The new year doldrums

Some schools were recently on holiday, and I watched in fascination how moms posted their incredible crafty and arty pics that they had created with their kids. I’m always in awe of moms who take the time to research an arts-and-crafts project, buy all the tools and patiently sit with their kids to execute the projects. I love living through them and seeing the creative projects these moms inspire while reassuring myself that at least my kids, especially my toddler, get a good amount of creativity at school.

While everyone is creating bullet journals, coming up with the word that they intend to live by for the year (strength, bravery, humility, perspective, etc.) and leaping into the gym to fulfil New Year’s resolutions, I generally feel a bit meh about the new year.

My new 2020 diary remains untouched and could possibly gather some dust before I get to it; the resolutions don’t exist, and my word of the year could just be a four-letter one. In fact, January is probably my least-inspired month; it’s one that makes me feel sad at times and causes me to wonder how I’m going to get back on the hamster wheel with both legs.

The start of the new year doesn’t evoke fresh beginnings and exciting goals. Rather, it signifies the end of an amazing holiday that I long for and could easily go back to – whether it’s the lazy afternoon G&Ts, getting through my long reading list, or splashing in the pool without a deadline on my shoulder. And while I realise I’m not the only one to return to “life” after an amazing vacay, it takes me a while longer to metaphorically shake the sea sand from my shoes.

2019 washing into 2020 in the beach

January also brings on a mild dread of getting back to the chores, hustle, queues, deadlines and traffic, and I have fantasies of relocating to a small town without most of this, but then I remember that I’ll unlikely have a Woolworths or cosmetic store nearby (eeek!), and therefore I realise that being in the big smoke is not such a bad thing after all.

“The start of the new year doesn’t evoke fresh beginnings and exciting goals. Rather, it signifies the end of an amazing holiday that I long for and could easily go back to…”

January also brings along those existential questions: “Am I where I want to be?”, “Have I done enough?”, “What do I want from my year?”, “Do I need a change?”. I always like progression and learning, and perhaps the start of the year makes me a little scared that I won’t have any of this, that I might be stagnant, or that I might not move forward in my work life or with my personal growth.

January’s doldrums don’t really echo who I am – I’m generally an upbeat, happy and positive gal, but the start of the year generally saps me, and it takes me a while to find my rhythm and authentic smile.

Fortunately, my birthday at the end of January lifts my spirits and attitude, and it’s around that time that I see my start line to 2020, and find my mojo. My proverbial race shoes come on, my diary starts filling up, and I begin to look forward to the journey.

I’m a late starter for sure, but my shoelaces are well tied, I have a supportive sports bra, and my shades are firmly on.