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!

Happy

MORNING. Now, I don’t want to rub it in, but… Oh stuff it! My weekend starts here. Hooray!

I really should not be blogging. My auntie will be here at midday and I’ve so much life admin to complete before she gets here. The flat’s a little messy, should probably do a quick clean up. Oh. And laundry… Must clean clothes or will have nothing to wear when Monday comes around again.

I woke up feeling all gooey and happy and inspired this morning and that hasn’t happened for a long time. Most likely this is because I am oh so excited for my long weekend. I’m catching up with my auntie. We’re off to Cardiff. I’m seeing Passenger play at the Welsh Millennium Centre. Dave and I are heading back to Chelmsford on Saturday. On Sunday I get to have my first Mummy Maggs roast dinner in a long time and treat my dad to gifts and hugs for Father’s Day.

It could also be that Dave and I had a particularly lovely evening together yesterday.

It could be that I’m getting into my stride a little more at work. I’m not letting it stress me out so much and I’m learning to remember that I’m a human and not a machine and there’s only so much I can do in a day. About time eh?

It could be that I went on a glorious spa day with one of my besties on Sunday. My goodness it was exactly what we both needed!

We headed to Imagine Spa in King’s Lynn. The treatments were wonderful. We had a mud chamber treatment which was really good fun as well as being relaxing and detoxing and all that jazz. The relaxation room was the perfect escape and there was a lovely pool and jacuzzi.

It was almost perfect. Almost, but for two things. It was very small andddd they didn’t sell any food! None at all. We had been prewarned by a friend who’d been before so we made sure we had plenty of breakfast. But when we left at three, having been there since half nine, we were oh so hungry!

It could be that when I woke up randomly at quarter past six this morning and got up to close the bedroom window, a peep outside at the early morning, coupled with the smell of early morning fresh air took me straight back to a particularly wonderful early morning my sister and I had a while back now. We were in the Caribbean celebrating my dad’s 50th birthday and we snuck out down to the beach early to see the sunrise and I hadn’t thought about it in a long time but I’m realising now that it may be one of my happiest, most treasured memories.

I remember trying to read through Fearne Cotton’s ‘Happy’ when I was having a particularly hard time of it (maybe about a year ago now) and getting to a page that asked you to list 5 of your worst memories and 5 of your best. I remember it taking me all of a minute to think of the negative stuff… To remember the bad times. I wrote them down one by one, getting more emotional all the time. It then took me a very long time to remember some happy times. I know it sounds crazy. Perhaps it was because I’d listed the bad things first and got too caught up. Trying desperately to remember the good times, I just got more and more upset. I remember getting annoyed at Fearne too. Thinking that the task she set was clearly just too hard and had just brought me down. Sadly, I never wrote my happy memories down and I never picked the book up again.

I’ve always firmly believed that dwelling on the past just brings you down. I’ve always loved to quote that line from Lion King that Pumba says that always makes me chuckle.

“YOU GOTTA PUT YOUR BEHIIIIND IN THE PAST”

It’s true to an extent. But what about all the happy memories we leave behind!? I think it’s about time I started remembering them all again. Maybe I’ll start a scrapbook or a photo album containing my happiest memories. Maybe I’ll pick up ‘Happy’ and get reading again.

Hey! I had no idea this post would bring me to such a meaningful conclusion. Perhaps I should write first thing in the morning more often! Since remembering that beautiful morning in the Caribbean, I can’t stop thinking of more and more magical, happy memories. Its as if a switch has flicked and they’ve all come flooding back at once.

What an amazing way to begin a weekend that will hopefully be filled with more happy memories to add to the collection.

Let the good times roll.

A trip down memory lane

My room at home has been pink and fluffy for as long as I’ve lived in it. When we moved in I was seven and I was allowed to choose just how I wanted it decorated. As a result, the top halves of my walls are covered in pink wallpaper with stars on it, the bottom halves are a deep purple. The carpet is bright red and amazingly soft. The walls are littered with photos of me in my young teens and the shelves are filled with childhood story books, teenage romcoms, fluffy pens, computer games and various ornaments picked up on monumental birthdays.

It has never really bothered me that it is so childish: There are so many memories attached to it I could never bear the thought of stripping it back and redecorating. Besides, I only live in it for a few months of the year. Sleeping in my old bunk bed isn’t much of a problem for me either, because I simply haven’t grown enough. It was yesterday, when I was sat at my desk reading for an essay on performance practice, that I suddenly felt really out of place. I suddenly felt like an adult sat in a child’s room. It didn’t feel like my room anymore. Me and my dad agreed that perhaps it’s time we thought about redoing it. I am admittedly tempted by the thought of a double bed and a bigger wardrobe.

Then, yesterday evening I went on a walk down memory lane, although in this case the lane is a bridleway that runs between the part of Chelmsford I live in and the bit next door. A group of us used to do the same walk on a couple of nights, of every week without fail. We’d walk across the bridleway so we could join the rest of our friends at a park, where we would spend hours out in the cold until curfews crept up on us and we had to head back home. The walk back used to terrify me: The bridleway would be pitch black and even if we took the road around it, there were no lampposts and we had to pass a graveyard just before we reached the end. It sounds crazy now, but when me and my friend were reminiscing last night we realised that some of our happiest memories come from evenings spent walking that walk and spending time at that park.

We chose a beautiful evening to walk the walk last night. It wasn’t even quite as scary as it used to be, because the skies were clear and the moon lit our path up remarkably bright. I still found myself gripping his arm as we passed the graveyard. When, just over a week ago, he sent me the text suggesting that once I got home, we do the walk again for old times sake, I knew I’d love it, but I could not have imagined how much. I hated it as much as I loved it. It made me miss being sixteen more than ever and it made me realise just how much everything has changed. I woke up this morning and it felt like I’d dreamed it. I’d just spent my evening sat on a swing , while the sun set, with one of my best friends, catching up on months worth of life. Then we’d walked back home in the dark, the same way we always did when we were sixteen. It was beautiful, but it made me feel so old.

I feel like an adult. For the first time ever I’ve come home to find that, actually, I feel kind of older.