It’s been a while since I have blogged and I must confess I have actually enjoyed a lovely break at Christmas and New Year and spent time with family and friends and for me it is a time to reflect on the past year and also to re-evaluate what I am happy with in my life and what, if anything, I need to maybe change. (Sometimes, that isn’t always possible). All the people around me set New Year Resolutions on New Year’s Eve, but I tend to hold off a bit and see what I think is achievable and possible to do and so by a couple of weeks into January instead of feeling like I have set goals that I can’t achieve, and give up on them, I am hopefully easing myself into my new goals and feeling like I can stick to them and the reasons why.
Christmas was amazing and incredibly busy for us as a family, wanting to spend time with my own two daughters and then my husband’s 3 children as well as spending a lovely Christmas breakfast with special friends to start the day off just right. Then it was continual feasting and present opening until we were exhausted to the point of bursting at the end of the day. But oh how I love it and I know I have said in the past that the most important Christmas present that I can have is spending time with family.
We were then lucky enough to be able to go to the French Alps on Boxing Day and chill out after a chaotic build up to Christmas seeing everyone and present swapping. There hasn’t been that much snow in the French Alps and so the skiing was poor for the first few days that we were there, but that gave us all the more time to spend time together in the chalet, chatting, playing games and watching box sets of TV that we had taken out with us (this time it was the turn of the series Intelligence which I must say was brilliant!) I never normally have this sort of time to be able to do this, as I am sure if you are reading this, then you probably feel the same way, so it takes a slot in my magic memory banks and hopefully stays there forever.
I am not a great skier, I am ok , probably intermediate standard but I just love being in the mountains and in the snow (when it eventually fell) but probably one of the greatest gifts that a holiday gives you is that time for reflection … so what are my hopes, thoughts for 2016?
1. HEALTH – perhaps the most important of them all. I have lost some special family members over the last few years and a special friend too and it really does keep on reminding you that we are only here temporarily and personally I want to be here as long as possible! January is a tough time for a lot of people to get through, after the expenses and excesses of Christmas everything seems to feel a bit dull and the weather is generally so much colder so that we stay indoors more and for some people it can be incredibly lonely. For me it is absolutely essential for my mental and physical wellbeing that I keep exercising – above anything else this makes me feel better and although I don’t do that much, probably about 40 mins 5 times a week of exercising and that is at about 75 per cent of my heart rate (I always use a heart rate monitor) so it’s not crazy stuff and I am lucky enough to have a tread mill at home which means I don’t have to go out anywhere running across fields in bad weather (certainly not my style anyway!!) It’s true that after exercise you get these amazing endorphins whizzing around your body and you can tackle anything life throws at you.
I also try and eat as healthily as I can and I am trying to cut down a little bit on alcohol in January (not that I drink a lot anyway), but found myself in the run up to Christmas just drinking most days purely because of the socialising. And I try and eat plenty of fresh protein, vegetables and fruit, but I do have chocolate, in fact I had quite a bit for Christmas that I am eating up, and find that actually some dark evenings, a bit of chocolate cheers me up!!!
2. VITAMINS – I do take vitamins, as I think particularly as you get older and are not burning off as many calories, it’s hard to take onboard the amounts of food of the correct variety to give you your daily nutrients. The right nutrients are so important to keep us healthy and I take various vitamins and particularly in the winter Vitamin C, which I take daily in the effervescent tablet form, to help with my immunity and fight off colds, I also take a spoonful of local honey every morning on my porridge. Perhaps the most important one for me, that I take, and have taken for years is Cod Liver Oil. My parents always used to take this and I was given this every day as a child!
The one that I really like and use at the moment is the Seven Seas Cod Liver Oil in the Extra High Strength as I figure I need all the help I can get with the High Strength as I get older. It has been scientifically proven that Cod Liver Oil is such a rich source of the essential Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA that we need to help with the normal heart, vision and brain functions, so I consider that pretty high up on my list! I take one of these in the morning ….
3. TRAVEL MORE! – Even if it’s just a weekend away every now and then we all need something to look forward to and in particular, January is a great time to plan one of these or an annual holiday. There is something so exciting about putting all the plans together and travel for me is one of the best things that I can do in life. I have been lucky enough to travel with my husband, but also love time away with my daughters and I am so looking forward to going to Ibiza this year (not the clubs I hasten to add!)
with a friend who lost her husband last year and so I suggested to her that we go there as I have never been there before and she and her husband used to go there every year, and she can show me around. She is so so excited about it … and it gives her something to look forward to as well. One of the things my Mum used to say to me was “You don’t remember how many times you dusted the skirting boards …. you remember the places you went and the people you went with” … and I am carrying on her zest for life.
4. SPRING CLEAN! (Where did that one come from!)
I am probably the only one that does this, but I like to plan at the beginning of the year what I hope to be able to change or do in the house …. does this bedroom need decorating this year etc and should I bother updating the dining room and turn it into an office ….. or should I just leave it another year as a room which is never used lol!!! Houses seem to need continual maintenance, don’t they? and it’s an area that I don’t think I am very good at and definitely need to work on some more inspiration for that …so January might be spent looking at Pinterest!
And if you are not familiar with the site you are missing out. Have a look at it … there are all sorts of sections of interest and once I found it I have become hooked .. it’s a way to plan and cheer yourself up through January. (Hasten to add the picture above is not my dining room – it’s from Pinterest, but dreaming … it’s probably the dining room I would have). Have a lot of fun dreaming and planning for 2016.
Lots of Love