So how was it for everyone? The festive season that is – which technically only ended yesterday with the last of the Twelve Days of Christmas.
In Tudor times most who could afford an alcoholic beverage would be nursing a sore head today. The last night of the traditional Lord of Misrule’s reign would no doubt have encouraged over-indulgence in the grape.
Remarkably, every type of work – apart from the tending and feeding of animals – was banned during the Christmas time – even spinning of wool was not allowed.
So, if you had a lovely long break this year, crawling bear-like out of what feels like the Christmas ‘cave’ we’ve been hibernating in, may be proving a tad difficult.
I know it feels like you still have one foot in December when there is any food that has a party theme left in the fridge. Cheese, cheesecake, cheese rolls, more cheese, mince pies, and trifle feature heavily here.
Out of the fridge a kind of foraging existence diet-wise continues in our house with daily discoveries of half-eaten boxes of chocolates and biscuits, which have to be consumed before thought can be given to eating healthily.
January is so aptly named after the Roman god ‘Janus’; the god of doorways, beginnings and transition.
There is a strange alchemy at this time of year that perhaps makes us feel that we really have shed 2015 like a skin – whether it was good, bad or somewhere in-between.
The moving forward bit is the hardest, whether we have made New Year’s resolutions or not. The TV bombards us with adverts for every kind of holiday, sofa, diet, ‘hobby’ magazines, kitchens, cars and – coming to a screen near you shortly – Valentine’s Day.
Are we meant to be doing all of these things at once? Are we ‘missing out’ or on our way to becoming social pariahs if we don’t take part in this self-improvement fest?
Let’s take the pressure off.
How’s about we all enjoy a moment of reflection? What do we really need to buy or do? Yes, we may have overindulged, but surely the answer isn’t to dive into something – perhaps a strict diet – we might not be able to follow.
Setting ourselves up to fail is something we sometimes subconsciously do in the New Year. Disappointment and disillusion can swiftly follow.
The sales seem to be all year round now as well, so maybe there’s no need to panic buy either.
January may be the perfect time to start afresh for some, but every day, every moment, whatever the weather or the season is a fresh start. We all really only live in the present. It’s all that’s tangible – everything else is memory or anticipation. Neither of which are to be dismissed – but living moment by moment with a good heart and purpose is surely the great secret.