Hasn’t January felt like the longest month? My Twitter feed is chock-full of jokes about January having 3486597 days and I’m totally on board with that. Surely it should be April by now? I started the month with a new self-love project, 12 Months to Me, and I’m rounding up January with a list of things that bring me joy. I wanted to spend the month focusing on exactly that, and I feel like I’ve managed to achieve it for sure.
January is always a rough month for a lot of people, and for me it’s really dragged (probably because I’ve got a lot to look forward to in February and beyond) and I’ve felt like I’ve hardly seen anybody at all this month save for my husband and our two sets of parents. Decorating has taken up most of our time, yet in between that I’ve managed to find time for myself and to find joy in these things: to go to the gym, to read, to write, and to plan the upcoming months.
These are my favourite things, the things I love, and the things that bring joy to my life.
Waking up to sunshine and blue skies. Nothing fills me with joy more than the sight of the sun. We sleep with the curtains open most of the time, so waking up to lighter and brighter mornings is becoming more and more frequent. Winter is on its way out, and it’s time for spring to venture in. Having a well-deserved lie-in at the weekend. Fresh white sheets. New pillows.
Really good coffee. Even better when shared with friends at a local cafe. But also that first morning coffee, frothed milk and one sugar cube, sipping it while leaning against the kitchen counter in a sweater with too-long sleeves and sparkly slippers, watching the dog stretch and amble across the room to say good morning.
Cuddles with the pets. Lying on the sofa with the cat and the dog curled up at your feet. Winter dog walks all bundled up in wellies and a chunky scarf, not caring about muddy feet. Sitting by the fire drying out afterwards with chilly hands and thick socks on.
Finding a new author to rave about. That heart-in-mouth feeling at the apex of a crime novel. Finishing the final page of a book that has swept you off your feet and looking up to feel like the world is a little different. Being one book ahead in your reading challenge.
Spring cleaning and sitting down to have a cuppa afterwards with your feet up. Decorating, and putting that last lick of paint on a wall then admiring the finished result. Scrolling through interior design blogs and jotting down fresh ideas.
Brunch. Avocado and poached eggs, orange juice and another coffee. Sitting for hours in a cafe while it pours with rain outside and you feel all cosy and smug because you’re not out in it. Finding a new favourite cafe and Instagramming it. Following the #foodporn hashtag and salivating over all the amazing recipes.
Nights out with friends. Drinking prosecco and comparing gin cocktails. Reminiscing about the days when we were 18 and would go out with no jackets and sky-high heels in the dead of winter. Privately wishing I still felt confident enough for short dresses and sky-high heels. Dancing until your feet hurt and laughing with the taxi driver on the way home, then falling into bed at a much earlier hour than we would have done ten years ago.
Family dinners. Having the in-laws over for Sunday lunch and feeling pretty proud when they compliment my latest recipe. Having my parents over for coffee and discussing the latest wild plans for extending the house. Going to the pub with brother- and sister-in-law. More gin cocktails.
Getting on a plane with a carry-on bag and knowing you’ve forgotten something but not caring because you’re heading somewhere amazing. Devouring travel blogs and guidebooks, planning your trip avidly and chattering like a monkey to whichever poor soul is accompanying you. Whiling away the hours of a long flight with an audiobook all snuggled up under a blanket. Feeling that first burst of hot air as you walk out of the plane doors, tying your hair up and putting on your sunglasses to bask in the welcome warmth of a sunny destination.
Whatsapp group chats that consist of not much more than sending memes back and forth and knowing exactly who will be laughing hysterically and at which ones. Waking up to a text from a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Facetime conversations with friends with little ones. Planning new adventures.
New candles. The smell of freshly washed towels. Finding a new signature perfume. Bubble baths with a glass of wine and your favourite bath bomb.
Having time. Time to read, time to write, time to go out for dinner, time to relax and do nothing. Time to catch up on the endless list of Netflix boxsets and documentaries. Time to hold hands with your husband and time to spend together. Time to go to the gym without feeling rushed.
Time. Friends. Family. Coffee and books. Simple things that make for a happy life.
Join me in February where my focus is going to be primarily on fitness, both physical and mental.