Week Zero

I’m curled up on the sofa at my parents’ and I’ve spent the whole day in my PJs. The Christmas tree is twinkling and the living room is super cosy.

It’s odd isn’t it? This week between Christmas and New Year. No-one knows which day of the week it is. Our New Year’s resolutions don’t need putting into action until January 1st so we’re all in limbo.

Some people strip the decorations down, find places for all their gifts and spring clean a few months early. Other people cling onto Christmas for as long as humanely possible; cooking turkey everything, leaving the decorations up, watching Christmas films, eating chocolate and being extremely lazy. Others among us sit in traffic and battle the crowds to browse the sale racks for bargains. I myself fully intend to treat myself to some new jeans, that don’t have holes in, asap. Many of us have family and friends to visit and find ourselves doing the rounds. The parents among you have to find ways to entertain the kids until the school term starts again. I do not envy you. Some of you have had to go back to work already. Ugh. Poor you guys.

New Year’s Resolutions are a funny thing. Why do we feel we need to improve ourselves every year? Why are we so hard on ourselves and why should this year be any different from the last anyway?

Ridiculously, I always imagine I’ll have sooooo much more time when the new year begins. For example, this year I’m telling myself that I’ll join a couple of fitness classes, sing more, join a choir, find a rehearsal space for songwriting, make my lunch and take it into work every day, study, get out more, stay on top of the laundry and cook proper meals. I’m resolving to do all of these things despite the fact that I struggled through November and December barely finding the time to buy Christmas presents or paint my nails. Supposedly, in January, anything is possible. No wonder we all end up feeling sad and deflated when the 1st Feb comes around.

I also want to worry less. How I’ll manage that with so many goals to achieve, who knows? Most of all, I just want to worry less about what other people are thinking. I cannot read minds, so why do I waste so much time trying to? What even is the point? It’s irrational and oh, who am I kidding?

These will be the good old days. Regardless of whether I worry too much or I make time for all of the above, I want to remember that. I want to remember to make the most of every moment because time is flying by.

HELLO CHAPTER FIVE!

Until further notice

I’m the happiest of Bronwens today. Autumn simply is the second most wonderful time of year (Christmas being the most wonderful time of the year, of course) and I’m so happy it is here.

What’s not to love? Good TV. Jumper weather. Beautiful crisp colourful leaves. Monthly reasons to get together with friends and family and have a good time in the form of Halloween and Bonfire night and Christmas (oops I said it again). Yes, it’s too soon to talk about Christmas, I know, but we all know that really that build up starts here. HOW EXCITING!

Tuesday night just gone, Dave and I went to see Foo Fighters at the O2 and it was unforgettable! My goodness what a night. If I didn’t already think they were an incredible band, I do now. They are mind blowing. They all have such presence! They’re all so talented and they’re innovative too. They’re growing all the time. They’re concert was the perfect mix of old and new and even featured Rick Astley! In the flesh. Singing ‘Never gonna give you up’. No word of a lie.

I also helped out at a couple of Alzheimer’s Society’s memory walks this month and I’m so glad I did. I was so overwhelmed. I attended the Watford walk first. The event site was at the bottom of a hill and we’d barely finished setting up before people started emerging over the top in blue memory walk t-shirt after t-shirt. They all looked amazing and even more so when they eventually headed off on the walk itself. I had a lump in my throat for the duration of both events. So many people and each one there for the same incredible cause and all with names and pictures on their back. All remembering someone. It was simply amazing.

Today, I’ve had an epiphany and, although it’s been a long time in the making, it’s today I feel like I’ve got a kind of a plan for the future.

Leaving my parents’ home and moving out. Moving away from my home town and starting a new job. It all threw me off balance just a little bit. I’ve been tumbling through. And, hey! I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with tumbling through, but for the first time in my twenties so far, I kind of know where I’m going. Or where I want to go. I think. And it feels FAB.

The wonderful thing is that for now, I think that for starters, I wanna stay exactly where I am. I’ve always been a floater, thrived off change. I get bored quickly, but as much as the change does good things for the part of me that is always seeking the new and exciting, each and every change drives the butterflies in my tummy into flutters.

I feel very lucky to be where I am right now and I know that with enough determination, I can get to where I want to be, starting from right here. I don’t need to jump head first into another deep sea full of unknowns and drag my mental health down again with me.

For a little while I’m just doing more of the same. And I’m so excited for all of the joys staying put will bring.

After that? These lips are sealed I’m afraid. Until further notice.

Sunshine, Cocktails and Flappy Birds

I am no expert, but I think I’ve been suffering from a serious case of the infamous winter blues.

January and February, through no real fault of their own, have very bad reputations. January signifies the end of the holiday season and our return to every day life. It is as we struggle through January’s wind and rain that we begin to realise just how far away the summer really is. February is infamous because by February most of us notice we’ve already failed the New Year Resolutions we were determined to keep. It always tends to be a struggle for us single folk, no matter how much we claim we love the single life and completely oppose Valentine’s Day.

As someone who has always been just as fond of the winter as the summer, normally I wouldn’t sympathise. (Snow, wooly jumpers, wellington boots, yummy Christmas leftovers, what’s to complain about?) This year, for the first time, I understand. Since coming back to Cardiff I’ve spent an unjustifiable amount of time in my onesie, drinking wine, eating chocolate and ice cream, cuddling my hot water bottle, watching TV in bed, singing love ballads and wishing I were Bridget Jones. I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time complaining about slow internet connectivity, my lack of boyfriend, the cold, the wind, the rain, and my subsequent lack of determination.

Then last Friday, Cardiff woke up to sunshine. Me and my flatmate spent the day making the most of it. Sat on a bench, eating hot cross buns in the sun, I found myself smiling hugely. When we left the pub after getting cocktails that evening and it was raining again, I didn’t even grumble. I walked home alongside her, sharing her umbrella and singing songs from various musicals. It failed to bother me when it rained Saturday night because I was babysitting in a warm house, on a sofa, curled up with a cat, a cup of tea and two lovely children who introduced me to the infuriating world of Flappy Bird. When it was raining on Sunday, I was in the library, feeling abnormally determined and powering through reading for the history seminars of the week.

I am sure that days like today can be blamed for winter blues Wales-wide. To say that the walk into the university was difficult would be an understatement: Gale force winds pushed me forwards, backwards, sideways and very nearly straight into someone’s dustbin. BUT, university today was well worth the journey. I went to two and a half hours of music lectures which were probably the most interesting lectures I’ve been to since coming to Cardiff. In the afternoon I had a meeting with my history lecturer, who in just half an hour, managed to make me feel like I could conquer the world. I couldn’t tell you what it was he said that gave me so much enthusiasm, but I left his office wanting to run home, boil the kettle, make tea and immediately start writing my essay.

Now, I’m sat smiling hugely and wondering what on earth I had to moan about. I’m not really sure where this determination came from… exposure to sunlight, introduction to Flappy Birds? How ever it got here I hope it stays. As for the winter blues, no matter how much rain I have to power through this week, I hope I’ve seen the back of them.