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Hello Friends! Welcome back to another Coffee with Gi!

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2022! We’ve made it! 

2021 certainly seemed like a slog at times. I think it seemed like it was going to be THE year. The time when everything was right for everyone after the chaos of 2020. But in reality, it was just another year that brought with its own challenges as we learned to live with the pandemic. And the challenges we faced weren’t just related to the pandemic either! Because life never stops. We were all still juggling a combination of work struggles, hormones, homework, sibling squabbles, pregnancies, family stuff, maybe even with loss and health stuff thrown in the mix too, all while trying to make sense of the world we live in.

And still we keep showing up. We keep getting up every morning and making breakfast for our kids, even if they tell us they hate it, even if they shout at us that they don’t want to go to school, even if they make us want to swear or cry in the corner. That’s why so much of the ‘New Year, new you’ messaging and the focus on New Year’s resolutions makes me so feel so deflated – because parents all around the world – parents like you – are doing such a blooming good job, even if you don’t feel like it. And then January comes around and we’re told we need to change everything. That we have to be someone new, just because we’ve bought new stationery and we write a new date when we sign documents.

So I hope whatever 2022 has in store for you, you know that you don’t have to change anything you don’t want to. If there are changes in store for you in 2022, I’m not here to stop you. In fact, I’ll be cheering you on from the sidelines. But I hope you never feel like you have to change anything because a strange tradition started by the Ancient Babylonians around 4,000 years ago tells you you should.

Do whatever feels right to you. Because you nearly always know best.

Love Gi. Xxxx

 


 

Every time New Year comes around, the same message starts rumbling through the media. No matter how many people say they’re tired of it, or that it’s trite, when the calendar flips over to 1st Jan, the murmurings of ‘New Year, new you’ start and as the month rolls on, they get louder and louder. We’re told to hit the gym, to start resolutions to lose weight, get fitter, eat healthier and basically just be BETTER. If you’re trying as hard as you can (and to be honest, even if you’re just concentrating on existing) this whole mantra is exhausting, it’s old hat, and most of all, it’s boring.

The truth is, none of us are perfect. There are a few things everyone could do with changing. Yeah, maybe we should be trying to get more veggies into our diet, or be concentrating on moving a bit more. Perhaps it is time to stop eating quite so much chocolate, or maybe we have found ourselves using alcohol as a crutch and could cut down a little – but it’s time to let go of the out-dated idea that just because we’ve moved into a new year, there’s a need to totally and completely transform who we are.

New Year’s resolutions, often the catalyst for this time of renewal, usually fail by the second week of February. Not because the people who set them are losers, or incapable of committing to the things they set out to do. But because New Year’s resolutions are notoriously tricky to follow through on. They’re often huge, sweeping statements backed by a wish, or a hope – but if we really want to make changes, we need to integrate new habits into our daily lives. Doing that is something that takes a lot of work, a lot of dedication and a whole lot of time. Something that we don’t always have a tonne of when we’re parents.

A tradition started by the Ancient Babylonians and originally intended as promises made to their Gods, New Year’s resolutions began to morph into the things we know them as now when Julius Caesar was ruling Rome but these traditionally included a sacrificial slaughter (not ideal in 2022).

Around that time, Christians began adopting the practice of setting resolutions but used them as an opportunity to reflect on past mistakes and as a vow to do better. Since then, there’s always been a semblance of improvement (and often shame) attached to any resolution and the sweeping statements we make around New Year come from a desire for change that exists year round.

If you do want to make changes in 2022, there’s no need for them to be massive changes that focus on the very person you are. Any changes you do make shouldn’t focus on your ‘shortcomings’ or areas where you feel you need to be ‘better’ either. Try to reflect on your needs with self-compassion and love and create resolutions from there. When we operate from a place of care, any changes we make are more likely to stick than promises we make to ourselves from a place of guilt, shame or self-loathing.

We’re big believers in the ‘New Year, same you’ message. Because you’re great as you are. There’s nothing wrong with seeing the New Year as a time for a refresh – but for us, it’s about incremental changes that allow you to concentrate on giving yourself a little more love, rather than using them as a tool for berating yourself for ‘not measuring up’ to unreasonable expectations and ideals.

New Year’s Resolutions we can get on board with:

If you’re looking for a kinder New year’s resolution for 2022, why not give one of these a try? Tailor them to the time you have available – and remember to make it something you can manage.

This year

  • I will set aside [1 hour/30 mins/15 mins] a week of time for myself
  • I will write down three things I am grateful for every [day/week/fortnight/month]
  • I will get outside for [10/30/60 minutes] every day
  • I will take one deep breath every single day
  • I will ask for help when I need it
  • I will give myself grace when things go wrong
  • I will take (30 mins/1 hour/1 day) off social media each week
  • I will spend [1 hour/30 mins/15 mins] a week doing something I love

 


THINGS I’M LOVING

Obviously the start of 2022 hasn’t kicked off how I thought it would as I’ve injured my ankle and now having to spend most of my time elevating and icing that BUT I have taken this strange time to watch a few things I’ve been wanting to for a while.

Firstly, a bit more high brow – I downloaded The Donmar’s play Constellations. This play was performed on stage with 4 different acting couples, and they can now be streamed online. It’s a beautiful two hander and each version brings something new to the piece.

Now for some low brow fun – Emily in Paris series two. I’m not a girl in her twenties living it up in Paris, but this is a fun series that doesn’t require your brain to think too much. It’s very pretty to look at! Now that’s done I’ve started Superstore but if you have any recommendations please let me know. I’m sure I should be spending this time being more productive but my brain just isn’t in it right now so I’m just going with the flow and making the most of the rest.

Etsy prints! I know everyone knows all about Etsy but as I’ve been decorating parts of the house I’ve spruced it up thanks to small businesses (and brilliantly creative people) on there. It’s been fun to scroll!

Neals Yard’s Arnica Salve. I mean, this loving list is so influenced by my injury, but what can I do? I was actually using this salve anyway as I’d been getting random bruises and was using this to help them out a bit – but it’s a really useful salve to have in the house anyway, not just for injured ankles!

Speaking of 2:22 – A Ghost Story, lots of you loved the ‘behind the scenes’ tour I did of my dressing room before I had my little accident. I’ve really enjoyed making it my home away from home at the Gielgud Theatre and decorating it with all the touches that make me feel comfortable and help me get in the zone before I go on stage. Before my stumble I was spending so much time at the theatre I wanted it to be as lovely and feel as ‘me’ as possible.


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Love Gi. Xx

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