I hope you’ve all had a wonderful time over the festive period. We had our first at Chez Huntley and it was lovely. We relaxed, ate too much, had the odd tipple, suffered the after-effects of too many Brussels sprouts, watched some favourite re-runs of old Only Fools and Horses and played a lot of games whilst snacking on even more indulgent treats!
Every Christmas I always take some time to quietly remember those who can only spend Christmas with us in our hearts and memories. Sadly, we all have those virtual ’empty chairs’ at the table and it’s these times which can make us miss those who are absent all the more. What I try to do is keep remembering the good times or even have a little chat to them in a quiet moment in my head… I occasionally update my late father, brother and friends who’ve passed on how life is going. It may sound crazy but this one sided conversation is quite therapeutic. It’s often when I’m alone in the car on the way home from work. “Hi Dad, today I really missed you. Mum made me laugh the other day, you should’ve been there. I’d have loved to have asked you for some advice regarding growing herbs in the kitchen. I was just remembering your beautiful garden. Anyway, I’ll go for now but will chat soon. Love you”. Well, I just thought I’d share that as I am so aware that Christmas, although lovely in many ways, can also have its sadder times.
New years, however, are blank pages full of unwritten adventures, challenges and mysteries! We can never be in full control of our destinies but we do have some say in how we live and how we begin each year. This brings me on to the (dreaded) New Year’s Resolution!
What’s yours? I’ve struggled to think of one -in part because there are so many things I’d like to resolve, it’s hard to pick just one! Finish the work on Chez Huntley? Well, that’s a given, ongoing ‘work in progress’ anyway…
Not be so hard on myself? Hmm, again, a lifetime’s work. See friends and family more? Well, that relies, partly, on the finishing of Chez Huntley! I could stop laughing at very silly, immature things like toilet humour… but why? Where would be the fun in that?!
Hmm, it’s a toughie. About 10 or more years ago I had the most amazing opportunity. Possibly the biggest publisher of self-help/self-development in the world today offered me a book deal. I went to meet with them at their London offices. They then arranged another meeting at the poshest restaurant I’ve ever been to, The Wolseley in Mayfair, and we discussed the proposition further. I was offered a considerable advance in return for my sample chapter. What went wrong, then?
My self-belief, ironically! I simply wasn’t in the right head space at the time. The offer was right there but I didn’t get back to them. I, instead, retreated to the safety of what I knew rather than stepping into the unknown. I doubted myself. They had such belief in me and I didn’t want to let them down so I backed away in order for that not to happen! People talk of fear of success or fear of failure. They can be equally debilitating. I try not to berate myself for having apparently ‘thrown away’ a golden opportunity. Instead, I tell myself what I actually believe to be the truth.
It was the wrong time for me. When the time is right everything will fall into place.
I had intended to start work on the book(s) in 2015. The house and all the related work (plus my mum’s very unexpected run of ill health) have eclipsed almost every other part of my life so that hasn’t happened. There is still so much to do at the house but no more funds, so it’s a little-by-little crawl to the finish line. It’s very likely it will still be ongoing this time next year but I will get there.
So, my resolution for 2016? To get writing! I love writing but dedicate almost no time to it. There are several ideas which have been bubbling away in many areas but one, in particular, which is closest to my heart. That’s where I’ll keep it for now but I do look forward to this time next year when I can update you on how well I’ve kept to my resolution. I don’t want to set myself a challenge I can’t keep to so I’m starting small by saying I’ll do one hour a week in the hope that I will get carried away and turn that into several hours a week. Wish me luck!
I kept last year’s resolution, which was to maintain the health and weight loss I achieved with Christianne Wolff’s Body Rescue Plan in 2014. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself in my entire life! Having said that, I’ve put on a few extra pounds this month with a little over-indulgence but I’ll be back on it again in January.
I would love to hear your resolutions. Did you stick with those made last year? Any biggies for this year?
I would like to thank you all for the incredible amount of support you give to me through my blog, Twitter, Instagram and on the telly. My mum is doing great and thanks you, also. Here’s wishing you a fabulous 2016 with plenty to smile about.
Lots of love,