What has 2012 given me? It’s been a bit of a mixed bag of a year.
In January I joined weight watchers. That was extremely short-lived albeit successful during that brief period. January also gave me food poisoning and a fear of oysters which lasted for most of the rest of the year.
In February I waved goodbye to my sister and her children who moved to Australia, permanently. A low point for me, a huge adventure and a potential for amazing lives for them. February also found me getting very drunk in Quo Vadis with my friend Andrew and spotting Gary Barlow. He’s very handsome...and very short. I also visited friends in Broadstairs and wished momentarily that I could leave London for a better kind of life.
March saw me drunkenly kiss a friend’s flatmate. That was a mistake.
April saw me head off to Australia for three weeks – good and bad times there but I was happy to find that I could understand why my sister needs to live in Melbourne even if she is so far away from the rest of us. I also got to see Little Penguins parade out of the sea, over the beach and up to their sand-dune beds. Pretty magical. I was also able to visit my oldest friend and my godson who I haven’t seen for years and meet her (at that point) latest addition to her family. I haven’t been lucky enough to meet her actual latest addition who was born a couple of months later.
In May, I did a lot of socialising. I discovered Little Lamb on Shaftesbury Avenue for hot pot. Go. I worried about my finances. I probably did that in every other month too.
June was a bad month. It saw the worst depressive dip I have ever experienced. I hunkered down, cancelled all my plans and did everything I could to keep my head above water and I got through it. I was, however, lucky enough to meet two brand new babies for the first time in June, so even this terrible month had its moments.
I hate July. It’s my birthday month. I’ve never understood why people like their birthdays – I never have, even as a child. At my age, all a birthday does is make me older and less likely to meet someone and have children before it’s too late. I hate July. Despite that, I went to Burgundy with my friend Andrew and it was great. We saw the Tour de France fly past us in approximately 10 seconds, ate some terrible food (what is it with the French and their obsession with tinned vegetables?) and drank some pretty rough wine, but it was fun.
August saw me crash a moped and injure myself and vow never to get on a bike ever again.
In September I went and drank alone in a crowded pub for the first time and found that I didn’t care what people thought of me. In September I also realised that a particular friendship in my life was unhealthy and causing me unhappiness and huge amounts of stress. I needed to limit it and I have.
In October my mum visited twice. My mum visiting is one of my most favourite things. We did culture (Hedda Gabler at the Old Vic, Uncle Vanya, the bronzes at the Royal Academy) and did good food (Alyn Williams at the Westbury, Jose, Inside in Greenwich, dim sum). In fact it was a good month for food as I also went to Duck & Waffle and Zoilo. It was a fat month.
November saw me start Dukan in my desperation over how fat I had become. I stuck it out for a mere three weeks...three horrible weeks. I felt stressed, depressed and didn’t like myself very much.
In December I gave up Dukan and accepted that I am going to see out 2012 significantly fatter than I saw it in. I ceased caring about dieting for the rest of this year and ate and ate. My parents left for a long visit to Australia and I had my first ever Christmas without my family around me. The year has ended on a spectacular low where I feel unhappy and ill-at-ease in my previously much-loved flat since Ralphie brought a mouse into the sitting room and promptly lost it, but where I am at such a low ebb that I don’t want to see people at all. I also discovered that some friends go above and beyond the call of duty and will literally pick you up when you are on your knees. Those ones are definitely keepers.
Overall, it hasn’t been the best year. I’m not sure whether it’s been the worst either, but I don’t remember there being a lot of happiness in 2012. Looking back at it, I feel empty.
And now we’re on the corner of 2013. Ordinarily, I feel quite positive at New Year, feeling that the next year HAS to be better than the preceding year. This year, I’m limiting my expectations. I’m just going to hope that it isn't worse. My resolutions:
- Deal with the mouse phobia (I’m already On This and have some NLP lined up)
- Be less self-destructive (I don’t have high hopes, but we can try...)
- Lose enough weight to not have another Fat Summer
- Stay at home more and learn to live alone contentedly
- Take lunch to work at least twice a week
- Look into evening courses – pottery? Wine?
- De-clutter the flat (fewer hiding places for mice)
- Paint stuff – doors, walls, windows
- Once ready (i.e. thinner!) consider trying internet dating again
- Learn to meditate/relax (been on my list for years – I never manage this)
- Spend less. New buying mantra: do I need it? Can I live without it?
And those, folks, are my aims for 2013. No “get happy”. Nobody is happy 100% of the time. No “lose 5 stone” – the huge figure is too overwhelming. Just little changes, many of which I know already I won’t make. I haven’t painted those doors for 6 ½ years – it’s not likely to happen in 2013. But we can hope, right?