So we’re at the end of January. The recycling bin still clanks loudly when anything is chucked in it due to the amount of wine bottles that it houses and I am still sporting a little bit of a muffin top over my size 12 skinny jeans.
I hate you January.
Every year is the same; ‘Yeah, new year, new start. Really gonna get my shit together this year. Am gonna bust it and achieve loads’. Even though I have been kinder to myself over the past couple of years by being a little bit more realistic about ones goals, I still seem to feel the same; an unfit, slightly squishy round the edges, alcohol dependant failure. Once again the pressure of leading the ‘perfect and fulfilled life’ is hounding you from every corner of the social media room. We get bombarded with the crap of trying to change and improve our lives and eradicate the things that you hate about yourself. As if the cold weather is not enough to drag our spirits down, what a perfect time to make a list of all the things that are shit about your life and yourself to add the final nail in the coffin of depression. Get the perfect beach body, be skinny, eat clean, anything is possible, start running, be a perfect parent, aim high. Pay me, subscribe to me, buy me, all with promises that your life will be awesome.
Oh just knob right off January.
To be honest I have felt like a right arse over the past week for being a tad miserable after returning from holiday. ‘What is wrong with me’, I thought, in my usual beat myself up style. Yes, we started the new year in sunny climates, which was great. With both of us being terrified of the post-Christmas lull and cold weather a last-minute jaunt to Tenerife was found. Yes it meant taking the eldest out of school which had its own set of head problems for me, but the decision was quite simply … sod it, mummy and daddy need some sun for their mental stability so we’re having a holiday. But then its back home to January. Miserable, cold and failing in every which way at the new, perfect me.
Thanks January, you bastard.
You see, January brings about a fresh start, with magical promises of a better you and a better life. Time to get more organised, time to get fit, time to eat better, stop drinking so much wine, get on top of the household chaos, more activities with the kids, stop shouting at the kids, get more rest, take more time out for you, be a better parent, be a better wife/partner, spend more time with the other half, have more quality time with family, go out with friends more, stop thinking so much, achieve your dreams, get back into your career, stop messing with your phone so much, be in the moment, play with the kids more, stop worrying what everyone thinks. Its exhausting. So by the end of January when you are still shouting at the kids to go and play while you waste time on Facebook with a glass of wine in your hand, it’s no wonder that you feel like a prize twat of a failure. We must be really crap at life for not being able to achieve all this shit by the end of January. January says we can do this, so why can’t I? Has anyone been able to do this? Even in a year or even in their lifetime? There’s only so much you can do especially when you’re trying to
raise drag up three kids.
January, your expectations are utter shit.
Last year I was optimistic about 2016, with no real resolutions, no great expectations or unrealistic goals. The main objective was ‘acceptance’ and being in the ‘moment’. But even this fucks me off. It’s not too strenuous and I wasn’t putting myself under too much pressure as the lists were going to dramatically reduce. But has anyone tried not making lists whilst organising life with three kids, even without kids? Has anyone tried being in the moment when there are three moments happening at the same time and all of them are screaming at you to be in their fucking moment right there and right now! Plus, how the hell do you accept the list of shit that you just made, just because January told you to do so. So not having any resolutions and trying to keep life simple is also complete and utter crap. Life will never be simple and yes contrary to what my other half says life needs a few spreadsheets to make it seem more manageable (it’s a talent of mine being able to ‘nerd’ things up – #bothered).
Even though acceptance will still be a big part of 2017, you know the ‘love thyself’ crap and accepting that I can be a little bit cuckoo, an over thinker and that Golf will never fucking leave my life, for me what is making me feel a little bit brighter and a bit more positive is looking back. Oh but you’re not supposed to do this I hear you cry, onwards and upwards they say, don’t dwell on the past, live in the now. However, looking back there are lots of improvements, there are tiny steps forward and there are things that I can do this year that I couldn’t this time last year and its making me feel slightly great. Like being able to get all the kids out of the door by 8.35am (with make up on I might add – me that is, not the kids) or not being terrified of flying solo at bath and bed time (they still scare me a little when I’m on my own though – normal right?). It may not be very exciting but its a step forward and an achievement none the less.
There was a time when I never thought I’d get out the house again. With a new-born, a nearly one year old and a nearly two-year old, getting simple stuff done like getting dressed or going to the loo, was pretty tough/virtually impossible. These days we do get shit done (yes I know bad pun). It may not be in the most graceful or organised of ways but we are smashing it. We don’t get it right all the time (quite horrific sometimes) but we’re having some amazing times together. We’re all individually a bit nuts, but we’re getting on with it. So for me, it’s quite simply all about the little steps forward and recognising what we capable of today that we weren’t twelve months ago.
The bugger in all this though is what if you feel like you’re no further forward. Sometimes life catapults you way back down the ladder of what they would lead you to believe is a ‘perfect life’. Sometimes life becomes all about working towards getting out the house again, or being able to use the hair straighteners again or having a shit in peace. For some it can be way harsher; for some its about making it through to the end of the year.
Not really sure what I’m trying to say here, but there comes a point when you get used to the carnage in your life and start appreciating it in a completely different way. Once you have learnt to embrace the chaos (possibly the best advice I received regarding having three kids) then the small steps forward are everything, simply because they are steps forward.
So screw you January and your stupid arse expectations.
(But yes I totally agree that I should try to drink less wine. Will try harder. Promise.)