A new page

January 3, 2018 by Ray Morgan

Happy New Year, dear readers. Well: we're through it! My Christmas tree is back in its box, and my living room looks bigger and tidy again. The red, cinnamon-scented candles have burned themselves down to waxy puddles, and been replaced by new, fresh, white ones. The first page in my diary is neatly written, impossibly so. I had green tea first thing this morning, like a complete January cliche.

I was lucky enough to have 10 whole simultaneous days off over Christmas, and I went back to work this morning, blinking in the dull morning light, confused as to why I was fully dressed and walking to work at 8am and not snoozing, planning a morning of tea and toast and box sets.

Funny old month, January, isn't it? We all buy Fit Bits and plan to attend yoga classes and drink green tea in an attempt to erase the fact we ate whole boxes of mint chocolates while watching Harry Potter and brought out Violife cheese and crackers AFTER eating a Chinese takeaway. Or was that just me?

Bad habits are flung like sad, dead Christmas trees out onto the street: this is the new me! We cry. I'm gonna shift two stone! I'm NOT going to spend time scrolling through other people's lives on Instagram and feel bad about myself. I'll do more crafts, I promise.

But also... maybe I'll fancy a glass of wine in January, and maybe I won't do yoga, and that's ok.

What does matter is being a good friend to people. Being there for those who are struggling. Spending less on things we don't need. Putting money away for the future. Buying more things locally and not relying on Prime all the time. Enjoying the small pleasures that our beautiful town gives us. Cutting down our plastic waste - come on, we've all been watching Blue Planet with guity eyes. Stop buying that bottle of water every day. Drink from the bloody tap! Eat more plant-based food. Did you know that the carbon footprint from roast lamb is the equivalent of driving almost 100 miles in the car? That's a heck of a lot more than the carbon footprint of a nut roast. Also: no cute baby lambs are harmed in the making of a nut roast. Just saying...

These aren't unique plans for January. They should be followed all year round, not a fad - a way of life. Easier said than done, of course. But little starts are all we need; a text message to an old friend. A meat-free Monday dinner planned. A walk down to the seafront for a cleansing, life-affirming view. A browse around our abundant local shops. We don't know what's around the corner, but we can make little changes to try and live a bit more simply. I'm aware that I've panic-bought a new calendar off Amazon in the time I've written this, but then we're all fallible, aren't we eh? Happy January all - but don't put too much pressure on yourself. If leftover After Eights and sherry are your favoured January coping mechanisms - you go for it. It's just another month, after all.


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