Sunday, 2 January 2011

Be Kind

Happy New Year!

All of a sudden it's 2011, and I'm overwhelmed by a sea of good intentions. I've suddenly found millions of things that need adjusting or altering; things I'm dissatisfied with, and so many that it appears as if I'm simply dissatisfied full-stop.

The start to 2011 hasn't been so great.

I woke up in the middle of the night on Thursday with an incredibly painful throat. This cartwheeled into a hideous cough and a sort of migraine all over my body; I just lay on the sofa for hours not moving or doing anything in particular. As if my soul had dissappeared from my body and I was just left with a limp wreck.

I don't really 'do' illness. Not quietly, anyway.

So, plans for live music and fireside ales were squandered, and Daniel kindly saw in the New Year with me at home, in bed. I did struggle out from the duvet at midnight to watch fireworks and paper lanterns soar up into the night, but an early night was chosen with determination to be well enough to go for a New Year's Day walk in the Pennines.

Come 7am I was up and raring to go; I even left my cup of tea in my hurry to be outside, to feel some real air in my lungs. My energy somehow lasted for a good ten-mile hike through blazing winds and soggy sleet; the Pennines really are something, giving us so much bleak space to contemplate both the year behind and the year to come.

We finished up at a micro-brewery restaurant in the village of Marsden. The food was incredible, but after a big meal and a pint my head was starting to close in and energy was waning. After a long train ride home I enjoyed the comforts of a bath, broth and Bill Bailey (maybe all good things begin with B?), but found myself in a worse state than ever as I clambered up to bed.

So, two days in, I feel frustrated and all-round dissatisfied. I say all of this for a reason: these feelings will not do.

I'll never be ready for the half marathon

I'll never find time in the week to see my friends

I'll never get back into my tiny jeans

I'm always so clumsy

I look so scruffy all the time

So what do I actually need from 2011? When hearing of my recent malady, my Mum simply said 'well, you do too much', and I suppose she was right. 2011 doesn't need me to improve my race time or lose half a stone; it doesn't need me to try and be a better friend or to buy more stylish clothes. What I need in 2011 is some kindness. Maybe with a little kindness I will find peace in not doing things. Maybe life doesn't have to be one event after another. I intend to at least try and let time flow by, and not worry too much about the precious seconds that slip past without any real intensity. I might try a little harder to let the adventure find me, rather than heading out to find it for myself.


  1. I know what you mean - I'm always very critical of myself, but sometimes what my body needs is sleep. And 'getting ill' seems to be my body's way of telling me to just sit down and shut up for a bit! I do hope you're feeling better today, and that the rest of 2011 proceeds in better form. Happy new year!

  2. When you are feeling low because of illness then these negative feelings do tend to come and bite you on the behind!
    You've got a step up on these though because you are aware of so much, you know what your mind and body needs and you try and respond. Don't be hard on yourself. I don't know anyone else who after a day feeling ill would do a 10 mile hike!
    You are incredible because you are you!
    Take care
    Happy new year.
    Lisa x

  3. I was about to start this comment with the phrase "when I was your age" but not only is that massively patronising (which I totally don't mean, I hope you know!), but it makes me sound about 87 so I will start again.

    I used to think (!) I had to find adventure, had to do everything because life was so short and it would pass me by. I nearly killed myself with that philosophy (that said you have much better health/energy levels than I ever had...but still).

    Now I know that the adventures we are meant to have will find you. That sometimes they are worth waiting a decade for and that doing nothing is actually an almost holy feeling.

    Be nice to yourself honey. A lot of things don't matter. But having time to stare out of the window is almost essential.

    (PS it took me 35 years to learn that btw so don't worry :))