HAPPY NEW YEAR! Champagne all round! More canapes! Bring on the rest of that honey glazed Christmas ham! Right that’s enough of that. Resolutions to spend less on frivolous lattes and spend more time at the gym! Dryathalons! Sales! Taking down decorations and tangling the Christmas tree lights up in a bundle resembling a bowl of squid ink spaghetti! The inevitable boredom that comes with the seasonal comedown that is January. The pointless harbinger of two more month of freezing winds and icy rain. No worldwide holidays allowing a week or so of hiding in the warmth of your house eating an entire pannetone followed by a box of celebrations. No chocolate for breakfast. Just a miserable cold month during which time we make ourselves even more miserable by adopting this strange worldwide competitive healthy living. Don’t get me wrong, I get it, especially after a month of gorging ourselves to the point of bursting through the seams of those Topshop Joni’s we shouldn’t have worn in the first place. A detox of a few days, remembering that not all vegetables have to be slathered in goose fat and gravy to taste good. Remembering that water is a beverage as well as a substance with which to wash the glitter from our hair and clothes. Treating prosecco as a treat at weekends rather than a casual 11am pick me up. It is a difficult transition to make for us all. The children are still asking for presents, the parents are still weeping over their sobriety and people like me are looking into the misty future year ahead of us with our usual face of expectancy and cynicism. So here is my advice for getting through this bitter month.
CALM DOWN- Everyone gets so over excited in January trying to push themselves over the edge by limiting calorie intake and time spent indoors in favor of spending this disgusting month running about outside in the cold and getting themselves ill. You have a whole freaking year to sort yourself out before the world somehow forces you to re-evaluate in the annual reset that is New Years Eve, so even if you do make some bad decisions in terms of career, personal life or whatever, you will have time to right them. Don’t rush into getting everything on that bucket list done. Don’t spend the month performing these weird self-punishments like the Fast Diet (which is total garbage) and daily spin classes with Rodriguez the Destroyer. Instead do nice things for yourself. Go for a walk wrapped all up warm and cosy in your Christmas knits (keep them hidden though, people will judge). Stick on some wellies and run about in a soggy field. Laugh at people’s “New Year, New Me” Pinterest boards. There is so much time to make yourself feel bad for not exercising as much as you think you should, or for eating too much fast food. Why consolidate it all into the one month which already sucks. Enjoy the Christmas belly, you earned it, you put a lot of hours into dedicating your time the glorious mistress that is food! Also, why is everyone starting to pop their little sequinned numbers to the back of the wardrobe? Why is glitter banished until Festival Season is in full swing?
I have this very linear view of the year, kind of like a ladder with January at the top in the mist of frosty clouds and December at the bottom bathed in the balmy light of log fires and daytime drinking. With this ladder you start at the top; you start in Blanduary having been kicked out of the glorious log cabin of joy that is Christmas and onto the cold hard curb of the bleak new year and you spend the rest of the year gingerly climbing back down the ladder to get back to December again. For me things tend to pick up in April with my birthday and Easter (another chocolate for breakfast situation) and I tend to ride the wave of smugness right to the end of August when everything becomes dull until Halloween and then again until Christmas. So what is the answer to the annual ennui? What do we do to drag ourselves through the moods of early March and the graying September skies? We plan. There are 53 Saturdays in a year. 53 opportunities to do something new and different and challenging and exciting. 53 opportunities to binge watch those series on Netflix that everyone has been banging on about since 2013. 53 opportunities to deal with another hangover with a fry up with friends. 53 opportunities for city breaks, country breaks, tea breaks and wine breaks. So start planning, use these Saturdays to your advantage, you may only get 18 days holiday a year, but there are 53 more that work can’t take away from you damnit!