In recent snowy winters, if I managed to drive my own self into work, I could count on the surprise of my colleagues and the repetition of the words: “I didn’t expect to see YOUR car in the car-park, Sharon.” Everyone knows I am a nervous driver at the best of times. And everyone knows my fondness for a “wee lift”.
Yet, strangely, as long as it’s not too icy, I like driving in the snow.
Driving in the snow feels like the whole entire world has SLOWED DOWN. We make room for each other. Everyone is cautious and deferential, gentle. We get to ease on to the motorway surrounded by space. I love that.
Driving in the snow I might get stuck, or feck things up, but so might everyone else. And I am confident people would help me, without judgement.
I love January like I love driving in the snow. I love January with the same measure that I hate September. In January it feels like the whole entire world has slowed down. January isn’t so shiny, or bustley, or efficient. I feel like there is space for me. I feel like I can go at my own pace.
January’s cold and dull and long, which feels right for easing in to a new year. We don’t have to hit the ground running with certainty and speed. We get to be pensive in our jammies and hoodies and the new slipper boots we got for Christmas. We get to be pensive in the half-light, burning down those candles we overstocked on for the festive season. There’s no parties we should be at, nobody asking “Well, are you READY?”, every minute of the day.
It’s January and I don’t know what you feel, but I feel permission to take my foot off the accelerator. I sense the truth that I’m not the only person in the world who struggles, who has to concentrate a bit too hard.
It’s January and I will get reflective and I will think about a word for the year, even though I am not known for ANY kind of measurable success when it comes to my word for the year! I will do it because here’s what I want as we ease into the new year; here’s what I want for our journeys, for our goals, for the lives we are trying to craft: I want us to know we might get stuck, or feck things up, but so might everyone else. And I want us to be confident of help, without judgement.
Who’s with me?