Tuesday 15 April 2014

Get up and mow! : because January shouldn't have the monopoly on fresh starts

Hello you.

Do you remember back in January [not that long ago in the scheme of things ... but probably already feeling like a world away] when there was an attractive fresh New Year standing right in front of you?

[Naked? I never said it was naked. Who said it was naked? You've imagined that for yourself ...]

And you were so seduced at the possibility of being able to walk away, leaving 2013 behind, that you fell in love with the idea of making a fresh start ...

"Well, hello there 2014. You're looking young, fresh and delightful. I just know you're going to be good for me. You've got so much to offer, and the things I'm going to achieve now that you're here ... well, I'm going to be a changed woman."

 And then ...

... and then well,  I don't know ...
  • there were all those decorations to put away weren't there? And vacuuming up all that ever-reappearing post-Christmas tinsel just eats into your day doesn't it?
  • and it was all just a bit too cold and grey outside to make you feel like making any major life changes ...
  • plus the new series of Modern Family, The Great British Sewing Bee and Elementary started and after all it's illegal not to get comfy and sit watching those entirely in peace and without worrying about 'resolutions' ...
... and 'stuff' gets left. Plans remain unmade. Transformations remain ... untransformed. January becomes February, becomes ... almost May-oh-my-goodness-how-did-that-happen?

You know how it goes.

And you may well have felt a little bad about that. Guilty even. Like you've been cheating on 2014 by still flirting with your old ways.

That's how I felt anyway. At the start of this year I'd made zero new plans for my work or my blog and I felt like I was falling behind, like I was already late ... until ...

... until I recalled a piece of advice I heard a tutor give his students while I was note-taking during a lecture [at my University job] a few years back. Words which I'd scribbled down in my own notebook.

Words which were actual his attempt to motivate / terrify his students into getting their work done in time to meet their summer term deadlines. Words that went ...

"Do anything you like all year ... but as soon as they start cutting the grass ... you have to start working."

And, while it probably should frighten me too ... I seem to find it strangely comforting ...

To me the whole notion certainly removes the tyranny of the whole 'New Year New You / mad rush to make changes in January or else feel like you've failed' way of thinking. 

In its own, rather blunt, way it reminds us that while yes it may no longer be such a new New Year ...

... and while yes we may well have frittered our time on lazy thinking and wearing pyjamas and just getting through the day and zoning out in front of the TV [although, can any of us really say that time spent watching Sherlocks - Miller and Cumberbatch thankyouverymuch -  ever be considered anything less than essential?] ... and getting lulled into inertia by the regularity of our routines ...

 ...  regardless of all of that it reminds us that everything's not lost. There's still time to get our act together!

We can start again. Right now. Only this time we can do it in the sunshine and with the scent of freshly cut grass in our noses! What's not to love about that? 

And, if you're not quite there yet ... if you're feeling like I was before my 'ooh I've got lots of blogging ideas all of a sudden and now I'm finally going to sort out my workroom' inspiration struck me earlier this month .. then maybe the idea that they're starting to cut the grass around you will help to spur you along somewhat ...

... because, really, there's nothing like the sound of blades spinning at your heels to really help focus the mind!

So what do you think?
  • Does the idea that there's always another chance to start a 'new' year give you the 'get up and mow go' you need to go and tackle that 'thing' you've been meaning to get around to all year?
  • ... or maybe you like the motivation offered by the more definite sound of blades heading your way to kick-start your motor?
Either way ... I hope it helps! And while we're in the mood - expect a few more 'new beginnings' type posts over the next few weeks ... now we've got it ... let's keep this momentum going!
Julie x
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  1. We cut the grass for the first time a couple of weekends ago and shortly after I started *actually* working on my "New Year" sewing plans. As I type, I'm just gathering myself for the next stage....the zip! Having documented my progress on the blog yesterday, it's given me the push to get on. If only the rain had stopped earlier in the year I might have begun sooner. Who knew?!

  2. I've given up on transformations... I've come to the conclusion'what you see is what you get'....as for cutting the grass...it holds no romantic notions for me...... Because I'm the one cutting it!

  3. I like the idea that the new year and doing things with enthusiasm starts once the earth is warm enough for things to grow

  4. What a coincidence, yesterday I was beating myself up for not keeping on top of all the house stuff and decided that from today I would just do one job per day that I have been putting off - figuring that five things per week done would actually be progress instead of trying to do too much each day, running out of steam and then achieving very little. So this morning found me completely gutting the fridge and cleaning the whole thing including taking all the shelves out - and guess what it barely took any time at all to do. Now trying to decide what 'put off' job to do tomorrow!! I sometimes think it would be better if the new year did start around Easter - I never feel motivated in January as I am always too cold and just want to curl up with a book in a warm corner under a blanket LOL!!

  5. Ok it's official then. The new year starts ... Now!

  6. I have got into a rut lately, not because of lack of motivation but because of lack of time and energy. Hoping my dip will soon pass so I can get back on track & look forward to joining you here for some company and inspiration. Lighter evenings always picks me up and by the way, I love your college!

  7. I like this! Partly as a result of having parents who were teachers, I think, my fresh start thinking always comes in September instead of New Year, so I'm definitely open to a bit of starting over at any time of the year. I'll be looking out for your posts

  8. Absolutely agree it feels like new start time. Especially with the lighter evenings and new growth. I've already gone back to exercising and have taken the opportunity of reorganising some things in the house. Thanks as always for putting it so eloquently!

  9. Lovely fresh colours and pictures light up your message, Julie - and I love that there are always opportunities for 'fresh starts'. As my DH mowed the lawn this week for the first time (in my defence, it was because I was poorly), this is a perfect post for me at the start of a new week after a week I'd rather forget. I will remember this post of yours :).

  10. I am so with you on this! Now that my school term is over, I'm ready to plan out the next several months to get things done.
    But first I have to finish binge watching Orphan Black.

  11. Beautiful, thoughtful post (came over from Rinda's blog). I think I start again at least three or four times each year - there is the changeover when we put away Christmas and the end of one calendar year and start a new one. There is another changeover (happening now) when Spring hits and we stop hibernating indoors and the girls come home from college for the year (used to happen later when school ended for the summer). But my favorite "change" time is when my girls head BACK to college in late August. I miss having the academic year running the changes in my life. I probably should have been a teacher!


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