New Year’s Eve

new years eveNew Year’s Eve. A time for people to look back on the past year and work out if it went according to plan. To make plans and formulate strategies for the coming year.

A quick glance at Facebook at this time of year will reveal plenty of status updates alluding to this:

“2012 has been a hard year, but I know 2013 will be better!”

“I can’t believe I’ve made it through this year. Thanks to all my friends who got me through. 2013 is gonna be MY year, just you watch me!”

Call me a cynic but I bet this time last year the same people posted very similar statuses. And the year before….

Do the people who don’t post these statuses have great years? No! They just move on quickly and refuse to dwell on the bad stuff.

Everybody has hard times. Everybody. Nobody just glides through life without a care in the world. The trick is to not give the bad times too much importance. Deal with it while you have to then put it behind you and never look back. Whatever the future brings, you want to meet it face on.

I’m not trying to be blasé about it; it is hard. And when it feels the hardest is when you need to do it the most. But life will feel better if you only look forward.

Happy New Year x

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Summers of our childhood

A few weeks ago somebody asked me: “were summers long and gorgeous when we were kids, or are we just remembering them too fondly?”

At first, I thought “Yes, they were glorious; full of endless sunshine and fun”, but I’ve since given it a lot more thought.

I know, I can’t argue with the facts. Rainfall has been a lot higher in recent years, and that’s backed up by the MET Office. But the summers of our childhood can’t really have been perfect, can they?

As a kid the days take forever to pass. Waking up on the first day of the summer holiday, all you can see is summer, stretched out before you, almost an infinite anount of days. And every day is full of possibilities and adventures.

I used to go on countless bike rides, passing through all the local villages, and while I mainly remember doing this in the sunshine, if I really dig for old memories I remember there were times when I was out on my bike miles from home, when suddenly I was caught in a huge thunderstorm. I suppose the difference is as a kid I was exhilarated by it. It didn’t bother me at all pedalling through torrential rain – it was just part of the adventure.

As a kid I didn’t stress about my hair being ruined. There was no worry about mascara running. Not a thought was given to my clothes being wet through. It was just fun. Pure, unaldulterated fun.

As an adult we regard rain as a fun-stopper. We give it far too much importance, so it’s no wonder we dwell on the bad days of summer too much.

Similarly, as a child I used to have days where I played with the huge crate of Lego I shared with my brother, retreated into the world of books, or played on our treasured Spectrum 128k. Looking back, these days spent indoors were probably encouraged by bad weather. But the difference is I found other fun stuff to do. I had different adventures. I still had fun.

As adults, it seems we forget that you don’t have to go out to have an adventure. As soon as the weather turns inclement we grumble about our ruined plans – but don’t stop to make new ones. Often our time off of work is limited; we have perhaps 2 weeks to have a pre-arranged amount of fun completely dependent on good weather. When rain stops play we remember the whole summer as a disappointment.

Maybe the summers of our childhood weren’t as golden as we remember. Maybe we just used them better.

9th August 2012