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Creeping into 2021 – mind the pumpkins

I have never made it a secret that I’m not a fan of either New Year’s Eve…

I have never made it a secret that I’m not a fan of either New Year’s Eve or new year’s resolutions. The one seems like a huge amount of fuss and build-up to watch a clock tick over, and the other seems a really good way to make us feel awful about ourselves, both at the time (look how terrible I am and how much I need to do to fix myself!) and a few months – or weeks – later (oh no, I’m not an entirely new and better person already! I’ve failed!).

And this disdain also meant I wrote one blog post about it about four years ago, then declared that was my final word on the matter (other than the Little Furry Muse having her say last year, but obviously that was going to happen), thus saving myself from having to write any more new year’s blog posts.

I still maintain that was a really good tactic.

2020, 2021, new year, doctor who, self care, gifs, new years resolutions

I mean, unless the clock we’re talking about is Big Ben and you’re going to dance with an alien on top of a spaceship in front of it, is it really worth it?

However, 2020 has been a year like no other. Well, no other in my experience anyway. The whole world has been reeling from the effects of a pandemic that is still very much a part of our lives. We’ve all had to adapt to different ways of living, of working from home and wearing masks and home-schooling and discovering the black-market value of flour and toilet paper. People have gone above and beyond, putting themselves at risk to keep the world moving and us safe, from posties and shop workers to frontline medical staff and emergency services. People have knocked on neighbours’ doors, and done shopping and run errands for strangers, and kept themselves isolated to protect others, and run marathons for charity in their backyards. People have been astonishing.

2020, 2021, new year, doctor who, self care, gifs, new years resolutions

Are. You ARE fantastic.

And others have been astonishing in rather less positive ways. And that’s hit us all as well. It’s been a complicated and difficult year in many ways, and it’s been really easy to see the worst of it. After all, that gets a lot more news coverage and link clicks. And there’s always that sense that maybe it’s better to know. Better to be informed. And I’m not saying it’s not. I could barely put down my phone for the first few months, and I’m surprised I didn’t wear out the screen scrolling through the Guardian and BBC apps. We all had to know.

Only there wasn’t much to know. No one was sure about anything – about when it would end or what would come next or (thanks to some less than stellar communications from certain governments) even what we were meant to be doing. So we’ve lived most of 2020 in a state of constant questioning, constant uncertainty. A weird sort of instinctual fight or flight state where we can’t even see what we’re fighting and have no chance of taking a flight for quite a while yet.

2020, 2021, new year, doctor who, self care, gifs, new years resolutions

Should we come out? I’m thinking no.

No wonder we’re all so exhausted. No wonder we can’t sleep. No wonder we take joy where we can – be that in food or baking or house plants or a slightly larger glass of wine of an evening. Because it has been hard. And yes – harder for some than others. There’s absolutely no doubt about that. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that we’ve all struggled. That this has been tough on all of us. That 2020 is a year not many of us are going to be looking back on fondly.

And I think that leaves us open to maybe putting a little too much importance on this new year, too. On thinking that as soon as that clock rolls over we’re going to just stop. Stop struggling, stop having that extra piece of cake at morning tea (or breakfast), stop hiding under the blankets on the sofa instead of getting outside, stop spending entire days in our PJs and actually start getting dressed in the mornings.

2020, 2021, new year, doctor who, self care, gifs, new years resolutions

My main food group of 2020

And, you know, if that works for you, if that’s what you feel like when the sun comes up on the first of January, then I will applaud you. I will cheer you on from behind my slice of breakfast cake, while still wearing my pyjamas. Because if that works for you, then that is more than good. It’s awesome.

But, equally, if it doesn’t? If you’re still tired, if getting up is a monumental enough effort as it is, if just getting through the day is all you’ve got right now? Then that’s okay too. Things are not going to change at the stroke of midnight. The pumpkin is not going to turn into a shiny coach. This particular pumpkin of a year has got some saggy, creeping tendrils. There’s no point pretending it doesn’t.

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Always check for pumpkins.

So here’s my new year wish for you. That you are able to treat yourself with as much love, and care, and respect as you show others. That you do what you need to do to keep going. That you find what makes you smile, what makes your heart full, what makes things manageable. That you ease yourself into the new year with hope and optimism, but also with an eye on those bloody pumpkins so that they don’t trip you up when you’re least expecting it.

And yes, I wish a better year than this one for all of us. As for resolutions? Lovely people, you have made it through 2020. You have been astonishing. There’s not much you can do to improve on that.

Happy New Year.

2020, 2021, new year, doctor who, self care, gifs, new years resolutions

And you know what? This is #lifegoals too.

PS this was not meant to be a Doctor Who post. But once I started with the David Tennant one I just couldn’t stop … and now my current resolution is a full re-watch. So something good came of it. 😉

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  1. Robert Greig says:

    really liked the thought you put in this and how much it resonates with me, thanks for sharing Kim ~{}~

    1. Kim Watt says:

      Thank you so much for commenting! I’m glad it connected with you 🙂 Have a lovely new year.

  2. Carolyn says:

    Thank you for your good wishes and thoughts about the current year. I don’t do New Year – it’s just another night with meh television and why decide then to do something you can decide to do any time. Would you wait until Jan 1 to start learning some foreign language when you decided to go months before? The only thing I’ve done at that time many years ago was give up smoking – not as a resolution but because I’d smoked so many the night before I really did not want another one ever. (That’s not resolve that’s just common sense.)

    May your 2021 be full of writing, snarky cats, dragons and learning about gardens. Fond wishes.

    1. Kim Watt says:

      Your new year’s attitude is very sensible, in my mind! It really is a lot of build-up and pressure, and it all seems a bit pointless to me. More performance than substance, maybe. Congrats on the giving up smoking, though – that’s a tough one to do!

      Have a lovely 2021 – I wish you all the wonderful things, including being able to get travelling again and more dragon rescue operations <3

  3. Beckett G-C says:

    Thank you!! Thank you for putting the same thoughts I’ve always carried around about the whole “New Year” nonsense, and about having survived 2020, into perfectly balanced, rational and descriptive perspective. So, whatever else 2021 might be for you and yours, Happy New HOPE.

    1. Kim Watt says:

      Balanced and rational are rarely descriptors applied to my thinking process, so thank you for that! I’m so glad the post resonated with you. It’s been such a tough year – we really don’t need to put even more pressure on ourselves with external resolutions. And Happy New Hope is the most perfect new year’s wish I could imagine – just lovely! I hope your 2021 is beautiful <3

  4. Lynda Dietz says:

    You so perfectly summed up some of my own thoughts on this past year! Yes, it was a year of confusion and—dare I say it—too much news, or what passes for news these days. There were times when I purposely avoided Twitter or other social media for a couple days just to correct my own attitude, and I’ve never had to resort to that before.

    I consider myself to be very fortunate this year, in that I managed to keep working with both jobs steadily. No one in my immediate family got sick. We all slowed down and tried to enjoy the easy excuse for not having to go places we didn’t want to go in the first place. And I got a new daughter-in-law! And tried mince pies for the first time, thank you VERY much.

    There are many things I need to change or improve, but I’m taking a reasonable approach that doesn’t involve anything happening on January 1 other than sleeping in. I started making small changes a few weeks ago and am putting no pressure on myself to do it all, full steam ahead. In fact, if anything, many of the things I’m trying to change involve self-care and getting enough rest and family time, so if there’s such a thing as “full steam sitting immobile,” I’m your gal.

    I’m glad you’ve come out of the year intact! And I like your attitude. I’ll enjoy a few shortbread cookies in your honor on January 1. Happy New Year!

    1. Kim Watt says:

      I love how resolutely positive you are – you’re so good at focussing on the bright spots of the year! And, of course, gaining a daughter-in-law is a VERY bright spot indeed. It’s been so lovely hearing the happy news you’ve shared over the months. It’s always wonderful to know good things are happening – it’s easy to forget that sometimes.

      I remember you saying at one point that you looked at goals rather than resolutions, and I really liked that. Your self-care goals are PERFECT and just what’s needed after a hectic year. Full steam immobile sounds actually pretty ideal. Weirdly, for all the time I’ve had on my own this year, my self-care has been pretty lax – I’ve not really changed anything at all in the face of what was a whole load of just, well, 2020. And I’m pretty casual about it to start with, despite being so insistent that everyone else should be very good about it. Ahem. So I might make that something to think about for the new year. And also how to ship homemade mince pies without them either going stale or turning to crumbs … 😉

      Happy new year to you and the family!

  5. Pam Jackowich says:

    Thank you for this. New Year’s Eve is my birthday (ugh), and your post made for a lovely birthday gift. It expresses many of my own thoughts about the turning of one year to the next.
    I discovered Beaufort and friends about the same time I received a positive breast cancer diagnosis in November, and your stories have provided the most wonderful escape. All my library books have expired whilst I’ve been devouring both the Beaufort and Gobbelino series. Thanks again.

    1. Kim Watt says:

      All the dragonish strength to you, Pam – I’m so sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I hope you’ve been able to access treatment quickly and that things are well underway in that area. What a tough end to the year. I’m so glad that my books have brought a little escapism and fun into the middle of it all – it makes me immensely happy to think they might help a little like that! I hope you’re looking after yourself and that 2021 brings a happier year. Happy birthday!

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