It's okay to keep plodding

HAPPY NEW YEAR FOLKS!

I have a love/hate relationship with New Years Eve and its a similar relationship I have with New Year in general.

I love the excitement of New Year’s Eve, the excuse to dress up, to drink Prosecco all night, singing Auld Lang Syne with some of your nearest and dearest, feeling like you’re all in it together (Troy and Gabriella style).

But I hate the pressure of New Year’s Eve, the pressure that it has to be the best night of the year, you need to be having the most fun in the best place you can.

I had a few years in a row celebrating in London, initially we tried to embrace the true London experience and go and see the London Eye fireworks. The first year I stepped on a smashed bottle and the bottle neck went through my shoe and foot and I spent the Midnight Big Ben chimes in a St John’s Ambulance. I felt so bad for the volunteers working with St John’s and how many needless drunken injuries they must deal with, I wanted to make it really clear that I wasn’t drunk and so spent the half hour I was in there animatedly, chatting away endlessly which, with hindsight, probably made me seem anything other than sober.

Another year we attempted it again and the crowds were so huge the closest we could get to the Eye was a good two or three bridges away and so we watched the tiny fireworks far off in the distance, being pushed and shoved by rowdy groups.

Third year we opted for a dinner party at our flat in Vauxhall and then out onto a shared balcony to watch the fireworks peacefully, from a far. Bliss.

Similarly to the expectations of NYE I find New Year, and with it, January 1st, equally as intimidating.

I’ve come to realise, since having children, that I am more than happy to celebrate the Big Ben Chimes from the comfort of my living room, in my pjs with a glass of Prosecco. I don’t need a massive night out, I don’t need to shout about the year I’ve had and the year I’m going to have. I’m happy to quietly celebrate.

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January 1st can feel so horribly overwhelming: the diet you swore you’d start today, the house sorting you promised you’d do, the new you that you vowed to become. And with big highs and big promises, come major lows and disappointments.

Cue January 21st, Blue Monday, voted the most depressing day of the year. 3 weeks after the New Year and the new you. 3 weeks of time to realise that the goals you set were unrealistic and the standard you decided to hold yourself to was impossible.

I think, sometimes, with all the new hopes of January we can forget to look back at the last year and acknowledge it’s highlights and all that we achieved. We’re constantly looking to the next thing, the new way to re invent ourself and our life rather than appreciating what we already have and what we’ve already achieved.

As a parent, more than anything I want to raise my children to be kind humans. That’s all I really want for them. I don’t want them to feel pressure to achieve, to prove themselves, to feel they have to start all over again every year. I want them to be the tortoise, not the hare. I want them to keep on plodding. To be kind, considerate, a good friend, to love and be accepting and to be happy. Whether it’s January 1st, 21st, or October 18th, I want them to wake each day wanting to be the kindest version of themselves that they can be.

So here’s to 2019. I hope its the best one for you yet, but take the pressure off, take a breath and enjoy what’s already around you.