I am the biggest believer in the simple things in life. I reckon that an accumulation of small pleasures will amount to an overall state of easily maintainable happiness, and will keep you content for longer. If your day is broken down into segments of the things you enjoy, from the first cup of tea you have in the morning until the last chapter you read at night, then each day will have a worth, and worth is an absolute necessity. I am proud to say I’m quite a ‘savour the moment’ kind of gal, and am in the habit of reminding myself to slow down and be present when things are happening. I feel I’m right in saying that it’s not often that I forget to appreciate my surroundings, to be thankful for my fortunes and to recognise the freedom my choices (and sacrifices) have allowed me.
Goal setting is something that I’ve spoken about a lot in my blogs because I just feel so passionately about it. I think it’s such a positive and effective way of growing as a person, of bettering yourself and opening yourself up to new experiences and opportunities. It’s no secret that one of my biggest fears is a life of stagnancy, so I find goal setting is an excellent way of staving off that black haze of boredom that creeps up whenever I become ‘too settled’. Setting a goal, sticking to it and achieving it is one of the most rewarding and stimulating rewards you give yourself. It keeps your mind healthy and active and ensures you always have something to look forward to, something to work towards. When your mind is empty of focus and the light has started to dim then you’re in danger.
So as the year draws to a close (I can’t believe I’m saying that, surely June was yesterday no?) I begin to reflect on the past year. I congratulate myself on all the cool things I’ve managed to achieve and try my best to iron out the creases of regret that unavoidably tarnish our memories no matter how flawless we aim to be. Over the next few weeks I will be scraping together some sort of list of all my goals for the New Year and a summary of what has honestly been a monumental year for me. I will be noting down my highlights and the lessons learned and all the things I hope to build upon in 2019.
This year has been the fastest year of my life so far. It has literally melted away in seconds (much like the sneeze of snow we had in London last year that had everyone beside themselves) to the point where I actually can’t quite fathom it. As if it was a whole year ago that I was walking through a damp Kew Gardens seeking out giant baubles , decorating the world’s smallest real Christmas tree in my teeny tiny Brixton apartment whilst trying not to die from hypothermia. Drinking cheap mulled wine from Lidl to the dreamy tones of Michael Buble and not-so-accidentally finding myself in Covent Garden every single day.
Quick side note- I just spent the past three minutes sat saying the word bauble out loud over and over again in various tones and tempos because how WEIRD is the word bauble? Ballbool ballbell beepbeep balooblep ?!?!?
Anyhoo. I think Christmas is absolutely wonderful. I think so many of us have forgotten how and why we should be festive. I think it’s almost viewed as a wrong-doing to enjoy Christmas these days, miserable folk booing at holiday tunes or hissing at the sight of an evergreen. I do get it, for I myself use to be Mrs. Bahumbug. I was living through a tough situation and Christmas totally lost all its magic and meaning, I was angry with the world and with the fact that everyone was allowed to be so cheery when I was struggling. But in the years after I am very pleased to say that despite being twenty one, the fizzing excitement in my belly and the mince pie shaped glint in my eye has returned with great fervour. And this year I am giving my inner child the ultimate gift by quite literally morphing into an eight year old Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone Lost in New York and running around the streets of Manhattan with my equally childish father.
We have hardly seen each other this year as we’ve both been away working so much so as you can imagine there will be molto hugs and probably a small amount of over excited urination. On the itinerary expect to find the Rockefeller Christmas Tree, Ice Skating in Bryant Park, dreamy strolls through a frosted central park, copious amounts of cinnamon infused drinks and me ogling at ANYTHING shiny because I’m actually just a 5’9 easily distracted infant. I am actually overwhelmingly excited and slightly panicky that I’m going to miss out on something, so if any of my readers are from New York or have spent the holidays there then please leave me some recommendations in the comments section I would be very grateful indeed.
So, why New York you ask? Well. Referring back to goal setting, in the lull between Christmas Day and New Years last year I sat down with my lovely leather-bound ‘bucket list’ and went about choosing what I would possibly like to tackle in the coming year. I do this every December, a task I take great pleasure in because my bucket list isn’t just a list of all the things I’d like to do but it also helps me keep track of all the amazing things I have already done and did without knowing I wanted to do them. So more often than not I’ll find myself going somewhere or doing something I hadn’t planned that definitely deserves a spot in the book. Like my most recent addition- sailing through the Magellan Straits- I’d heard of them but hadn’t really known what they were until I found out I’d be going through them so did my research and realised ‘Hey, this is awesome!’ So stuck ‘em in there.
Last Christmas was perfect. Myself, my parents (who are separated but good friends), my brother and his girlfriend all came together for a week of festivities. My dad lovingly rented the most beautiful, cosiest little thatched cottage in a quintessentially English village near Oxford and we went for walks and had a fire and listened to Bing and it was just ergh! The perfect Christmas. So after a seemingly unbeatable day last year I thought I’d preserve the memory and do something different this year. I skipped to C in my book and found where I had scrawled ‘Spend Christmas in New York City’ and tapped it thoughtfully with my finger. Now all I had to do was convince my dad to fly out and join me, which shouldn’t be difficult because he is pretty much always game for my wacky suggestions. So with very little persuasion I had a companion and a plan, Christmas in NY. And while we’re at it let’s tick off another big one, watch the ball drop live on New Years Eve in Times Square; A massssive contender of mine so I’m really excited for that.
The feeling of choosing something you’ve wanted to do, want to do, and actually making plans to get it done is indescribable. I am definitely not a false promise person and if I say I’m going to do something, unless there is a very good reason why I can’t, then it shall be done. Never let it be said that I didn’t have the time, money, or anybody to go with, for I will make time and I’ll earn the money and I’ll preferably travel solo to every far away land my heart desires. In fact there are a couple more plans in the making for this January, the bucket list sesh is going to be a big one!