On January, and a little less consuming and a little more creating.

I’ll be honest. I quite like January. Not for the short days and grim weather obviously. It doesn’t matter that I’ve spent my whole life in the North of the UK; I will never get used to those early mornings when I have to drop my child at the school bus stop IN THE DARK for heaven’s sake. That’s insane and always will be. I will never love the gloomy afternoons where the day is basically over by 3pm.

No, my fondness for January is all about the optimism. There’s a feeling of newness in the atmosphere, of possibilities, fresh starts and crisp new diaries. In January, we somehow have that little bit more belief that things can change. That we can change! Even if we have spent all of December, or, let’s be honest, the whole of October, November and December getting fatter, poorer, and generally slacker at everything, January gives us hope!

I usually make at least a dozen New Year’s resolutions. I make them willy nilly. (I break them willy nilly too but that’s another story) And this year of course I found myself doing it all over again. You know the deal. I’ll eat only whole foods. I’ll squat every day. I’ll read the classics instead of scrolling Instagram. I’ll play Monopoly with my children after they’ve finished their homework and the PlayStation will be for School Holidays Only. And on it went…

Until I stopped myself. Of course, deep down I know how unrealistic, and, frankly, ridiculous it is to believe that anyone could make all these changes overnight. The mundane truth is that for most of us, change happens slowly. And it never happens in a straight line. It’s like learning to ski or to dance the quickstep. It’s bumpy. Its messy. It’s two steps forwards and then five back again. But the mundane truth is not what sells diet plans or glossy magazines….

So for this year, I’ve decided to make peace with messy and mundane. To make friends with bumpy and realistic. I’m trading in my twenty odd idealistic resolutions for just one….. intention. When I actually stopped to think about all the different ways in which I wished my behaviour was different, one common theme emerged. There was one thread running through my clutch of daft resolutions and I decided to pay attention to it. Lurking within all my pipe dreams of eating less, reading more, being better at recycling and playing more piano was a real and genuine longing to do a little less CONSUMING in my life and just a little more CREATING.

So much of our Western culture sets us up for a consumptive lifestyle. We are bombarded with messages from advertisers who tell us they understand how busy and stressed we are, so we “deserve” that new dress, or a meal out at that new restaurant. The winter weather doesn’t help. When we’ve worked hard all day it’s so much easier to watch Netflix than it is to suggest a game of cards with the kids or to do a bit of baking, or photography or whatever our creative thing would be. (Mine is certainly not photography.) But I do have a beautiful piano and I far too often tell myself that “I’ll do some practise tomorrow.” And there have been more occasions than I would care to admit when I have given in to the pull of the M&S chill cabinet when, for just a little extra effort, I could have cooked up some leftovers, not just saving a tenner, but also putting just a tiny bit less stress on the planet.

So there you have it. I’ve taken a risk and written it in black and white. A little less consumption and a little more creation. Or should that be creativity? I don’t think it matters. You know what I mean. And you can keep me accountable….Eek!

So what about you? I’d love to know your intention for 2018? Maybe it’s a hope or a dream, or maybe it’s just one word which you hope will be your companion and inspire you in small way in the coming year. Let me know in the comments!

Here’s to making messy and bumpy progress in 2018 and having some fun along the way….

Happy New Year!

8 thoughts on “On January, and a little less consuming and a little more creating.

  1. Hats off to you, Mrs! Which being roughly translated obviously means – a hugely respectful and heartfelt well done, not least for having the courage to commit, both to prep time and into print. Thank you for sharing with us. Many of your thoughts resonated very readily although honestly can’t see myself reaching for any baking tins with anyone any time soon. And having engaged in some marathon Monopoly sessions over Christmas I feel obliged to caution against leaving it until after homework is finished in order to start them. You’ll be going to bed far too late….
    You’re fab and can’t wait for your next post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Abby, my first ever commenter. What a delight. I got an email saying your comment was waiting for “my approval”. How funny is that…..

    Your handmade Christmas wreath basically counts as a while years worth of baking dear friend ……..

    Thank you 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely post, Katrina. I agree, wholeheartedly, but it’s so easy to get sucked into thinking that everyone is doing it right and “I” am failing. We all need to be a little kinder to ourselves and to others, and trying to do our best is enough. Change is hard. Have you read Gretchen Rubin’s ‘The Happiness Project’? It tlaks about making cmall changes over a longer period of times, what is often fashionably called ‘habit stacking’ I believe. January is totally the wrong time of year for me to make ‘resolutions’! I prefer September when I have more energy. Like you, I have always found deep midwinter difficult, but this year, I’m embracing it, accepting mine, and my family’s need for rest and quieter time. It’s natural and normal for it to be cold and dark, it’s just that us modern humans fight it and try to keep going at 90mph. I’m actually enjoying the dark 8am walk to the bus stop, when the birds are singing and the light is just coming up.


  4. Once, when stuck in the midst of winter blues, complaining about the cold, darkness, general gloom. A friend pointed out to me that whilst on the surface things were dead and dull, beneath the soil all the bulbs were getting ready to burst into life, so there was action – just not visible to me. I remember that often in winter, great things are stirring just out of view. If we take that viewpoint and slow down and plan and contemplate – maybe we will all burst into colour come spring xx

    Liked by 1 person

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