As a child of the 80s I never thought the millennium would arrive, let alone 2020. But here we are; we’re basically living in the future. No robot butlers, like The Jetsons promised us, but plenty else that’s move on, like dropping the ‘New Year, New You’ cliché of the 00s.
It’s still the middle of winter after all. Who could possibly think that a new after-work, after-dark running routine was a good idea? It makes much more sense to embrace the season and the instinct to hunker down in cosy comfort.
Seeking comfort can feel a little subversive at times. It goes against our culture’s constant growth metrics, with expectations of ambitious goals and constant striving. Sure, getting out of our comfort zone is where a lot of the magic happens, I don’t disagree. But we can’t live outside of it permanently.
There’s a natural ebb and flow to life. As long as the earth reminds us of this with her seasons, I’m happy to fit in. I know that later in the year, with the first hint of spring, I’ll feel inspired by new ideas and fresh resolve. But right now, I’m not denying myself the slice of cake or the snooze on the alarm clock.
Not to say that I’ll be hiding under my duvet for all of January. Being out in the elements brings me all kinds of comfort. There’s comfort in finding a slower pace, cocooned by all the woolly layers, with feet warm and dry inside big boots.
And even amidst the busy days, there’s little things we can do to create a little more comfort. Grabbing a bag of doughnuts, saying ‘no’ to stuff, listening a favourite album. Things you can fit in to a day, despite the other ‘must do’ commitments. This January, my everyday comforts will be kicking in, with thick woolly jumpers and Bonnie Prince Billy’s ‘The Letting Go’ on loop.
When I take the chain ferry on a stormy night, I’m glad to see the kettle in the cabin, thinking of the crew coming in from the rain for a strong sugary brew. I hope that the bus driver on my trip to Newport is wearing woolly socks. And if that slice of cake brings you comfort, I hope you’re not denying it for some as-yet-unlived beach holiday plan.
So maybe this January, rather than setting your big goals for the year to come, you could take a moment to write down the 5 things that bring you comfort in the everyday. The kind of things so small that it’s easy to forget in the midst of striving for something else. Or just stay snuggled under the duvet. That sounds pretty great too.