Out with the old, in with the ... blanket?Jan 10, 2022
There’s something about waking up to snow that makes me feel like an excited kid again.
On Friday, I started the day sipping piping hot coffee while watching perfectly formed snowflakes twinkle in the first rays of sunshine. A quiet, magical moment rudely interrupted by my ten-year-old daughter snowballing me at the kitchen table. Turns out I’m not like an excited kid after all.
Still, it was a beautiful morning to be alive, though not quite the morning I’d planned.
My planned morning included a 6.30am HIIT session. But despite the fact it was on Zoom and all I had to do was drag myself out of bed, shove on some gym gear and BURPEE!, I didn’t make it. In the battle between bear crawls and duvet, the 13.5 tog smashed it. Again.
Because here’s the thing. Right now, my duvet is my BFF. Closely followed by my sofa blanket and my old, bobbly, baggy jumper. It might be the year of the tiger. But I’m feeling more squirrel.
In my copywriting days, I … erm …’crafted’ hundreds of New Year, New [insert anything sellable] headlines. Especially in the glory days of ‘crafting’ the Argos catalogue.
New Year, New Foot Spa!
New Year, New Laundry Basket!
New Year, New Electric Blanket! (Ooh… yes please.)
And maybe I should be embracing my inner tiger, setting big, brave goals and resolving to be a more courageous, more assertive, more energetic Me. The Me who pounces out from under the duvet and burpees before breakfast.
But the truth is, I don’t want to. Not right now.
I mean, I love a burpee as much as nobody. And sure, it may be a shiny new year. But I’m good with my old goals and the old me and the old bobbly jumper. And don’t you dare snatch my duvet… unless you want to see my tiger face.
For me, January is not a time to begin something new. It’s a time to just be. To embrace winter. Even the damp, grey and muddy Scottish variant.
After 48 years on this beautiful planet, I have enough self-awareness to know that my energy is limited in these dark months. I know that any goals I set now will be less bold or brave or ambitious as they might be if I hold off until the light returns.
Neither do I feel like pushing myself harder or faster or further in these early months of the year. As I often say to my clients – remember your year is a marathon, not a sprint. It doesn’t matter a damn if you’re first off the starting blocks.
This doesn’t mean I don’t have goals. I always have goals. And there’s something about short days that make me hyper-focused on the journey. Mindful even.
This doesn’t mean I’m not productive. I am. In the quiet spaces, ideas bubble away and form. Plans begin to take shape.
This doesn’t mean I’m not progressing. Far from it. At a slower pace, I become more strategic about the projects which deserve my energy.
Embracing winter is also about doing stuff that feeds my soul.
Writing stuff like this.
Learning stuff that requires concentration (ask me anything about dominant seventh chords).
The kind of yoga that you do while lying down and where sleep is optional.
In fact, any kind of activity you can do while lying down and where sleep is optional.
So why am I telling you all of this? Because we live and work in a results-driven culture. We’re encouraged to hit Q1 with all guns blazing. That might come easy in high summer in Sydney. But in the Scottish midwinter, it’s a little more challenging.
But that's OK. If you’re not feeling the ‘New Year, New You’ vibe, don’t force it.
If you’re feeling all tiger, grrreat! If, like me, you’re a little more squirrel, I’ll see you in March.
Wishing you all a happy, healthy and joyful 2022.
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