At the time of writing this, it's a grey drizzly day, it's bloody cold and it's the middle of January. Yes, the most joyous month ever. Not. Funny how we can go from the most wonderful time of the year to the dullest and most depressing don't you think?
Yet January is that one time of year when many people decide it's time for a brand new start. New goals, new plans, new routines, call it what you will but people do seem to get a little excited about the prospect of a new start.
Then we have the minor detail that none of us can really start afresh this year seeing as we're still in the middle / the beginning / the getting worse before it gets better / the wtf are we doing part of a pandemic. I don't know about you lot but I certainly didn't have on my resolutions list "I would like to spend the next three months homeschooling my child." Although thinking about it, perhaps I should have done because that would have been the first and only time I'd ever managed to tick a resolution off.
I'm afraid I am a self-confessed New Years Grinch. I hate it. I hate New Year's Eve and all its expectations, the enforced fun and the general idea that you're only allowed to have fun until midnight and then it must end because you will then feel morally bound to deny yourself everything good in life for the next month.
See, told you I was a Grinch.
Some people I know absolutely LOVE the prospect of New Year. They adore the idea of seeing the old year out, (don't get me wrong, I was more than happy to wave TTFN to 2020 as I'm sure all of us were) embracing the New Year and making new plans in a shiny new notepad for the new one ahead.
I get it, anyone who knows me will absolutely know that I love a shiny new notepad more than the next guy. But new plans? No thanks. Not for me.
I admit in the past I have absolutely jumped on the resolution bandwagon with wide eyes, a strong will and absolutely convinced that I would achieve many things lovingly written in my neatest hand in that shiny book.
This year though? Absolutely not. Personally, the pressure we are all under at the moment total negates the necessity for any sort of resolutions. Dry January? Did it last year and got very drunk on February 1st. I prefer "Don't drink too many-uary" followed by "I won't fall on the floor February," "Not so mucho-March" and continue until we reach the start of the summer with ChardonnApril and May-garitas. And as for a diet? Let's not waste the Christmas food now, we're all about non-waste remember. Once the After Eights have been polished off and the wrappers are IN THE BIN NOT THE BOX then perhaps we'll crack open the quinoa.
No. This year I plan on keeping it simple, stripping it all back and trying to stick with one piece of advice. Not a resolution that I will give up after day three sobbing into a lettuce leaf. Not a long list of must do's and must-haves that stresses me out every time I see it, or worse, have to scribble out and re-write because we all know if you mess up a shiny new notepad it physically hurts the little stationery geek inside you. True fact.
This year, I will just be focusing on these four words.
Live. In. The. Moment.
Firstly, yes, I agree they could mean anything. (That's the joy!) Almost everyone who reads this will read something slightly different into those four words I'm sure.
For me, it's doing what I need to do to make my head calm and my heart happy. Because, I find if you don't have those two things in place, it's all a jumbled mess.
As much as I wish I was a gym bunny I have now after many years realised I am not. So, if I want to do some yoga in the morning I'll do it. If I want to walk or run with the dogs I'll do that. If I feel like a lump of lockdown lard, it makes me want to get up and do something but equally, I'm not going to beat myself up over the gorgeous people of Instagram in their teeny tiny little gym kit showing off their abs. I've come to realise that it's health that counts, not hating on what you can't have.
If I have the time to sit down and read a book, I'll do it, I won't feel guilty because its the middle of the day and maybe I should be doing the ironing or cleaning out a cupboard. I'll make a cuppa, curl up next to a dog or two and read something fabulous. And I'll love it and not feel bad that I should be doing something else.
If I've finished work at three, the two-legged or four-legged people I am legally in charge of are fed and happy, then I'll go and have a bath. Yes, in the middle of the day! And not feel guilty about it! I'll use the nice bath stuff too - you know the ones you always have at the back of the cabinet and don't want to use because they're nice? Use them! Use them all!
If my son and I are in the middle of homeschooling and it all starts to go a bit pearshaped, I'm going to try my very best to not take the default option by starting to scream and leaving the house for a long walk and a good cry. Instead, we took the moment to laugh at each other's angry faces and had a short break teaching the dog to sing. Fun fact - some may say he was barking or howling, to us for those few minutes he was an opera star and it made us laugh until our tummies hurt and tears fell on to the worksheet that was completed without a fuss after a good laugh.
So, no resolution lists for me this year. Instead, I will deal with things that creep up and boot me up the backside at my own pace thank you very much.
A great wise man once said -
"Today me will live in the moment unless it's unpleasant in which case me will eat a cookie."
- Cookie Monster