If you’re anything like me, today, January the 17th, will actually feel more like January the 117th.
It’s the never ending month, the one that just keeps taking and gives nothing but bad weather and empty bank balances in return.
January is a real struggle. Christmas is gone, the sparkly tree has been evicted and it’s no longer acceptable to eat 18 meals a day. The kids are pissed off that they’re no longer given free rein to eat chocolate for breakfast, and quite frankly, I don’t blame them.
Oh, Happy New Year by the way.
I ended December 2019 feeling really positive – I felt like 2020 was going to be a great year. Big plans were underfoot (afoot?) and I was excited for what lay in store for all of us. My youngest is going up to senior school (I mean, what the actual?) my eldest is loving college life and there is a glimmer of parental freedom on the horizon that comes when you have two kids over a certain age. Plus, it’s the last year of my 30’s so I’ve got to make it count.
But then reality kicked in. We all headed back to work and school. A new boiler had to be installed (no heating or hot water on Christmas Day was FUN) the washing machine broke and the realisation that the husband is away a LOT in January hit. Plus, the weather isn’t all that. None of the crisp, clear days that look so inviting and all of the pissing down rain and wind that makes you think your windows might cave in.
It’s no wonder January can feel so very heavy.
When you factor in a job that’s no longer tickling my fancy, the desire to lose weight but also stay body positive, and the feeling that actually, you’re not doing what you’re meant to be doing, not “living your best life” it starts to feel like a bloody lonely month.
Don’t get me wrong. I am all up for a fresh start, hell, I was determined I was going to have a fresh start, but then my Christmas/New Year bubble burst & I realised I was heading further away from that shiny new me than I wanted.
I have (despite all the best intentions to love myself as I am) started a bit of a health kick. So out goes all the chocolate covered carbs that I just want to stuff down my neck in this weather. The bar is slowly gathering dust in the dining room – is it just me who can’t handle hangovers this side of 35? – and I’ve cut out all snacks.
I am a bundle of fucking fun I tell you!
I got myself so pissed off with January that, this week, I’ve been an absolute bastard to be around. I wanted to blog but had no inspiration whatsoever.
Nothing was making me buzz, all I wanted to do (and let’s be honest, it’s all I ever want to do) was laze around in my pjs eating the last of the Quality Street watching Billions on Netflix.
There was nothing new, or exciting, that I could bring to the New Year table of life.
Then, as I was writing an appointment in my diary, I realised, we’re practically halfway through the month of hell. We’re almost on the home stretch into February, which usually flies past at the speed of light, and then we’re heading to Spring & birthdays and you can virtually taste summer…..
That’s when I thought, if there’s one month where I can just take my foot off the pedal of “do this, get that, sort those, plan, plan plan!” it’s January. I don’t have to get everything done, hell, I don’t have to get *anything* done, there’s a whole 11 other months to put things into action. Months that feel so much lighter and easier to wade through.
When I really think about it, I’m happy the nights are so long at the moment, because I don’t want to go out and socialise, I want to stay in on my comfy sofa with all of my favourite candles flickering watching The Masked Singer (what in the name of hell is this show and why do I love it so much!?) and binge watching episodes of You, Billions & Sex Education 2.
I want to have hot baths with essential oils, smothered in face masks & conditioning packs on my poor battered hair. Have delicious soup for dinner, read a book and get into bed in the afternoon just because I can. I want to SLEEP and if January isn’t the month of hibernating then quite frankly my friend, you’re wrong.
Which is why I think January can take it’s sweet little time before it moves into February. I’m not saying dump the diet and lay in bed eating carbs (but do if you want to) more, use the rest of the month wisely. Enjoy the quiet, rest as much as you can – whether you’re catching up after a crazy December or if the remainder of the year is going to be manic – January is literally the reset button. The month where you can just cosy up and reflect on where you want your life to go.
Now that I’ve given myself permission to slow the fuck down, I already feel happier. I have been beating myself up that I’m not reaching (my own set) goals or targets quicker, rather than just appreciating what I’ve already achieved.
Yes, January is a bloody long month. Yes, it’s ages until pay day (especially for those of us who got paid early in December…!) but I’m going to stop wishing the month away, and start making the most of how slow the days and how long the nights are.
When Spring hits, I’ll be more rested than a bear out of hibernation.