It’s here! The first day of a brand new year: day one of another 365 days that have yet to unfold; a year full of pages that we haven’t yet read. Happy New Year!!!!!!!!
I’m sitting in bed with a box of chocolates by my side, fingers licked and at the ready as I write this blog post on the first day of 2018. It’s only 11.00am and I’ve already broken my first resolution: eat less chocolate. But what the heck, who cares really? The gold wrappers on the caramel Roses are far too shiny to ignore and washed down with a cup of tea, they are simply the best! So, onwards……..
Some of my friends reading this, have celebrated New Year in Sydney and are a further 11 hours into this new chapter of our lives. Happy New Year to you too! You’ve experienced more of this new day than we have in the UK. I hope it’s unfolding well. In fact, by the time you get to read this, you will probably have entered Day 2 of 2018. Funny that.
How is everybody feeling today? The effects of a few too many tipples last night might mean you feel a bit ropey but the good news is that as each hour passes, that will wear off and the new, more clear-eyed and 2018 version of you will begin to emerge. Or, you might, like me, have made the decision to drive last night and not drink alcohol. (I had a great time, honestly, just without the addition of alcohol). For that reason, I don’t feel so bad having indulged already this morning and munched on chocolates. How very rock ‘n’ roll!!
However we’re all feeling, may we all remember this: today is a fresh start, the beginning of a new year. There are lots of things that will happen this year that will challenge us. Some of those things will make us feel strong and some of those things will make us feel less strong. And, some of those things will be out of our control but there are also lots of things that are going to happen because we have been in control. Big thoughts like that make me feel a bit overwhelmed if I let them but this year is going to be the year where I try to feel less overwhelmed and more in control.
In the lead up to Christmas, in fact on the morning of the 23rd November, I woke up and a dog of the black variety had decided to pay me another of its unwelcome visits. It arrived without warning but made its presence known very quickly.
I wasn’t prepared for that particular visit. On other occasions I’ve been more prepared. I know I’m not alone in this because I talk, a lot, to other people who experience this and for those of you who recognise how those episodes feel, you’ll understand when I say that the long, dark days of the end of November felt very long and dark indeed.
Why am I telling you this? I’m telling you because I want to acknowledge that it happened. I’m telling you because by my telling you, it might help somebody else and I’m telling you because I want to say thank you. Thank you to my family and friends that supported me and an even bigger thank you, that as quickly as it arrived, the four-legged feeling of gloom, skipped off in to the sunset on the 20th December, in time for me to enjoy Christmas.
How random is that? But life is random. None of us know what tomorrow will bring (well actually, that’s not quite true). It’s the not knowing what’s around the corner that can make life exciting or terrifying. But, whatever challenges and/or opportunities we might face this year, all of them will be easier to deal with by talking.
When I started blogging in July of last year, I did so with a big knot in my stomach when I pressed, ‘Publish’ for the first time. Every part of me allowed me to think the worse: that nobody would read it and that those who did would think it was a load of rubbish. I didn’t allow myself to glimpse at how it might feel if my blog was well received and how it might feel if somebody contacted me to say it had given them a boost or brightened their day a bit.
Well, I’m starting 2018 with another big thank you, to every single one of you who have taken the time to read my blog posts. You will never know how much you have helped me and made me feel – all of which has been positive. I’m acutely aware that not everybody deals with things by publicly speaking about it but I would never be where I am today unless very kind people had taken the time to tell me that I am not alone and never will be. My blogging has helped me but I know now, because lots of you have taken the time to tell me, via emails, texts, Twitter and FB messages that it’s helped you.
So, in our own way, let’s all try and make 2018 our year when we help one another more: our families, friends and even people who we don’t yet know. We all hope that 2018 will be a great year but we know already that for some it will be difficult. Make it less so by helping each other in whatever way we can. My helping might be different to your helping but that’s what makes us all so unique and special.
2018: let’s do this.