Happy New year one and all!
I do mean that, I really do. But let me be clear, I am NOT a fan of New Year. And if the other night's heavy heart and warm, chubby tears were anything to go by, then this year more than ever.
Why? I can't say. All I can admit to is a progressive, yearly trepidation towards the whole thing. Christmas, I love. Give me all the crumbly gingerbread, vats of Baileys and sloppy mistletoe kisses you like and I am on it like a bonnet. But New Year? Yuck.
As I am now 40 and therefore totally past it (in the eyes of my sprightly offspring anyway), I am allowed to say what I like. And I am also allowing myself to properly tune in to how I feel about these things and welcome those feelings like long-lost mates on a pub crawl. Why shouldn't I have a pint or two with these old crones? I may have kept them purposefully at a distance for many long years, but now I'm ready to slap them on the back and ask them what the heck it's all about.
And what is it all about? Well, it kind of doesn't matter if I'm willing to accept that I am edging into 2019 as a bumbling hot mess of glorious, inexplicable human sensations. But I think my vexed reaction to my social media feed on New Year's Eve may give me a few clues.
Who was that girl with the swishing, golden hair in her tight gym gear and her glistening green smoothie? And why was she prancing about like that on New Year's Eve and not on the sofa in her PJs, downing cheap Pinot and refereeing wild sofa-scaling children? Who were these people telling me to sign up for a delivered-to-your-doorstep-tailored-detox-diet whilst I was still digesting the last mince pie? And weren't they the same people who got me to buy the bumper pack of mince pies in the first bloody place?
And that's before I even get started on social media 'sinfluencers' (as I like to call them) or whoever they actually are. Why oh why do they feel the need to share that they are drinking / eating / watching / doing / wearing something to rival every other poor soul in the world? What's the effing point and where does it lead us? I'll tell you where. To a place called DISSATISFACTION.
And can I just point out at this juncture that I am ENTIRELY satisfied with my life. I have wonderful things within me, around me and before me. I won't bore you by counting my blessings right now but I am lucky enough for them to be plentiful. One of them being a husband who got back from work late New Year's Eve all dog-tired but nevertheless welcomed my shit storm of inexplicable emotion with open arms and soothing whispers. Bless him.
As ever though, social media has been a double-edged sword. For I'd also read a Twitter post from Matt Haig (Author of best-selling mental health and children's books) who, I thought, hit the nail entirely on the head.
Get in touch with the old you. I love that. And so did 5,145 other people. I do, after all, believe that we are at our most perfect when we are kids. When we are uninhibited, when we have valid, unapologetic perspectives of the world that involve hanging upside down, wearing mad clothes combos and conversing with the sea. We'd ALL do well to let a bit of that back in.
So I'm resolving - or let's say 'intending', which sounds a whole lot gentler on the soul - to get back in touch with the things I adore. Yoga, chocolate, dancing, singing (in the car, obvz), writing, meditating and laughing. I'm going to focus more on the person I want to be rather than what I want to do and what I'm realising as I type this, is that we can make these decisions any time at all. It doesn't have to be on a particular day at a particular time, it just has to be authentic and powered by you. Lovely, wonderful you.
Or, you know. Not at all. It's all cool.
So I do wish you a happy new year, but I wish you it every day actually. I wish you all the days of all the sensations and all the feelings and all the experiences that make this life so awesome and I wish you the courage to be you in all of it. All. Of. It.
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P.P.S. If you fancy a dip into mindfulness, then you can find my FREE meditations on You Tube - suitable for children and adults!