I am writing to you inspired by my Daughter Kathryn in two ways: her letters to December made me appreciate my downfalls of the month and made me want to explore the months more, and, one of the lovely gifts she gave me for Christmas; Dawn French’s Me You diary.
For Christmas 2016, I was given a diary from one of my friends; One Line a Day. Whilst January is the beginning of a new year, I actually started writing in it on the 25 December; something I thought I would regret after hearing the sad news (still very sad news in my opinion) that George Michael had died. This diary is a a five year diary so each page has room for 5 years of the same day. I would love to tell you that I wrote in it every day but September I wasn’t so good. I think life seemed a bit daunting. I have recovered now and am trying to make amends to my diary!
I needed to make a few changes in my working life so the months between September and November involved that. That led me into December, without a “proper” job due to a gamble which I do believe might have paid off. More on that later. I had decided that I wouldn’t start my “gambling” life gradually, I took a holiday; a very enjoyable one too! A bit riskier because I did have Christmas to prepare too. I left for my holiday with a few presents bought, no cards written but plenty ideas of what I needed to get once I got back.
On holiday, I was able to keep up with Kathryn’s blog and her letters to December. I felt quite tearful reading some of the traditions we had created and how she had enjoyed them. Our Christmas day is always a quiet relaxed affair (even that has pressure put on it) and Kathryn did seem to appreciate them. It did come as a bit of a shock because Kathryn is far from a boring girl and our Christmas day isn’t one of these great big family days. It is always tradition for mum and dad to fall asleep.
I did learn a lot about myself in December by reading the December letters and watching Kathryn achieving the many things she set to do each day. In the past, I have put pressure on myself by thinking everything should be perfect. This year, perfection went out of the window (I never achieve it anyway) and I enjoyed the month so much more. These are some of the things that made it easier:
- Supermarket food deliveries – this has been a big plus all year. I have a shop on the same day, same time every week and it has made my life so much easier
- Online shopping – normally we have a Christmas shopping day which can involve going into a lot of cafes for lattes, writing out lists of what we want to buy, buying six things and then coming home to buy the rest online. One week before Christmas, the laptop was brought into action and all presents were purchased. Who needs to start shopping in September!
- A “does it matter” approach – do I need to worry if I haven’t got swede for roast veg on the day? Is it necessary for the Christmas cake to be perfectly decorated? So what if we haven’t got shortbread (hold on I should care about that one!). What if I only decided 5 minutes before the dinner was being served I want the table to look? In the big scheme of things, these things should not put a cloud over the day. All resolvable – just have to remember to buy Marks and Spencer’s shortbread in September next year!
- Lists – Kathryn loves lists; they often scare me. December this year, I discovered how to use them in the best way with my phone and a program called Keep. I do love gadgets and this one certainly made me happy this December. I plan to start enjoying lists.
So 2018, December will not frighten me this year. In fact, I’m not going to get frighted by any of the months. Each month, with help from Dawn, is going to be a blank page: a new month to get things right and forget about what happened the month before (I will have it all written down of course but there will be no dwelling over it). So today, 1 January 2018, I plan to eat the lovely cake I made yesterday (plan on getting back into my clothes can wait until tomorrow), hopefully achieve 10,000 steps on my fitbit, if it stops raining and make a plan for January but not the whole of you, 2018.
Love from a glass half full me x