Saturday, 4 January 2014

Reasons to embrace January.....

I always find it strange that every year I get a little sad when my Christmas tree comes down and no longer stands in the corner of my lounge winking at me with its pretty little lights. Even stranger that I should feel that way when it is only ever up for three weeks. But all the same I miss it greatly when it disappears for another year, signifying the official end of Christmas and the beginning of the long, cold miserable month of January.

But it's not just me feeling this way...most of us seem to have a real dislike of January. We all feel a little down post the Christmas fun and most of us are also a little short of cash. It’s at this time of year that we ladies are usually feeling a little down on our bodies following the inevitable Christmas blow out, and there just seems to be a general air of underlying soberness...literally, which of course is in such stark contrast to the previous month.

But I have decided this year to embrace the month of January and have justified this by coming up with what I think are a few good reasons to do just that:

A new year to me always signifies a new start, a time to put the previous year, good or bad behind you and start afresh. Now this New Year apparently has even more significance as we will start the first day of the New Year with a new moon. This is pretty rare and in fact hasn't happened for 19 years. As a new moon is all about new beginnings and fresh starts then 2014 truly is a chance to wipe the slate clean, and not just start a new year but also a new you. So why not make 2014 your year to do whatever your heart and dreams desire.

Make 2014 a year to action something that you have been putting off, whether it is big or small. 2013 for me was all about shifting my baby weight, which I had most definitely been putting off. Ten months after Evan was born I was still a little over a stone heavier than I was before I fell pregnant. Now I could no doubt reel off a number of reasons why I hadn't got around to losing the weight... I was a new mum and had more important things to focus keeping my new-born son alive! Then I went back to work and had being a mum and working full time to busy myself with. Or maybe it was just sheer laziness, which of course looking back I am fairly confident that this was the main reason, but the previous two reasons paint me in a much better light! But whatever the reason the fact of the matter was that I had not got around to shifting the weight and getting back into my skinny jeans. So come January 2013 I set myself a goal to lose the weight. I cut out my mid-week glasses of wine, cut out the junk food and cut down on my portion sizes. Of course I would be lying if I said it didn't help that Scott proposed on Christmas day 2012, and we decided to tie the knot in June 2013, as we all know what a wedding can do for reducing our waistlines!! Nonetheless, I achieved my goal and by June of last year I had not only shed my pre baby weight, but another stone to boot. Now granted I have piled on a few pounds over the Christmas period, but nothing that a few weeks discipline won't sort out...I just need to make sure all the Christmas biscuits, chocolate and booze is drunk before I start...well I don’t want any temptation around the house now do I!!

So for me 2014 is about getting more active and to stop coming up with excuses to put off getting my backside off the sofa. Now don't get me wrong, you're not going to see my anytime soon spinning at my local gym or signing up for any triathlons...even though my good friend Anna has suggested we do just that this year. Oh no, what I have in mind is much more gentle, but a good start all the same. A few twenty minute runs in the evening (once the weather improves and providing my post baby pelvic floor holds up!!), a few family cycle rides with Scott and Evan, and maybe a few sessions on the exercise bike, which is currently gathering dust in our garage. But hey it’s a start...

January is a great month to give your liver and your credit card a well-deserved rest. I have to admit I think there is something really quite nice about keeping a low profile from the bars and shops, and by the time January rocks around I am pretty fed up with all the hustle and bustle of Christmas, and find it rather comforting snuggling up on the sofa and giving my bank balance and body a chance to recover.

Start planning your 2014 holiday(s) I know that right now summer seems like such a long way off, and it feels like a long stretch before we start reaching for our sunnies and flip flops. But I always find that booking a holiday in the New Year in a funny sort of way brings the summer a tiny step closer, even if it is just psychological. Last year I was lucky enough to have three holidays, all very different. I had an activity holiday in Bluestone, West Wales with Scott and Evan. Scott and I then had five glorious grown up days in Nice for our honeymoon, and I was also lucky enough to have a week in Spain with my parents, sister, brother in law, Scott and Evan in September. Scott and I have already booked another week in Bluestone for May, and are currently in discussions about a potential holiday in Portugal in June. Just talking and now writing about the lovely times that will no doubt be had on those holidays are already bringing the summer a little closer for me.

Why not set yourself a goal in 2014 and stick to it. Think how proud you will be at the end of this year when you look back on what you have achieved. For me that goal was starting this blog. As I mentioned in my first post I had been thinking for a while about how much I used to enjoy writing, and whilst the thought of sharing parts of my life seemed terrifying, I equally knew that this was something that I really wanted to do, and I knew that I would have more regrets if I didn't start the blog than if I did and it was a huge disaster and nobody read it! To be honest even though I am in the process of writing only my third post, I already feel pretty proud of myself. I made the decision to put my fear of rejection and humiliation aside, spent the time and money on setting up by blog page and I have to be honest I am absolutely loving every minute of it. In fact I am enjoying writing these posts and coming up with ideas for future posts so much that I'm not sure I would stop now even if I was the only one to read them...although I might be a little cheesed off if my mam stopped reading them!!! Now they say that every now and again you should take yourself out of your comfort zone and do something that truly terrifies you...well I have certainly done that with this blog and I could not be more pleased, so I can only recommend you also take the plunge and make 2014 the year that you achieve one of your goals.

If you are a mum think of all the amazing adventures and developments that your child will experience in 2014. Witnessing Evan's development is so fascinating for me, and I sometimes watch in wonder when he starts stringing little words together when the day before he was only using single words, or when he suddenly starts figuring out puzzles and working out shapes that he previously couldn't master. As childish as it is I dont think I will ever tire of hearing my son say "Daddy fluffed" and pointing accusingly at Scott every time he passes wind! But seriously, when I think back to the beginning of 2013 and remind myself that Evan couldn't walk or talk it just seems incredible, especially when I now look at my little boy charging around kicking a ball in the park shouting, "mammy do it, mammy run". Watching your child develop in front of your eyes is the most wonderful experience and gift, and I cannot wait to discover what new adventures my little man will have in 2014.

So there we are....a few pretty good reasons to embrace the month of January and look forward to the year ahead.

Finally I wanted to share something with you that I am going to action in 2014. Now, when I first saw this idea on a friends Facebook I thought it was pretty cheesy, and don't get me wrong it really is. But maybe getting a little older and being a mum has made me a little more susceptible to the odd bit of cheese, as I really quite like the idea of doing this, and I'm already looking forward to New Year’s Eve 2014 to read back on my entries.. . Have a read and see what you think..

                                                  Don't forget to change the date to 2014

Thanks for reading.

Rhiannon xx

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