There was no gentle easing into this new year as I had to actually get a head start for my new responsibilities and activities – which will be intense and full on this year. I know I already spend time catching up late at night on my volunteering, but this will be more so in 2023. The days were cold and dull, and the nights even more so in the last few months. To beat the January Blues, I am having to make sure that I go out for walks in the daylight when I am not at work, and into the night and early hours, put in the extra time for organising and working as SLA President 2023. I usually have to sit with a blanket if it gets too cold – so I really have to be self-motivated to get my daily tasks completed. This is even more challenging with a full-on day job and a family – I had advice from a past president to make sure that I communicate my dinner times with the family. However, I try to focus on milestones by breaking down the year in achievable timeframes. With is in mind, I can stay focus and get through my daily, weekly, and monthly goals. This is what I am telling myself!
“Stay away from those people who try to disparage your ambitions. Small minds will always do that, but great minds will give you a feeling that you can become great too.” — Mark Twain
Socially, I have been able to do some interesting things, and they include going to an engagement party in Dalton. It was interesting to see the area change over the years and how a new generation of young people are now living and socialising in the area. I liked using the new Overground lines that can save so much time – as before I probably would have had to take an underground train and a bus from where I work. That night, I was pleased to be around friends and listen to some of their music that I probably would not hear often on the radio. And believe it or not – it was my first time on a Night Bus. You hear so many stories of attacks and not being safe at night, for I was only willing to get on a night bus because I was with friends and felt safe to be with them. It was also a lot cheaper than getting an Uber or Taxi. I am usually happy to drive for nightlife in town if I know I can park legally without getting a ticket. However, there is now congestion charges for certain times of the weekend, and so, I would only drive in if necessary.
Another weekend, I had no choice but to drive in as I had to drop my son at university. I had to pay the congestion charge but it seems the traffic was a bit better than it has been before the weekend charge extension. It was great to be near the river and round London Bridge, where I worked for four years. The area felt similar but obviously it was different. There were still some tourists around getting photos of the illuminated London Bridge. I was sad to see Hay’s Galleria very vacant of retail shops, but had memories of events I organised or attending in London’s Living room at the old City Hall, a fab information professional party I went to in the 1990s at the Cotton Centre, and more recently, at the News UK Building.
I had popped into the new shop called the Whisky Exchange, which was a homage to liquors, spirits and all the memorabilia that goes with it. There were all different types of gins, rum, whiskies etc that I haven’t seen before. The shop does events and tasting events, and it is a must to see if you enjoy ‘your drink’. It is the only other place I ever saw so many exclusive alcoholic drinks apart from the Duty-free section of an airport.
I was happy to be out in dull January although I was busy – sometimes going out helps you to relax, and that in itself is a good motivation. I finished the outing with a nice meal at a popular Bistro restaurant, but noticed that the prices have increased from a few years ago…obviously.
“Goal setting is the secret to a compelling future.” — Tony Robbins
Another way to keep self-motivation up in these cold days and nights was to spend time with friends. I was able to try out my gnocchi recipe again, which is so delicious that I savour each spoonful. I also make a Galette Des Rois to introduce our friends to the tradition which I have been doing with my French friend for about 20 years. We also spent some time celebrating Burns Night at friends who also introduce us to their Scottish traditions and food. I have also invited my friends for Diwali when we celebrate it usually on cold October or November nights. Spending time like these with friends are great for dark and cold nights.
I think it is no secret that I have put on weight in the last couple of years. I always try to keep fit but I still have not lost the weight I put on in the pandemic. I am motivated to each day to go out for a walk, especially if I am not in the office. The best part of walking around is observing all the interesting aspects of community that I see. Some of these range from a food bank popping up in a local shopping centre, to book swap areas, little free libraries and local art exhibitions. You are never too far away from some good causes in my local community.
“Nature has given us all the pieces required to achieve exceptional wellness and health, but has left it to us to put these pieces together.”—Diane McLaren
I am really feeling the cold as I write this blog post but what is keeping me going is thoughts of Spring and buying new plants and seeing longer sunny days. I don’t dislike winter and I accept the changing of the season but I do have to make sure that I push myself to get on with my tasks when the nights are cold and dark.
Once aspect of writing my blog is looking for stories, I want to share with you or topics I want to explore. I already know what I am going to write about next month. I just need to look out for inspiration and research some of the areas I am unaware about to make sure I understand the content I am sharing. I hope you see you soon, and this is enough to keep me optimistic and motivated!
“Either you run the day or the day runs you.” — Jim Rohn