After a year of sharing knowledge, it appears there are aspects I must examine within myself.

This year, for the first time in a while, I have made a list of resolutions. Typically, I have viewed such activities as beneath me. However, this has been a year of learning and humbling, of discovering my shortcomings as a parent and an individual.
If I enhance my mental state, I can excel in both aspects, so I have started running again and even purchased some vitamin supplements to improve my cognitive abilities and energy levels. These have indeed achieved their intended outcome, transforming all the concrete actions I can take to enhance my health into attractive placebo pills which make my urine glow in the dark.
I will strive to reduce my profanity, as investigations into my son’s use of foul language have proven that I am the source. I did not consider myself a profane person until I realized that every curse I uttered made an impression on my son’s mind, much like carbon paper beneath a betting slip.
It is unacceptable that I did not already know this, especially since I cringe when I witness other parents swearing in front of their children. I used to believe that my swearing was endearing, like a charming aristocrat in a Richard Curtis film, while others who swore were bad people, like unpleasant aristocrats in a Richard Curtis film.
This is just one symptom of the broader biases I intend to correct this year. Take, for example, my reaction when I see a parent at the park, completely absorbed in their phone while their child wanders around unnoticed. I think to myself, “Tut tut,” without ever realizing that I do the same thing reflexively.
When I use my phone around my children, it is because I am engaged in extremely important work that cannot be delayed, such as looking at memes or sharing amusing but awful things people have said about UK politicians. But when others do it, they are neglecting their children and indulging in pointless nonsense, like looking at memes and writing awful things about UK politicians, which I will later share.
Becoming “more present” — a lifestyle magazine for those who wonder whether putting away their phone for five seconds would kill them — is on my agenda for 2024. I promise to become more involved in my son’s school activities instead of bombarding our school WhatsApp groups with messages like: “Is today a dress-up day?”; “How is this even possible?”; “Seriously, how many of these do they have in a year?”; “How to make a Minecraft guy costume at home”; “Sorry, that was meant to be a Google search”; and “Can someone tell me how to forge a sick note?”
Above all, I will practice gratitude for the good things, big and small, in life. My children are happy and healthy; we live in a vast, beautiful world full of treasures that are best appreciated by looking up; we have a supportive community around us that I can, and should, rely on for more than last-minute favors. And now that my urine glows in the dark, I no longer need to turn on the bathroom light at 2 am. Truly, I am fortunate.
“Did Ye Hear Mammy Died?” by Séamas O’Reilly is available now (Little, Brown, £16.99). Purchase a copy from guardianbookshop for £14.78.
Follow Séamas on X @shockproofbeats

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