I know very few people who favour this time of year. After the hype of the lead up to Christmas many people say they feel empty and lost in the early months of the new year. As the excitement of new year’s party wears off and Easter is still over a month away it often feels like there is little to look forward to, especially in rural areas such as North Devon where the town and villages often close up when tourist season is over. As I slowly give up on my new year’s resolutions one by one (I actually stopped making them years ago after realising they never made it past May) I find other ways to make this bleak time of year more bearable.
However, there are also advantages to living in North Devon at this time of year. The way that the sun shines through the trees is something that is almost impossible to find in other areas, the smell of the dew on the grass and the way that the water almost glows ; these are things that those who live in the city do not get to experience. A downside to this however is the lack of snow, the most aesthetically pleasing inconvenience I have ever seen. It’s hard to hate something that can turn even the most responsible adult into a giggling child.
Perhaps the most difficult thing for many is the inexplicable urge to entirely redesign my house like some sort of hibernating fluffy creature. As uninterested in interior design as I am the rest of the year, as soon as January comes around I suddenly believe that interior decorating is my true calling and spend an unwarranted amount of money and time in moving things in my room around and adding more rose gold. Although this habit usually fades around April when I become distracted or simply cannot move the same bookshelf around anymore it seems to come back every year, like some kind of overly energetic boomerang that you actually are just trying to get rid of.
At this time of year one thing that helps me keep any kind of routine are hobbies. Despite the dread of coming home only to have to go out again is worsened in the winter. The cold and wet are not ideal weather in which to do anything recreational though I do find that once the days grow darker and the weather closes in that it becomes more and more difficult, even with a job, to determine time, hours seem to blend together and a regular hobby is the only way I can often keep my grasp on time. As much as this time of year is a nightmare for what little remains of my body clock I do enjoy the shorter days. If the cold can be braved, the dark evenings and afternoons are great time for walks, being incredibly atmospheric as well as clearing the head. The evening walks become almost addictive and a part of my weekly routine, they also provide a great chance to see the sunset for those who, like myself, are reluctant to leave the house once they have put on pyjamas.
‘the way that the water almost glows ; these are things that those who live in the city do not get to experience.’