Advice from Fat Elvis

We're nearly one-twelfth of the way into 2010, but if you're averse to new year's resolutions it takes that long to make them

I don't do new year resolutions. I find them depressing. There is little that is worse than cleaning out a drawer to find a rumpled piece of paper bearing promises made to yourself five years before in the vein of, I will walk to work everyday, I will floss my teeth every night, I will be nicer to the drop-kicks I come across stealing disability car parks at the mall. Because how often do you actually follow through on these pledges? Ahem, I thought so.

But some years feel more momentous than others and inspire one to consider resolutions, even if we prefer to dress them down as "ideas" or "options". For me 2010 is one of those years, not because I have a milestone birthday coming up or expect any life-changing happening but because I can hear fat, Vegas Elvis crooning in my left ear: it's now or never. . . tomorrow will be too late.

That is why, as I drive around Auckland in the family wagon with my two small men--the baby and the dog--I listen to Britney, bitch, because it turns out I like her and although I know her music is not of great quality, will not perhaps hold up to the passing decades like Aretha's or Joni's or even Madonna's, it's fun and peppy and it makes me smile. At 35 I am no longer afraid to admit that I like trashy music, and that is something of a victory, I feel.

Like the Britney thing, I have been wearing a selection of inappropriate t-shirts since the Boxing Day sales. Not those creepy ones with slogans like Little Miss Behave, usually worn by 11-year-olds with heartbreakingly knobby knees. I am wearing a t-shirt bearing a multicoloured "space pony", whatever that is, and another emblazoned with Bam Bam from the Flintstones and a third with a scruffy dog wearing giant, heart-shaped hot pink sunglasses. Teamed with jandals and a jean skirt, I am ready to go anywhere. Actually, I may need to work on my grooming this year. I went to the movies with a group of sparkling Eastern Bays mothers last week and looked like their bratty kid sister.

What else? Well, I am going to work more in 2010. Someone described me as a stay-at-home mum the other day and I didn't recognise myself, although it is undoubtedly an accurate description. I stay at home with the baby while hubby works in an office with nice stationery supplies and glamorous coworkers. He comes home and tells me about the Vietnamese sandwiches he sometimes gets at lunchtime. It sounds fun and I want some of that action.

I will continue my culinary adventures. Last year I promised hubby I would learn three new dishes so I could take on more responsibility in the kitchen, which is totally fair, although his food tastes 80 percent better than mine. Still, thanks to his prodding, I can now roast a chicken and make gravy (not from a packet, huzzah!), I can turn out spinach filo pastry parcels with ease, and if the occasion requires, can bake a fancy-schmancy chocolate cake with ridiculously decadent icing. Last night I whipped up fresh pasta sauce without a recipe, which has to be a turning point. Tomatoes from the garden, garlic, pesto, fresh basil leaves, and salt and pepper. So good.

I will stop reading mothering books. They are too, too awful. I just finished Perfect Madness by Judith Warner and now fear I will never reach my potential as a woman because I chose to have a baby. Actually, I don't—but I should because Judith did a lot of research and is seething with conviction.

Finally, I will endeavour to appreciate my life. Properly, not in a schmaltzy, Oprah-endorsed "thankfulness journal" way, but in an honest, "crikey-aren't-we-lucky-people!" way. Messy as it is, silly as it is, exhausting as it is, it is my job to make the most of my life. If that means Britney and space ponies, so be it.