All the leftovers from Christmas Day have been recycled in some way - the vegetables were all made into tasty pies and frozen and Mum showed me how to make turkey and ham croquettes with the leftover meat, which were also frozen. Better than leaving in the fridge to shrivel up and dry out for a week before feeding to the dogs, which is what usually happens! Our little vegetable garden is going crazy, with cauliflower, broccoli, beans and tomatoes all leaping out of the ground and the plum trees are all dropping fruit, yum! Noel and Ali have been out game fishing a couple of times this week so we have enough tuna and kingfish to feed half the district now too!

Christmas was heaps of fun. The karaoke machine came out and we were all in fine voice. I have a feeling it will be getting plenty of use when we all get together tonight to see in the New Year as well! Mum and Maxine were both recipients of Destitute Gourmet books under the tree and Christmas dinner was super easy with all those pre-prepared vegetables! I'm looking forward to trying out Sophie Gray's Christmas Cake ice cream on the family soon too. We love Christmas cake, but not the indigestion that goes with it, so it may just help!

I've printed out my habit changer calendar from the Simple Savings website in readiness for tomorrow. I'm not sure what I'll choose for my first bad habit - there are so many to choose from! I have also printed some out for my friends to give to them. It's a tricky one, because it's a fantastic calendar which I think has something for everyone and is really thought provoking and motivational. However, I don't want my friends to think that by giving it to them I'm saying they're not any good with their money! Hopefully they all know me better than that and will be as keen to try it out as me.

If there is one major thing I aim to change this year, it is to make my life simpler and less complicated. Ever since my return from visiting Fiona and her family, I have been inspired. I'm full of admiration for this couple who, despite running a successful business which transforms peoples' lives on a daily basis, despite dealing with all the pressures and demands owning your own business entails and despite everything else that inevitably crops up along the way, one thing still stands out a mile. Family comes first. I read somewhere that Fiona described her home and family as her oasis and it is so true. It is a precious thing, which should be given the protection and nurturing it deserves. Over the years I have let my life become more and more complicated until it inevitably takes its toll on the family. I hate myself for every time I shoo my boys away or tell them 'not now, I'm too busy' when I should be putting them first. I want my oasis back! So, that's my number one aim for 2006. To swap phone calls for cuddles. To swap meetings for bedtime stories. To swap surfing the Internet for playing with my boys. To actually listen to them instead of doing a dozen things at once while they talk to me. To turn my computer off when they get home from school and give them my full attention. These small changes may not save me money, but it will gain me extra time with my family, which is worth more to me than anything else. Bring on the New Year!

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