Well hello there mid-February, daffodils and ever-so-slightly extended daylight! I was packing up boxes and leaving my pretty flat, mice and single-glazed windows behind the last time I wrote. It was just before Christmas and I was stressed, overworked, temporarily homeless and coming down with a pretty nasty cold.
It was time for hibernation.
No writing, but lots of reading. Less social media, but lots of socialising. Very little exercise if truth be told. Like many people, I don’t enjoy Januarys very much. I’m not the kind of self-improver who jumps out of bed on New Year’s Day an enhanced version of myself – although I’m sure my blog would be much better off if I was. Instead, I took January very slowly.
Slow for me is more about enjoyment of the mundane than physically slowing down. I was busy: I spent Christmas with family in the Borders, playing makeshift croquet in the winter sun and eating crisps on the picnic bench out back. After a raucously good Hogmanay, I read lots of books, continued to eat a little more food than I probably should have, painted furniture, and bought new socks. I was even spotted on TV pondering an alleged Banksy mural on my lunch break.
During all of this, I just didn’t feel like writing. And that’s perfectly okay.
I do, however, have lots to write about. I’m beginning to gather my thoughts now that I’m feeling more excited about writing again. My life is remarkably different from this time last year, and with that change I feel like my ideas and motivations have begun to alter too. I’m excited to see what new things I can explore now that everything feels a little clearer in my mind.
A year ago, my hibernation felt more like hiding. I was less grounded and more scared. I lived in an expensive, arguably unsafe flat (albeit one that I loved) and was no longer as sure of myself as I once thought I was. I was simply existing, 9 til 5 (in a good job at least). It seemed I was hearing bad news all the time, and during all of this, I was coming to grips with new concepts about myself that I had never before considered.
I worked hard to come out of this dip, slowly but surely. I have moved from a polluted street with rodents and noise, to an apartment with a kitchen sink where I can wash the dishes while watching fishing boats and navy ships gliding past my window. I met a person who – somebody pinch me – I’m still with, and I’m loving every adventure we have together. And, as of a few weeks ago, I handed in my notice at my job of three and half years, ready to start a new adventure. New house, relationship and job in just 365 days. They really do mean it when they say a lot can happen in a year. You just have to take those first steps.
I think (but I’m not promising) hibernation is over for now. I’ll be typing up some notes about my first weekend in Manchester and the Scottish restaurant I visited on a very special night. If I’m brave, I might even write about the ways I changed this past year. But most probably I’ll write about French toast and homemade pizza.
Pizza…some things never change.