January. Here again, are we? Where did you come from? And what did you do to the jolly old me I knew just a few weeks ago?
I know I’m not the only one out there who has inevitably drained the Prosecco pool dry, consumed every last chocolate crumb and shovelled every last existing morsel of cheese and crackers down my face until I needed to nap just to recover from the daily strains of eating my body weight. But boy, how GOOD was it at the time? And now, it’s officially back to reality. What do you mean I need to go a day without a Baileys on ice?
The last day of the calendar year arrives at my door step rapidly, much like an unwanted Topshop bill that I peer at, scared as hell, through the small gaps in my fingers, as if I were about to watch a horror film unfold in front of me (let’s be honest, it is pretty terrifying when you see the price of your beautiful new dress has been dramatically slashed in sale… now THAT will haunt you at night people!) Truth is, I’ve never been a big NY fan. In fact, if I had my way, I would ensure that under ‘Anti-Climax’ in the old Cambridge Dictionary, it would read ‘New Year’s Eve.’ I could count on one hand the times I actually remembered my night, additionally the times I didn’t hysterically cry during/before/after for no apparent reason at all. I always associate it with goodbyes, never easy and emotionally draining. It’s like a short lived friendship, one that will ultimately define you and test you through thick and thin. Memories, holidays, laughs, tears, new experiences, special occasions, birthday’s, increased dosages of anti-wrinkle cream, then it just all suddenly evaporates, leaving nothing but distant memory behind. Poof – it’s gone. All down to three little words. Wait, come back, wasn’t there things we were supposed to do before you left 2014?! I’m sure you promised you would teach me how to knit… wait, come back!
Any year, no matter how utter crap or brilliant it turned out to be, will hold some sort of place in your heart, because we remember our experiences by year, don’t we? All the best and worst memories are highlighted with a neon pink marker, so they can be vividly recalled as often, or little as necessary. A year is made up of 365 days, but the moments you remember will stand the test of time. ‘Remember 2013?’ I would say to my friends. The year we were single, lived in Edinburgh, drinking cocktails for breakfast, finally going to Ibiza and grabbing every opportunity to go out and dance our much smaller butts off? Oh, those were the days girls…’ Now, I’m lucky if I last till 1am without having my Pj’s on and cup of tea in hand. What have you done to me, time?
Whether you like to admit it or not, everyone starts a ‘New Year, New Me’ idealistic plan for the month ahead and for a short while, have the best intentions imaginable. You begin to ponder on the year yet to come and the year passed. You can’t help but wonder what this new, shiny, untouched 12 months could potentially have in store and that absolutely anything is possible.
The turning of a new page can be pretty unnerving. I guess I have just started to appreciate going into the unknown and seeing it as an opportunity to make it your own, rather than wish it was summer already and that every Monday was a Friday (especially as the big 3-0 is getting ready to take me hostage me next year) It’s like an imaginary slate that you get once a year to (almost) erase every bad day at work you had, every piece of Dominoes pizza you ever consumed, those drunk texts that left you banging your head against the wall while engulfed in unadulterated embarrassment.
I like looking back and seeing how I’ve grown and what I’ve achieved during the year. As the saying goes, you really do live and learn, more often than not, the hard way. Often, I tend to find myself in situations that I want the ground to swallow me up; over thinking the situation for weeks on end, cringing in bed at the very thought of what happened wishing the recipient of my blunder has now forgotten and erased it from their memory. Then, as time passes, you slowly start to laugh as it wasn’t really that big of a deal, was it? You realise that what happened, well, it’s really just a small ripple on the perpetual surface of the sea, because you grow from it… and to be frank, there’s usually a lot bigger fish to fry.
I try to recall my ‘resolutions’ from last year. Nope, whatever they were I didn’t stick to them. As if. Who really wants to drink less and eat more lettuce anyway? I did, however make a bucket list. Making a list of things I wanted to do instead of the things I shouldn’t seemed much more plausible. Blogging was one of them. Tick. Bag a few Munro’s. Done. Participate in a 5k race. POW! Learn the ukulele. Em, does one song count? Duet with Beyonce. Not so much.
It’s that time again to appreciate what you have done and what you can do this year. It’s quite exciting not knowing exactly what lies ahead, who knows what’s round the corner. I guess you are the only person who can choose to make it happen. 2015, I’m fully embracing you. I’ve decided to take an 8 weeks creative writing course to meet new people and to expand my experiences. I’ve booked a trip to Dubai, somewhere I’ve never been before. I would love to see the Northern lights in Iceland, InterRail through Europe, sky dive, learn how to surf and actually be able to stand up, become a backgammon champion, knit myself a scarf… to name a few. I’ve decided to see and do as much as I can because years can come and years can go, but it’s what you do with them that really counts in the end. I think January should be a time where you decide what’s yours for the taking, who and what you want to be. Maybe you had a bad year and this is your time, maybe you had the best year ever and the best is yet to come.
As morbid as this may sound, my lovely Uncle Scott, who is a current funeral director, tells me all the time that life is short (and believe me, he should know) and that people often say what they wished they had done as opposed to regretting anything they did. I guess it’s something I keep at the back of my mind every day. Instead of feeling blue this January and thinking about the things you shouldn’t be doing, think about the things that you should. Put down the finished book of 2014 and open that brand new chapter of 2015. The pen is in your hand, ready to start on this new, untouched, unwritten page. It’s just up to you how you want it to end. It’s YOUR story, make it the best, most interesting read you possibly can.
So… what’s on your bucket list?