January, you have been kind.
In contrast to the beginning of the previous few years (which, quite truthfully, have been pretty rotten for me) this last month has been really quite lovely. Never usually a fan of cold, dark days anyway, I had also begun to dread the start of each year by dwelling on past events.
This time, as I've mentioned previously, I was determined it would be different and I am happy to say it has been.
In January I often feel dictated to by the weather, and yes, there have been some miserable, wet and windy days, but the sunny ones have been glorious. Even when it has been raining, when I would usually have dismissed the idea of going outside, I have put on my waterproofs and made an effort. I may have needed a bit of arm twisting now and again but have been thankful for it, returning home feeling all the better for a good walk and some fresh air. I am being mindful to eat well and fit in more time to exercise and I am beginning to really notice a difference in how I feel. Going to bed early and reading my book, fresh flowers on the mantel, taking a bit of time for myself (still working on not feeling guilty about this one) and not quite putting myself first (Lily might have something to say about that one!) but somewhere 'up there' at least, are all helping me to maintain a positive state of mind.
The lighter mornings and evenings, and seeing the signs of Spring all around are a gentle reminder that the dark days are starting to lessen, although, for once, I'm in no hurry to see the back of them, instead I am still enjoying the cosy evenings at home. All in good time.
Last week we bunked off school! Not really, but it felt a little bit naughty. Poor Lily had been unwell the previous day so rather than send her to spend the day in a stuffy classroom with the strong possibility of having to collect her early, I thought it would be better spent getting some fresh air followed by a proper rest. It was a beautiful day. Sunny and cold, but we wrapped up well and traipsed through the fields to the woods which we were delighted to find full of snowdrops. It felt a little indulgent, but I also felt a lot better myself, having had a restless night with little sleep. An unscheduled day of togetherness was also a treat.
On Sunday we went for a walk down by the sea. Something we've not done for a while. It was a dull, overcast day and everything just looked grey. The wind was bracing and, of course, I had left my gloves at home, so my hands were icy cold. But then not much beats the pleasure of returning home to a toasty warm house and a mug of steaming hot tea, and as the weather looks like it's going to be staying cold for a while longer I'm happy to keep making the most of it.
A good start to the year. Long may it last.