My first blog post of 2023 is the column I wrote for the January issue of the Hawkesbury Parish News – a very important institution in the life of a little Cotswold village like mine!
I’m the kind of optimist who not only sees the glass as half-full, but is jolly grateful to have a glass, and assumes it must be made of the finest crystal.
That’s not to say I’m oblivious to darker times. But when life seems grim, I unleash a handy collection of mantras that make me feel better.
- “Better to light a candle than curse the darkness”, I tell myself. (Clichés are clichés for a reason, you know.)
- “If winter comes, can spring be far behind?” (Thank you for that one, Percy Bysshe Shelley – especially handy as winter is my least favourite season.)
- If I’m in a musical frame of mind, I simply channel D:Ream and play “Things can only get better” on a loop in my head.
But as this new year dawns, I’m feeling wary. For the last few years, I’ve started every January thinking, “This has got to be a better year than the last one”. Then along comes something worse.
What a run of disasters we have had lately: Trump, Brexit, Covid, more Covid, the war in Ukraine, and all the economic and political fall-out those crises induced. Not to mention ever-stranger weather, indicative of frightening climate changes.
With apologies to Samuel Johnson, who described second marriage as “the triumph of hope over experience,” experience is threatening to triumph over hope.
Yet my inner optimist will out, and as I list those disasters, over which I had no control, bar the right to vote and to get vaccinated, I realise it’s still within my power to make 2023 a better year in small ways.
So 2023 will be the year that I will vow never to run out of teabags, or milk for my morning tea…
or the cats’ favourite treats, Dreamies:
And if I’m setting the bar that low, doesn’t that mean things can only get better? Let’s live in hope.
Wishing you a new year full of whatever makes you happy.
In my next post, I’ll be reviewing my writing achievements in 2022 and sharing my writing plans for 2023.
PS My new year’s resolution is to publish a new blog post every Wednesday! Let’s see how that goes…