When I was little, I wished for so many things and each wish changed with the wind. One day, I would wish that I was a princess who lived in a castle with turrets. The next, that I could run away and live on a secret island, Enid Blyton-style. I wished I could talk to animals. I thought that if I wished hard enough, maybe I would wake up one day and hear them speak, and then I could find out exactly why our family dog, Muffit, liked digging holes in the lawn.
Mostly, I wished that time would speed up so I could be a grown-up and do the fun stuff that adults seemed to do.
All these big dreams never came true, of course, and adulthood put an end to all that blissful childhood innocence. As I've got older, my Christmas wishes have become smaller and less ambitious, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this. This year so far, I have wished for my father-in-law to feel better, for my son to scrape his GCSEs and I’ve wished for health, for happiness and also for the woman who lives opposite me, whose husband has just left her, to get back on her feet.
I want to stop wishing my time away – concentrate on creating good times and stop spending time on things that are not
And this Christmas my wish is the simplest yet – I want to spend my time more wisely. I want to spend fewer minutes of my day sweating the small stuff and stop my job creeping into evenings and weekends. Most importantly, I want to spend more time around people who are important to me: my partner, my family, my closest friends, my ageing parents and my two teenage boys who will be flying the nest before I know it.
In short, and unlike when I was a child, I want to stop wishing my time away – concentrate on creating good times and stop wasting time on things that are not. And a note to Father Christmas and his two little (13- and 16-year old) elves: a shiny new smartwatch, to keep me on track and remind me of these new intentions, wouldn’t go amiss either.