We don’t make enough time for it. The most we allocate is a few seconds each day to realising that the tweet we wrote that morning wasn’t funny, or to regretting wearing that pair of tights that always falls down. It’s not really reflection, just instant short term regret.
So at this time of year when we’ve nothing to do but sit down, eat and watch Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em re-runs, we have the perfect opportunity to take a little glance over our shoulder at the year gone by and think about what we’ve done – for better or for worse.
I’m currently mentally preparing a strong list of resolutions (another ground-breaking blog post in the making) but I can’t do that until I’ve benefited from a little retrospect. So here it is – a few of the things I learnt in 2014. I hope you’ll find at least one or two of them useful.
1. Rhubarb is a delicious addition to a cocktail. ‘Tis super sweet, mind, but glorious if you don’t prioritise the health of your teeth. 2. There’s no better tune to dance around your house to than Does Your Mother Know by ABBA. Try it, I’m not wrong. 3. Japan is a marvellous place. The people are oh so friendly, the food is lush, and you don’t have to be a child to get into Disneyland Tokyo, thank GOODNESS. The only downside is that when your holiday’s over, you have to go home. 4. Kitchen refurbishments take longer than you think. It turns out that the novelty of ordering take-away can wear off. Who knew? 5. Writing in the morning is the nuts. You’re surprisingly awake and productive after a big night’s sleep. Well, DUH.
6. Good friends really come into their own in times of crisis. And for that I will always be grateful. 7. Some prawns contain histamine, which explains why I often get an itchy nose after a stir fry. I KNOW RIGHT. 8. Even highly successful, famous people feel like a bit of a dick sometimes, as I found out at this year’s Mumsnet Blogfest. So either suck it up or quit forever. That thick skin will keep you lovely and warm during the winter months. 9. Don’t forget to celebrate your achievements. I bought two pairs of boots with my first freelance monies and sing “These boots were paid by working” to the tune of “These boots were made for walking” whenever I wear them (even though it doesn’t really make sense). I didn’t get paid for being good at puns, OK? 10. Don’t be afraid to admit when you are struggling. There will always be somebody out there who can help you. Always.
11. Homemade fish and chips are delicious. However, deep frying them in a pan of oil without the use of a thermometer will set the smoke alarm off at least three times and make my husband – the most patient man in the world – completely lose his sh*t. 12. Tina Fey’s autobiography ‘Bossypants’ is the greatest thing that has ever happened. Seriously. 13. You’re never too old to just start crying because you’re too tired. All you can hope for is the wisdom to know that that is what’s the matter with you. Either that or a very patient spouse/friend who will work it out for you. 14. Mindfulness is the answer to so many of the world’s problems. If you haven’t tried it yet then I strongly recommend that you do. It’s hard work but wonderfully calming. 15. Drinking a whole bottle of champagne before cooking chicken satay will add an extra element of danger to proceedings (and possibly a little more chilli than you’d originally planned.) 16. Dyeing your hair a completely different colour is like putting on an invisibility cloak. My closest family and friends still struggle to recognise me. Shall I use my new powers for good or for evil?
17. Avocado is the greatest thing ever to happen to breakfast. That may be the most middle class thing I’ve ever said and I stand by it. 18. If you want to run a successful blog, you need a plan. It may have been the hottest weekend of the year but the time I spent at Blogcademy was unbelievably useful. Being a grown-up means being delighted to pay money to learn loads more stuff. 19. No longer reading The Metro and cutting down on my use of Facebook are two of the best decisions I have made all year. I now read more books and feel less bad about my social life. I believe they call that WINNING. 20. Never underestimate the power of the gift of a bag of sweets. Pure joy costs no more than £1.49. 21. Marriage is about holding each other up – sometimes physically – against whichever troubles, stresses or incompetent kitchen fitters happen to come your way. You must always be ready to put your arms out.