Remember a few days ago when I was said I was taking a blog break? Technically I still am. However you do find as a writer ( I have only recently accepted it is totally ok to call myself that..if I don’t use the word totally too much ) that words will sometimes just come to you. Often it will be on the subject matter that you don’t need to write about but the words still come and you find you just have to get them out.
I have drafted more blog posts this week than I have in the past month. You will see more content here in January, that’s for sure.
Most people start a blog as a hobby as I did nearly 5 years ago, because they like the idea of it or they want somewhere to pour their thoughts. If you continue with it and it becomes a job as well as a hobby then it is fairly inevitable that at some point you will get a day or a week or a month where you just can’t write. The words feel forced. The content is boring, to you if nobody else. Nobody loves their job every day. Everyone has a bad day at work every now and then. I know that in my other job, my office job, I have days like that most week. It’s rare that I feel like that about the blog but when I do, I take a step back. Obviously I finish up any commitments I have but I take a step back, I breathe, I refocus.
And sure enough when the pressure was removed I wanted to write again. I’m still taking a break, I’ll be back soon enough I am sure but I had to just spill out some thoughts I have had this week, as next week they will no longer be relevant.
I went Christmas shopping today along with probably 90% of the population of Wales. I saw people, stressed and clamouring for the last decent turkey and the biggest boxes of chocolates they could find. I saw myself, already sure of having enough gifts for the girls yet still looking and wondering how could I make it even more special.
How to make Christmas more special for a 3 and 5 year old? Two girls who have people who love them, a warm , safe and comfortable home, food to eat and a pile of gifts just waiting to be opened on Christmas Day. Really?
I could wrap their gifts in kitchen foil and give them beans on toast for their Christmas lunch and it would still be special. Who are we all actually trying to please?
Do we need 5 different relishes, umpteen varieties of cheese and every kind of chocolate covered treat under the sun to enjoy that one day? We really don’t. I mean…Christmas is most definitely centred around food and drink and there will be lots of it enjoyed by my family alone I am sure but the trollies I saw stacked high today did make me wonder.
Because it really is just one day. JUST one day. I managed to get talking to an elderly lady outside a large local supermarket who said this to me:
People in there ..they just don’t realise..it’s one day. The stores re open on December 26th. It is just one day.
She’s right. Don’t get me wrong, it is an important day and I have food in my fridge to last a week if necessary..who knows we could get snow? We all know the world stops in the UK if we get a dusting of snow. But let’s not go too crazy.
Don’t panic if you can’t find the exact brand of treats that you buy every year or the most elaborate decorations or favours for your festive table, tradition doesn’t have to focus on things like that.
Zoom in instead on your family and your friends. If you are with people who love you in a warm place with food in your belly, be mindful of how lucky you are. I admit that I don’t always think about how lucky I am when it comes to my family and friends, it is easy to forget that during hard times and stressful situations. This year has also seen me become more aware of how much of a lottery it is in this world in terms of where you are born, for most of us in the UK we have been untouched by the atrocities that many parts of the world has seen this year- it’s good to take a minute occasionally and dwell on that.
On a final note, remember to reach out to those you know you may be struggling with this season for whatever reason big or small – it is a tough time for so many people. Wherever you may be think about the ones you care about and if you can send them a message or call then do so. It may be just what they need at that very moment.
Photo credit Jez Timms.