Talking about my mother's last article reminded me of something she always did at this time of the year. Without fail, at some stage on the 31st December, she would discard her apron and announce very loudly, "That's it! I am not going to wash another dish until next year!" Now, for a small child, this concept of time was incomprehensible and I would have horrifying visions of our house disappearing under a huge pile of dirty plates. Or, even worse, I would imagine that my two older sisters would stand me on a chair and make me do them all by myself! To the trembling child 'next year' was a million light years away.

In spite of this, going to bed last year ... waking up this year ... and finding my mother in the kitchen with her apron on was such a relief. Time was re-valued, put back into perspective, and returned to me with understanding.

Time is a commodity we can't find the currency for. It's free but expensively precious and I often wonder why it takes something disastrous, like a brush with death, to make a person refocus on the 'here and now', re-evaluate the things around them, and reposition the roses. What's the phrase we often hear? "It's made me think about what is important in life." I'm not going to wait for a catastrophic calamity ... I'm going to make 'time' for my New Year's Resolution.