I usually love January. New calendar, new day planner, new goals, new ambition, renewed spirit. I relish in choosing a daily agenda (I’m a dork, I know) and I try to return to work after the holidays with a clean house, empty laundry baskets and a full fridge. It’s a little like back-to-school for me, I guess — I even think about my first-day-back-to-work outfit in the Boxing Day sales, much like I did in the August back-to-school sales as a kid. In some ways, I usually look forward to the new year as much as I do to the holidays.
But something’s amiss this year.
I procrastinated on ordering my day planner (I finally found one I like last night on Etsy, but it’s coming from the UK so I’ll be lucky if it gets here before February) and now I feel completely out of sorts. I did all the laundry but only half of it is put away. The fridge is full but I don’t feel my usual resolve to try new recipes. And while I did well to find the bright yellow sweater I wore to work yesterday — I thought it would make me feel cheery — it just made me self-conscious (I’ve never worn yellow in my life and felt like a bumblebee).
Bah humbug, I know.
I think the year ahead looms large and this is why my usual New Year pep is missing. We are outgrowing our charming apartment in a great location quickly (as evidenced by Sophie spending most of her time in our kitchen cupboards and drawers rather than her toys because they are basically side-by-side) and we’re deciding between a new, larger apartment in a decent location or biting the bullet and looking to buy a less-charming house with much more space in a not-so-great location. I troll the listings like it’s my job and come up discouraged over and over again.
I also feel like I let myself off the hook this past year in terms of career and personal ambition. I didn’t run that half-marathon I wanted to complete because I couldn’t carve out the hours I needed for the long runs. And for as long as I can remember, I’ve been writing various novels (I know, cliché — what journalist doesn’t dream of being a novelist?) and last year I wrote blog posts and emails but nothing else. I worked hard at my job but I didn’t push myself to learn as I have in previous years. I know I had a newborn, and then an infant, and I was spending my days getting to know this new, lovely, amazing, beautiful little person in my life, but I didn’t stick to many of my own personal goals. And now the task of getting back to it seems daunting.
The promise of a new year is still there, shiny as ever, and I know I just need to get my act together and stop worrying about what the year may (or may not, stupid Toronto real estate market) bring. I need to curtail the pity party and dive in. Dear Etsy retailer in England, if you could mail my new day planner ASAP, I’d really appreciate it. 2013 depends on it.