The year where nothing happened (or how I learned to stop worrying)
2012 has been a revelatory year in that nothing actually happened. Well, there were the Olympics, and the Jubilee and the usual tempests, storms and floods but for me, not so much.
Over the past decade a lot has ‘happened’; a whirlwind of marriages, births, deaths, four house moves and an array of dramas and distractions. I have the sense it was slightly like going on a stag weekend to Amsterdam and waking up, confused, tied to some railings.
In the words of Thom Yorke ‘what the hell am I doing here?’ In short, I was knackered.
At the beginning of the year, the lack of something life-changing to keep me occupied and on my toes left me feeling slightly at a loss. Admittedly, I had work to do, children to care for and my husband no doubt still wants to know why I still haven’t sorted out the under eaves cupboards. Nonetheless the lack of drama brought with it a certain twitchiness.
It followed that it was a fallow year in the truest sense of the word. The vacuum left by the lack of ‘events’ has been filled with top notch navel gazing and some restorative reflections and revelations. Initially, they were met head on with my usual brand of cynicism & scorn but (whether eventually categorised as fertiliser or bullshit) look at me, learning and growing.
So in the spirit of fair play I now feel it’s only proper that I share them (and say thank you to the friends who gently pointed me in their direction). You may find them helpful, you may not but these days I’m all about spreading the love.
- Letters to My 16 Year Old Self – Get the book, write your own. It’s not nearly as difficult as you might think and was actually far more life affirming and uplifting than I feared. Warning: it maybe followed by an intense period of introspection which may involve revisiting your All About Eve albums (go on, you know you want to).
- Dr Briffa – It would seem carbohydrates are not my friends after all. It took someone explaining that it’s a right-wing political conspiracy that I love cake to have any effect on my lifestyle but there you have it.
- Dr Brene Brown – The only self-help book I’ve ever read. I nearly bought a kindle so that I could read it in public without anyone noticing, then realised I’d fallen at the first hurdle. I discovered that my hitherto refusal to consult a self-help book was, perversely, the very reason why I should. You can watch her here, and feel better about the world.
- Bob Newhart - An old favourite and an old sketch, but I’m grateful to him for providing this year’s catchphrase. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow0lr63y4Mw
- Oliver Jeffers – Very much a late entry of the year but special commendations must be awarded for the most charming and life affirming of children’s books.
So I end the year much better off than I started with new ideas, new plans and a new resolve.
Welcome to 2013. I have high hopes.