January has never been a favourite month of mine!
No more Christmas sparkle and joy!
And, into the bargain, I usually end up battling a dose of good old fashioned flu before the month is out!
This year, however, I haven’t had so much as a sniffle, which is surprising considering the pandemic that is currently rampaging throughout the world. 🤔
In its place, I have had to deal with a double dose of the January blues though.
The usual darkness, cold and lack of Christmas lustre have been compounded by the misery of ongoing, and seemingly interminable, lockdowns.
(Does anyone else shudder at the sound or sight of the word “lockdown” now?!)
It is almost hard to believe that ”two weeks to flatten the curve” have turned into almost a whole year later! 😭
When I sadly waved goodbye to our extended family in Ireland at the end of our usual Christmas break last year, I could never have guessed that I would not be able to see them for the rest of the year! 😨
Even more concerning is the fact that travel restrictions could well continue for the next year, and beyond! 😱
Simply heartbreaking!! 💔
Bearing all of this in mind, 2021 has got off to a less than stellar start for me.
There’s been the dreaded homeschool to attend to, on top of the gnawing worry about how and when we will be able to reconnect with our family and friends overseas in a non-virtual way.
So, in a nutshell, I’ve neglected this blog since Christmas.
Normally, I like my posts to provide some value to you, my dear readers…
A resolution to a pressing problem…
But, in my negative frame of mind, I couldn’t see the point of attempting to inspire others when I felt so bereft, so robbed of inspiration myself.
None of my usual New Year’s resolutions seemed to matter anymore in a world where human connection is being ruthlessly severed in an attempt to protect us from a flu-like illness.
While the intention to ”protect” is noble, I’m sure, the whole situation we find ourselves plunged into feels cruel nonetheless.
Children are missing out on vital school time, grandparents are being separated from their grandchildren and children, work is ”allowed” while most forms of fun are strongly discouraged if not banned outright. 😫
I had the strange sensation the other day of waking up from a nightmare, feeling a sense of relief wash over me that it had all been a dream, only to realise a few minutes later that my current reality was probably a whole lot worse than that nightmare could ever have been. 😱
A few days after that somewhat jarring experience, the weather became even colder until one morning we woke to the freshest, purest, most sparkling blanket of snow that I had seen in years.
It was magical, a divine gift from above, because, almost instantly, I began to feel alive again!
All those dreadful months of doom and gloom and draconian restrictions appeared to fade into insignificance as I realised that where there is light (even in the form of snowfall) there is indeed hope.
And with hope at the beginning of a new year comes a whole new set of resolutions to provide the foundations for a much brighter future…
This January (at the end of a year like no other that has gone before), my resolution list goes as follows…
1. Say No to News
When the pandemic first kicked off in China back in November of 2019, I barely batted an eyelid.
After all, happily (or unhappily, as the case may be!), I am old enough to have lived through the HIV scare of the ’80s, the SARS scare of the early noughties, the swine flu scare of the mid-2000s and the Ebola scare of just a few years ago.
”It would all peter out after the usual fear-inducing headlines,” I blithely told myself.
Unfortunately, however, things didn’t just peter out as before.
”Be afraid, be very afraid!” every possible news source screamed at us…
And, I was…
For about a minute…
Until I realised that an illness with a reported 99.8% survival rate probably wouldn’t spell the end of the world for the vast majority of us…
The increasingly draconian lockdowns and restrictions we were being placed under were another matter entirely! 😱
Talk of a ”new normal” was becoming increasingly louder and between the constant doom and gloom and ever-changing rules and regulations, I decided that I could take no more and that I will take no more.
The TV, the radio and electronic devices all have an off switch for a very good reason…
To preserve our sanity in an increasingly insane world.
If the sky falls in, I am sure I will notice without Sky News or the BBC screaming it at me! Relentlessly! 😐
And I’m sure a friendly law enforcer will inform me of the latest restrictions!
I think… 🤔
2. Fight Fear
Now, fear is a concept I have been a little too familiar with in all my years on this planet…
Fear of failure, fear of losing control, fear of people, fear of germs, fear of illness, fear of death have all haunted me at one point or another…
Because, thanks to the pandemic, I have been cured of germaphobia, hypochondria and social anxiety almost overnight.
Ooh, and death seems to be ultimately a whole lot less scary than living in a sterile bubble for the rest of my days in this earthly realm. 🤔
Honestly, it would have been a mental health miracle if I wasn’t still fearful of one thing…
My children’s future in the new normal…
I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a miracle cure for that one too though!
Hopefully, before too long…🤞😉
3. Go Glam
One of the most challenging aspects of the past year has been to not let myself go!
A combination of all hair salons, beauty salons and ”non-essential” shops (like clothes shops?!) being closed and a general sense of, ”What’s the point?”, have meant that I have spent a lot of this past year moping around the house in pajamas with unkempt hair and no makeup on.
The stuff of nightmares for all who had to look my way! 😱
However, I have finally resolved to dig out my old makeup faves, invest in some flattering outfits…
New Isabel Marant boots?
Gotta start somewhere!
Ooh, and it might just be time to dabble in DIY hair dye…
Yes, I am aware of the risks!
But, I’ve decided that ultimately…
It’s a risk worth taking!
Wish me luck! 😊🍀
4. Embrace Nature
Some people are all about the natural world, the wilderness, the countryside…
Honestly, I normally am not! 😬
I have always been beguiled by the bright city lights, the glitz, the glam, the artifice…
However, as the city situation depreciates with each passing lockdown, as more shops close for good, as more sectors become off-limits for our protection, I am looking for somewhere else to find my ”happy place”, to soothe my tortured soul.
And, amazingly, I am finding that place in the natural world, a world which, with the exception of the beach, almost filled me with a sense of inexplicable foreboding before.
Maybe it’s all down to the sense of limitless freedom and the wild, unrestricted beauty that nature now represents for me…
Or possibly, my recent discovery (thank you, YouTube algorithm – you’ve read my mind! 😉) of a Swedish YouTuber called Jonna Jinton, whose idyllic lifestyle in the rugged wilds of northern Sweden is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
Jonna’s purity, her innocence, her creativity, her sense of wonder at the beauty of her surroundings are quite simply captivating.
Who knew that influencers could be so soothing for the soul?!
If only I could experience a fraction of Jonna’s joy to be alive, my life would be worth living.
Again, wish me luck! 😊🍀
5. Cook Clean
Just as my love of nature is only now coming to fruition, my love of healthy eating has been a late starter.
Pre-pandemic, I was doing great!
I had won my latest battle with the baby bulge!
(To find out more about that particular win, check out my previous post 5 Real Ways To Reach Those Weight Loss Goals .)
However, depressingly, the stress of the past year has taken its toll on my hard-won waistline. 😭
Honestly, there have been emotional eating and bad food choices galore. 😳
I can’t say that I’m proud to have fallen, face first, into the pit of weight gain despair…
However, I can’t change the past, only the future.
So, from now on, I will endeavour to avoid all the processed nasties and additives that lace our lazy food choices.
I fully intend to go back to the meat-and-two-veg-basics of old.
Sugar has to be severely restricted…
(Not an easy feat when life’s simple pleasures are already so severely limited!😬)
But, I’m determined to get back to nature…
(Unless it involves any form of bug eating! At that, I firmly draw the line! 🤢)
Physically, emotionally and spiritually!
Then and only then, will I find the key to true happiness…
All and all, it’s onwards and upwards, my dear readers!
2021 might prove as challenging as my emotional eating habit…
But, given the right ingredients, it can only make me stronger!
Stay with me, one and all, as it’s bound to be a rocky ride!
Until next time,
💋 Mostly Mum
*All gifs are via GIPHY