Marmite Month

January is one of those ‘love it or hate it’ months that seems to demand much, whilst delivering very little.

Part of the problem, of course, is that its arrival heralds the beginning of a sort of ‘Christmas Comedown’ when the lights, laughter and liberties of December fade (somewhat abruptly) from the memory, and the outlook becomes altogether bleaker.

Take for example, January’s unremittingly dark (and gloomy) mornings. Not only do they do little to improve your chances of kick-starting that (much needed) fitness regime, but the school run rapidly assumes the characteristics of an extreme sport (both in terms of parental coaxing and tantrum avoidance) because the kids (much like their parents!) are genuinely struggling to get back into any sort of meaningful routine.

There is also the somewhat stubborn existence of those (excruciatingly noble) good intentions to consider too…

Having finally realised that the Christmas ‘nibbles’ (that often resembled an extra meal) and rich assortment of alcoholic beverages (that wouldn’t normally grace your drinks cabinet at all but have nevertheless been consumed in quantity) have taken their toll, the only logical solution is to start a diet, detox or gym subscription. But a couple of days (or even hours) in, you remember just how difficult it is to find the energy or enthusiasm for any of these things, and the prospect of finishing off those festive treats quickly becomes the only thing that gets you through those long and dismal afternoons back at work. Thus, the lethargy attributed to overindulgence is deftly prolonged – with a keen sense of failure thrown in for good measure! Cue the (almost inevitable) arrival of those January blues…

For others though, January is the personification of hope; it is the month for new beginnings, and for ‘wiping the slate clean’. Put like this, it begins to sound a great deal more attractive and the mere process of setting new goals can be a powerful catalyst for optimism.

Having recently stumbled across my horoscope for 2022, however, I’ll admit that I was sorely tempted to strike through the entire calendar and take to my bed. I even considered leaving nothing but a white flag tentatively poking out from within the folds of my duvet, just to make my position clear. You’ll have gathered by now that the predictions were not very reassuring and, even the slightest cause for positivity, seemed to come with such a range of caveats as to render them firmly null and void! Perhaps that’s why those born in the relative ‘no man’s land’ of early January (i.e., Capricorns) are described as “ambitious, organised, practical and goal-oriented”. You’d certainly need to be!

So, what might 2022 have in store for you?

Perhaps you are hoping to change jobs, or to move house? Perhaps you are tempted to venture abroad once more? Perhaps you are going to make this the year that you repair any fractured relationships – or maybe, you’ll simply nurture the ones that you have?

Whatever your goals this year, there is genuine cause for celebration here. Because (if you are reading this) you have already survived 50% of Marmite Month, the days are gradually getting longer and the opportunities for getting out and about are steadily increasing too.

In short, better times are ahead.       

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