Time to say, ‘Goodbye 2021!’ Do we wish it a fond farewell or hastily show it the door?
Strange times, I feel a summary coming on… I feel we need to put some loose ends to bed and, whilst not able to forgive 2021 completely, at least look at bringing in 2022 with some hope and optimism.
As a shiny, brand-new year, it deserves this.
Reasons to be cheerful in 2021
The latter half of 2021 brought me improved health (touch wood), even with my recent diabetes diagnosis.
Last Christmas I felt I was circling the drain until my fabulous chemo team patched me up and sent me home with all the care they could muster (alongside a few stern words). What did we do to deserve the NHS like actually?
For this alone, I am eternally grateful.
Biggest kid has flown the coop and, even with Covid 19 causing alterations to ‘normal’ university life, she has enjoyed it immensely.
She has a cracking squad and is close enough to come home and fall asleep on the couch after some of Mum’s homemade mince and tatties.
Middle has coped with her first lot of school exams, like a trooper, and smallest is still a constant joy.
There is a LOT to be grateful for here too.
Should I make changes? What should I change?
My tiny Winnie the Pooh sized brain tells me I should make some changes in 2022.
Maybe go back to study something? When I was at university, I usually didn’t study and when I did decide to study, I still didn’t.
School anxiety still wakes me, even now, to tell me I’m back at school in the morning and I haven’t done my homework.
I might be an adult, but I can lie there worrying about it for hours. Maybe best leave further education to the bairn.
You’ll grow big and strong they said
Eat healthier? The worst advice I was given as a kid was ‘eat all your food up so you’ll grow up big and strong.’
Now look at me. I might have been born a female. I might identify as female. But according to Sainsbury’s deluxe sticky toffee pudding, I am actually a family of four.
Imagine if, as kids, we were taught putting ourselves first is okay.
Learning to be kind to ourselves is as essential as kindness to others.
Self-care is not selfish
That self-care isn’t selfish and choosing ourselves, over others, shouldn’t come at a price. When did watching a film or reading a book become ‘missing out’?
Find me ‘missing out’ during my annual Harry Potter movie marathon. My phone will be turned off and my softest, comfiest jammies will be on.
Mum once said to me ‘you know you have a big heart when you feel bad doing what’s best for you’. I think it’s important that everyone hears this.
As for fitness influencers…
Get more fresh air and exercise? I loathe fitness ‘influencers’ barely out their teens.
Look, I was skinny and hot as f*ck too when I was 21. My diet was vodka and cigarettes. My workout was drunk walking to parties in 6” heels.
You don’t impress me with your Tiktok moves, come back when you’re a 45-year-old mother of three and sack off the ironing to chuck on the wellies and head out with the dogs.
There is no greater privilege on earth than to be loved by a dog. I’m exercising my right to that.
Try to get a better handle on the house? Rumour has it, there are people who can keep every room of their house clean at the same time.
At our house, the rooms take turns being clean. I keep gently reminding myself the 40-hour working week and assumption someone else takes care of cooking, cleaning, errands etc is outdated.
Sometimes it literally takes me ALL day to get nothing done. This isn’t the life for me. I don’t want to do it all and I am NOT a failure for having a hard time trying.
Sort out my career? Do I even want one? OR do I want to wear a fancy star-covered velvet cloak and live in a cottage deep in the woods with magical forest critters to do my chores?
If, and when, my fairy godmother appears to offer me a dress and glass slippers, I’ll try to persuade her to get me a book deal instead.