I love January. I love the wintery weather, walking my dog in the crisp morning frost, rosy cheeks, warm fires, cosy pubs and comfort food. What is not to like? Am I unusual?
I know many people who hate January and that post Christmas period. They feel it’s an anti-climax with not much to look forward to. Then they go and add in more misery by denying themselves and either “detoxing”, starting some sort of fad diet or crazy new fitness regime or heaven forbid taking part in Dry January!!
My social media pages are currently chockablock with how I can be “a new me for the new year”, how I can shed stones, how running/cycling/taking on some ridiculous physical challenge will make me a happier, healthier, more well rounded person.
Stop! I still like the “old me” thank you very much. I do physical challenges throughout the year, I run for charities, I enjoy a generally healthy lifestyle and believe this should be a way of life not just a fad for January and if anyone denied me a glass of wine or a beer when I fancied one, well that would just be down right dangerous. I wouldn’t even try it.
The author of ‘The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying’ (Bronnie Ware), who was also a nurse, described that one of the biggest and most common regrets people have at the end of their life is they wished they’d allowed themselves to be happier.
I love to be happy, I allow myself to be happy, I would say I am an optimist and for me my glass is definitely full. For me Dry January is an unsociable affair. My friends all enjoy a drink and we like to meet in a pub or at someone’s house and have a good catch up over a crisp Sauvignon Blanc. Besides, the alcohol cupboard is usually groaning with half finished bottles of festive cheer that really need to be used up. Everything is done in moderation of course but I won’t deny myself the happiness that comes from a sociable evening with good friends and a glass of something I enjoy.
Dry January also makes me feel sad for all of the wonderful small independent bartenders out there. I feel my friends and I are keeping them afloat in what could be a very sombre month if everyone gave up the sauce. Remember small businesses really need your custom.
We also know that Champagne is good for your braincells. The University of Columbia studied the effects of that lovely fizzy stuff and concluded that it contains proteins that can actually improve your short-term memory. Now I’ve got you interested haven’t it? Doctors orders. Just three glasses a week can help you to have the fittest memory muscles in town. What an exercise regime! I think I could just about manage that one, how about you?
Finally as a cake designer I continue to design wedding cakes, birthday cakes and celebration cakes throughout January. I am in the business of making people happy. I love nothing better than to see the smile on my client’s face as I unveil their bespoke cake.
I just cannot subscribe to any culture of self denial. Instead of ‘Dry January’ or ‘Sugar Free January’ let’s all subscribe to “be kind to yourself and others January.” Please get in touch with friends you haven’t seen in a while, go and be a volunteer for a few hours, it can make all of the difference to a small charity, do some random acts of kindness, send a friend a gift or a card through the post “just because” it will make their day.
Life is short, as I’m sure many of you will know if you lost someone last year – eat the cake, drink the wine and smile and raise a toast to them as you do it. Cheers.
Happy 2019 Everyone
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