It is usually around this point in January that I begin to struggle with my New Year’s resolutions. This year, for me, it has been about trying to eat less sugar. January is now the month when many people commit to giving up alcohol as part of Dry for January. All this comes as we start to take account of the cost of Christmas and our dark nights are no longer lit up with bright decorations.
In spite of this I am determined not to be down hearted about January. In the UK January is amongst other things, national soup month. In Scotland this is something which could apply for most of the year. January is named after the Latin word for door as January is the door to the year and in Roman mythology it is usually viewed as the month of beginnings and transitions.
This winter I have noticed that we have been introduced to the Scandinavian word Hygge. It was recently listed as the word of the year by the Oxford English dictionary alongside Brexit and Trumpism. It is a difficult word to define but most British shops have taken it as a chance to sell us more candles, cosy socks and blankets. Scandinavians see it less about buying things and more about a feeling of calm, togetherness and enjoying simple pleasures with good people. Meik Wiking author of the Little Book of Hygge says
“The most important social relationships are close relationships in which you experience things together with others and experience being understood; where you share thoughts and feelings and both give and receive support. In one word Hygge.”
It is not something you can buy in a shop but as we know at DA it is about friendship changing lives. So now that I am opening the door to this new year I think we should agree not to waste too much time on resolutions that we may have broken already but to look forward to spending time with the friends we have and the new ones we are about to make. I think it is no accident that the birth stone for January is the garnet which stands for constancy. Something I think our advocates and partners know the value of.
I would like to wish all our advocates and partners a very happy 2017.
Margaret Davidson, Development Worker