Messy Christmas and a Crappy New Year
Updated: Apr 14, 2018
It's December; a time for reflection of the year passed and the new one soon upon us. When I was young and tender, Christmas was a time of magic, wonder and food. As I grew older it became the time of year for parties, celebration and a solid month of drinking, dancing and wearing silly hats. Now I'm in my forties and life isn't feeling quite as rosy as it once did, there's a part of me that actually dreads this time of year.
Maybe it's that the close of each year now is just another reminder of how quickly life can pass by. Of how, before you've hardly had time to register, another 12 months of possibility and hope has gone, squandered possibly but certainly irretrievable. Time has run out on the hopes and dreams carried over from the previous year and whatever you'd wanted to do in this one is either done or lost forever. This is either the year you fulfilled that promise to yourself to do X, Y or Z or it's the one you didn't.
Last year's Christmas still feels so close: I'd just moved in to my new house and was looking forward to a year when all I thought I had to worry about was settling in and getting the decorating finished. 2017 was going to be a quiet year, one without any dramas thank you very much, I'd had quite enough of those.
No such luck.
Instead I'm ending a year of redundancy, relationship break-up and business start up and wind up and, quite honestly, I just don't want to imagine what on earth 2018 could have in store for me.
In Decembers gone by I've resolved to quit smoking, to lose weight, to be more organised, to be a better friend, a better daughter, mother, to get a better job, get pregnant, learn to knit, learn to drive, travel more, spend less. There's always been something that I've not achieved, that I can't or don't do, always something about me that didn't quite make the grade that year but next year I'll do better.
But this December I am resolutely not making any resolutions.
I'm not going to pick apart 2017 and analyse what went wrong. And I'm not going to set myself up for the inevitable fall next December when plans fail to turn out the way I hoped they would. Why start the new year tainted by unrealistic expectations? Why not give myself a break and just go with the flow?
No, I'm going to take the lead from my children and conveniently forget all the bad stuff. When I said to my children this week that 2017 has been a difficult year, my son replied that it's been a brilliant one and my daughter, bless her heart, told him that it's been like that for him but it's different for grown ups. Is it? Or is i just that I'm focussing on what went wrong and not what was enjoyable? That's when I made up my mind to look back at this year and force myself to only reflect on the good. To see the year for what it really is: 12 glorious, long months of time, activity, people, places and feelings. It may feel like it's gone by in a flash but that doesn't mean that it wasn't packed full to bursting on the way.
I'm not even going to remember just the big things, the ones that come to mind easily, that were photographed, talked about, appreciated at the time. No, I'm going to include the small things, the innocuous moments that may have hardly registered at the time but that have made this year what it was for me.
So 2017, you may have had some downs but you've also had foreign holidays, country walks, stealthy selfies, dogs, sofa snuggles, parenting wins (solo Paris trip I'm looking at you), business set ups, hen parties, dogs, new friends, family meals, weddings, more dogs, and more kisses and cuddles and 'I love yous' with my children than I could shake a stick at.
Christmas won’t be the same with people missing but I intend to enjoy it and my children’s innocent pleasure as much as humanly possible. And as for 2018 and what it may bring, well bring it on.
Thanks for reading.