Happy New Year!! And now I start at least two months of writing this: 2 0 1
6 7. Or, as I did yesterday, forget a whole decade and write ‘2007’. 2007. How can that possibly be ten years ago??!!
But nope, it’s definitely 2017. And has a new year ever been more welcome? I can’t believe anyone would be sad to say goodbye to last year. But I’m hoping that was a blip – the world behaving like a hormone-raddled 16 year old – and now, as we plough on to the ‘late teens’, things will start to settle down. Here’s hoping…
From a personal point of view though, I had a lot to be thankful for last year. We finally felt settled in our new home of Germany. My girls loved their new school. My baby sister got married. The F-bomb was dropped and I made some great friends. I finally plucked up courage to do a creative writing course – that novel will make it’s way out one day! And that spurred me on to set up Making Here Home and start writing this blog…and I want to thank every one of you for the support, the comments, the instalikes – for just being there, wherever you are, reading this. It means so much, and has made writing these posts more fulfilling than I’d ever imagined. Thank you.
And now the new year lies before us like a blank page, and it’s up to us to fill it with good things. But I’m not talking about new year’s resolutions – the first week of January is a torturous time to try to get fit and eat less. It’s freezing cold, the parties are over, and you’ve got cupboards full of Christmas goodies.
I’d rather take this time to reflect on what I want to change this year, the things I want to be better at, the things that are going to make a positive difference to my life and the lives of those I love. And if I do that while polishing off the remnants of a selection box, who cares – I’ve got at least another three months of being swaddled in layers of sweaters.
So if you’re reading this after a run in the park or while downing a kale smoothie, I take my hat off to you – or I would do, but it’s bloody cold here today and I need it on my head.
But after this cosy week of keeping warm, once the kids are back at school on Monday, that’s when I’m going to get on it. Because this year there are things I want to achieve. Things I actually want to do rather than thinking about doing them. And of course, because these things are important to me, the thought of doing them scares me.
But here are some words from one of my heroes, a woman whose death really saddened me, despite never having met her:
“Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.”
Carrie Fisher – smart, funny, wise, true. She’s a woman with advice worth taking.
This year is going to be my year of action. And now that I’ve written it here and shared it with you, I need to make it happen. I’m still not sure whether that will include packing us up and moving us on, but I’m not worrying about that for now. Instead, my focus is going to be on doing the things that make me happy and the things that scare me – because those are the things that will help me grow (by that I mean mental rather than physical growth – I will put the Christmas chocolate down soon…).
And if I learned anything from the upheavals of last year, it’s that a bit more kindness is always welcome. And that means being kind to yourself too. As my favourite instaquote puts it:
‘Kindness is free. Sprinkle that shit everywhere’.
So whatever you resolve to do in 2017 I wish you a very happy New Year, and I hope it’s a successful one that’s full of love, good health and kindness.
ps This is a wonderful, frank and loving article about Carrie Fisher, written by the brilliant Sharon Hogan.