Seems only right and proper we share the things we'll be taking into the New Year, primarily because we can't go back on them because they're here for all to see. Strange is such a thin word, but its the only way we can describe the sensation as we step into this new time. Christmas is a different beast altogether when it is a sad occasion instead of a joyous, hopeful one its: like someone has turned the snow globe upside down, but won't let the snow fall. However it does will you into the New Year, marching in defiance in search of the happiness that once was and setting milestones and aims to help you tick off the days. Now for the 10 little rays of light..
1. Mini projects - Little projects to make the bigger picture of life that little bit more achievable and have tangible things to accomplish. We're pretty sure someone told us this in nursery whilst building a polygon tower, but it's not really rang true until recently. And what made that bell gloriously ring? Knitting. Yes the clicking of those needles and the little woollen bundles of accomplishment make the days go quicker, your mind quietly ticking over and, most importantly, keeps you off social media. Plus, I defy you not to find a suitable birthday or christmas present that can't be made from the John Lewis haberdashery department.
2. Learning basic survival - We took a trip up to the Cairngorms over the festive season (minus 12 degrees!) and our inability to quickly and efficiently light a fire, was pretty distressing. On our 'hike' we also ended up meandering onto a FROZEN lake and vowed to research how to check what is underfoot and how to hike safely. We can now get flames roaring in Arctic conditions, feel more assured going into the wilderness this year and urge everyone to re-visit they Brownie and Scout handbooks!
3. Start - Sometimes the magnitude of everything you want to do in your lifetime is so overwhelming that you don't do any of them at all. Read all of Game of Thrones, re-visit chess, triathlon training - the list trundles on and on. We know every' New Year' pep talk article drives the 'get up and go' theory home, but we've found a great bitesize way of doing it. Divide your goals into 'This Week' and 'This Month' and perhaps get a buddy to cross tick things with. You do something then they do something. Goal for a goal.
4. Look forward with new things - Lisa has literally cleared her room of everything, CD's are on Music Magpie, clothes are (slowly!) up on ebay, her books she cannot part with just yet, but everything else is GONE. Life doesn't feel the same and nor should it, so start to bring things into your life that make you look to the future, thats not to say chuck everything you've ever owned, but it does feel great. Promise.
5. Roast tatties - Don't par boil your roast potatoes, fully boil them leave them to dry, smother them in goose fat and whack in the oven. Thank us later (and thanks to Brian P). If you have been doing this forever, then swap number five for the discovery of Hot yoga, something we've been doing forever that also includes boiling!
6. New traditions - Regular occasions make us feel warm and fuzzy and are great at marking milestones and ensuring we see the people we want to see. If your traditions suddenly have a hole in them and someone is missing/ it just doesn't feel right, make new ones! School reunions, introducing your parents to your best mates parents, freezing skinny dip on New Years day (!) - or its new title' roast potato discovery day', in our house.
7. Celebrities - Some (not all!) of us are obsessed with peoples lives we don't know, its a form of escapism and often good reading. We've started a little game that whenever we read something about someone in the public eye we text a friend to ask them if they've ever done it, and 'voila!' the focus is now on someone you care about. Eg: Headline: Rihanna leaves the Ivy and lifts her top up, message to friend "Mate have you ever been to the Ivy, shall we save up all of our pennies and go and have a fingernail sized portion of pork belly?"
8. Transport - Get the bus instead of driving alone, reduces your carbon foot print and reminds you there are other people in the world.
9. Online medical help - NO GOOD comes of googling your symptoms if you're ill, we've wasted so many hours and anxiety doing this. If you're really concerned NHS system checker or NHS 24 are both great. We've been convinced we've had every single disease known to man and worked ourselves into such a frenzy, Lisa has been known to go into the doctors with a LIST of ailments.
10. Bitterness - A tough year can be a hard pill to swallow, but if you're negative the only person that suffers is you. Lean on others, but try to appease yourself, grit your teeth through the roller coaster of 2015, you don't have to take anything we've said in the carriage with you, but lets all strap in and go. Make sure your festive carbohydrates have settled though, could get messy.