Well, that’s that then. The Christmas tree has been taken down, the baubles and lights packed away, the crackers pulled, the chocolates eaten and (most) of the alcohol consumed. The room looks bare and uninteresting and there is a vague feeling of “now what?” Because, with so much attention focused on the imminent arrival of Christmas, it’s a bitter anticlimax when it’s all over, and we wake up one morning to the horrible realisation that – it’s January!
January. I really do struggle with this month. It’s so long. All right, I know it’s thirty one days, the same as December, but December seems to zip by, aided by the frantic preparations for the festive season, whereas January has nothing to help it on its way. There’s simply nothing to look forward to. It’s in the gloom of winter – and let’s face it, the weather at the moment is so atrocious that for the poor souls dealing with floods and ruined homes and no power January must seem interminable.
Everyone is broke after Christmas. Although, judging by the heaving crowds rushing out to the sales, maybe that’s just me. I sat down and dealt with my finances the other day. It was dreadful. I wished I’d left my head firmly wedged in the sand where I’d buried it some time in September. For weeks I was quite happy to believe that everything was absolutely fine. It isn’t. Moving house in November combined with the expense of present buying and new furniture has just about wiped us out. The car needed taxing. My renewal fees for the RNA NWS are due. The utility bills are starting to come in. It’s all quite scary and too depressing for words.
So, since January is such a bleak month, the only solution is to focus on better times to come. 2014 is here, and I am determined it’s going to be a good year. I have two new grandchildren arriving this year – one due in April, the other in June. That’s exciting stuff (if expensive!)
I have just booked my five holiday weeks at work, although only two have been confirmed at present. We are not going far away this year. Last year we went to Cornwall, but this year we are staying close by and heading up to the North Yorkshire coast as there will be a two month old baby with us as well as a two-year-old and a six-year-old, and we don’t really fancy a long drive with such young children. Anyway, my novel is set in a village that was inspired by the beautiful Robin Hood’s Bay, so I am resolved to pay a visit and spend the day there. For research purposes, obviously.
The novel is going well. I am just working on the changes that the reader from the NWS brought to my attention last summer. Her/his suggestions made such a lot of sense and I am psyching myself up for the fact that, once this has been written, it will be time to start submitting. This is a scary thought, but really, I’ve had enough now. There are only so many excuses I can make to hold onto it. Time to let it go, whatever the outcome. At least I’ll know. Besides, I have already started book two and I want to be able to wrap up book one so that I can concentrate on that. Hopefully it won’t take me as long to finish the second one!
I am hoping to resume driving lessons and retake my test in the coming months. It’s only my dire financial state that has prevented me from doing this already. Fingers crossed, this will be the last year I have to think about driving lessons!
I haven’t made any firm New Year’s resolutions. Mainly because I never, ever keep them. I do have a list of things that I would like to see happen this year, but I haven’t set them in stone. I don’t seem to react well to orders – even orders I’ve given myself.
I would like to eat more healthily, walk a bit more (that wouldn’t be difficult!), write more, watch less TV/go on Facebook less/Google fewer pointless facts /limit my browsing time on Pinterest, read more books, buy fewer books, worry less, be more careful with my money, be kinder to myself.
With all that in mind, maybe I will make it through January with a smile on my face after all. Before we know it, the daffodils will be blooming, the skies will be blue, the fields will be full of newborn lambs and everything will be bright and fresh and wonderful again. In the meantime, I’d like to wish you all a happy New Year and to thank you all for reading this blog. The Moongazing Hare has attracted more followers and been read more widely than I ever expected. I thought it would just be me, talking to myself, but I’ve been thrilled to discover that people have actually taken the time to read my ramblings and even comment on my posts, as well as sharing them on Twitter so that other people could find them. Thank you so much. I really do appreciate every single one of you!
Have a great week xx