Its January 7th. I’ve booked our John Shuttleworth tickets (Oof!). I’m booking tickets to see Villagers and Stornoway in February and March respectively. Its not snowing (sadly). Television is occupied with dire celebrity talent shows. Can you believe a show about diving with stunt divers riding BMX bikes off the platform, dressed as James Bond?!! How shit does it have to get before the numb ITV audience say no more? The cupboards are beginning to look a little sad with remnants of Christmas left behind. The decorations have been taken down. The house looks bare and cold. Even the remaining boxes of Chocolates and biscuits look less appealing. January, what a let down month. Its as though there is nothing to look forward to. All across the land, new years resolutions will be broken by now. The media will be full of  fabulous new plans for getting fit and detox. Holiday firms are selling expensive destinations to persuade the population to further extend their overdrafts. January is the payback month. The reality of excess hits home this month.What will 2013 bring as we look at the year ahead from a gloomy, dark January. Well no Olympics, Jubilee or major football championship. There is the promise of continued hard economic times to come. I understand food prices are set to rise as have utility costs. I’m really struggling to find a thing to look forward to from the doom and drudge of January.

 Thornton Viaduct, Bradford. A lovely place even in January

What did our parents generation do in January? How did they cope with the let down after Christmas.  Maybe though our parents didn’t over indulge in trying to provide the perfect festive season. Maybe just maybe they lived within their means and didn’t overdo it. I am terrible at seeing the solution to happiness and a bright future lies in money. OK, I am not so stupid to believe it doesn’t make life easier if you have money. I am far too materialistic in my outlook and don’t often look beyond what is affordable or desirable. There must however be some truth in the adage that money can’t buy you happiness.
Happiness can be gained by achieving. I completed my first novel today. Its quite short (probably too short) but I am quite proud of it. I hope to self publish this month after a few reviews from friends. I am strangely not ecstatic but looking forward to the next one now. The challenge of getting on the keyboard and writing is more exciting. I enjoy the process and feel slightly embarrassed with the end product for some unknown reason. I think January is a good month to finish a book and embark on a new one. For a writer, to have a project that will fill the coming months has to be better than an empty work schedule in January. God! back at that old chestnut again.
So what can I set as goals for this year? Walk more, write more, talk less, think less, spend less and dress better. These are achievable sort of. Look for the free and simple to fill you with happiness. Use your creative skills to fill your time and stay away from spending. So as I sit here in an artificially lit crowded room looking out into the endless dark of a January evening; my creative skills will have to be my fall back, to help shake the January greys away.


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