But change is afoot here this year and January in 2011 opens a new door, full of promise and a rather monumental challenge. The good news is that in the end, after months of anxiety, I heard just before Christmas that my job is safe.
And what I might have lost in paid hours, I've got back in time. Precious, precious time - which my money just can't buy. So I am making a list to start the New Year of what I will be doing more or less of with my 15 extra hours a week!
* Strolling to school and back over the fields with my boys - oh I've missed doing this so much over the past 18months when I took on extra hours. It's been too long since we collected feathers, listened to the birds, counted hanging baskets and all that sort of nonsense.
* Growing more - I love our allotment and now at last I can put some real effort into the veg, establish a cut flower patch and spend the summer doing what I love best - gardening.
* Spending less in supermarkets - even though I do most of our weekly shop at the lovely old market, it's been tricky to manage it properly. Now though I can do the whole shop in town at the grocers, greengrocers, fishmonger etc and its cheaper. Using cash and my list, I seem to buy only what I've planned to at each shop. Supermarkets are far too distracting!
* Making bread - I've been promising to do this for years. There is bread flour in the cupboard so here I go.
* Decorating - my poor boys' bedrooms are crying out for a lick of paint, new curtains and a cheer up.
* Cooking more - a few years ago I'd have described myself as a reluctant cook, but since making friends with Hugh & Nigel my culinary life has been transformed. Nigel in particular has given me the confidence to enjoying trying, to savour and just to eat. Nothing more complicated, and that suits me and I will carry on.
And of course there are all the really boring, mundane jobs which never get done or end up dominating the weekend which I'm hoping to get on top of at long last.