Poor old January – doesn’t it get a tough press? Middle of winter, bleak, grey, cold, financially troubling, nothing to celebrate, long, sometimes ‘dry’ etc etc…
While all that sounds very convincing I am here to shine a light on the more attractive elements of this here first month.
A New Year
I am not meaning New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. If I see in the turning of the year tonight it will be because someone has woken me up. The moment when our timezone nips from one year to the next is just that…a moment. Often overrated, sometimes a bit forced. No no no – I mean the sense of getting off the starting blocks. Forget last year, that old thing…we are entering a NEW year. Midwinter is behind us, the days are getting longer. Spring is not as far away as it was. Summer won’t be far behind that. Who knows what lies ahead of us? Good or bad, it’s all wrapped up in a brand spanking new year, just for us.
Are you a resolution maker? I don’t make resolutions but I do love the energy that comes with making plans. Oh yes, I have plans. I think my plans fall into the fiercely ambitious category of the unambitious. I am not aspiring to change the world but I do love and need to be doing something. 2017 was spent surviving the quite challenging (she doesn’t sleep) first full year of my daughter’s life but that’s old news. January isn’t for dwelling on what’s been, that’s what today is for. No, January is about putting into motion the plans that will carry you through the next year and perhaps beyond. Januaries past have seen me set a wedding date, start a blog, train as a breastfeeding supporter, start a course, book a holiday, buy a house, apply for jobs. I’m not suggesting you do all of these things in one January, I don’t think that would make for a very fun start to the year but you get the idea…new year plans make me fizzy-excited and all annoyingly energetic.
January is not the time to diet. In my opinion. Ok, well it might be the time to stop drinking Baileys at 11am and perhaps cut out the cheese with a side of cheese for dinner…but actually I love eating in January.
You see there should still be the treaty Christmas chocolate gifts left to pick at through the dark month and if not – if NOBODY BOUGHT YOU ANY TREATY CHOCOLATE FOR CHRISTMAS – there should be some cracking discounts on it all in the supermarkets. So that’s a big tick.
And then the real food – by the end of December I get cravings for cooked meals and impetus to design healthy meal plans. I don’t do the latter, I am definitely not a meal planner person sadly, but I can do the cooking and consuming of fresh, light-ish, warming food. This year my body is telling me I need thai flavours – kaffir lime leaves, chilli, lemons, limes, galangal, lemongrass, ginger. I’m thinking about fluffy rice, green beans, broccoli, coriander, basil, parsley, tomatoes. I’m cooking sweet potato soup, chorizo and butterbean stew, chicken curry, lemon and artichoke potatoes… Ooo I’m getting hungry. Not today though. Today is still December – I’ve just eaten a panettone and I’m gearing up for a baked Camembert. Roll on January.
Back to Normality.
Everyone loves a break from normality, I do get that. I love a holiday and I’ve had the happiest Christmas ever this year. I absolutely didn’t want it to end but regardless of what I want, it will definitely end. I don’t want to be the ‘quirky’ person featured in the tabloids in November for continuing to celebrate Christmas everyday through 2018. And so it ends and then what should replace it? Normality my friends. Normality without Christmas admin clogging it up. So theoretically spacious normality – think of all those plans you could fill that space with! And anyway with no normality there’d be no break. It’s a headachey inevitable concept.
Short Half Term
So hurray for normality! Back to school, back to work etc etc. But my goodness, we are new to this school business and how ridiculously gruelling was last term? And how ridiculously LONG was last half term? And busy? So many dates to remember – Christmas play, Christmas fayre, Christmas dinners, Christmas jumper day, Christmas shopping day.
There is NOTHING to be happy about in January. There are only five clear weeks to play with before half term so I expect one parents evening and NO fun. Please.
Everyone is gloomy in January – there’s even a ‘most gloomy day’…blue Monday or something? Barometer check your mood that day – it’s how I’ve come to the terribly scientific decision that I like January. More often than not I have felt much gloomier on another day of the year so therefore January can’t be that bad.
And yes that’s my conclusion. I love January because I expect not to, and then it’s not normally as bad as I expected. Inspirational I think you’ll agree…
Happy New Year!