I'm not into big nights out. I used to be when I was younger, when I'd have happily danced the night away and continued through until lunchtime the next day, given half a chance. But age and having three children who were all bad sleepers as babies has knackered me and I have to confess I'm happier dancing around the kitchen in my jammies than getting dolled up for a night out on the tiles. Which is why I surprised myself this New Year's Eve by feeling a little downhearted at the thought of not being able to get out and about to celebrate the start of a brand new, hopefully much improved, year.
I think it's the stubborn part of me that was annoyed, the bit that doesn't like being told what to do. Had this year been normal, going out to bring in the New Year would have been my idea of hell - all that queueing at a bar, dancing in high heels until your feet are blistered and waiting in the freezing cold for hours for a taxi that never turns up. Rational me stopped choosing that as an option many moons ago but stubborn me hates the thought of my options being narrowed and the decision on how to celebrate being taken out of my hands, even when I know that decision is the right and safe choice and made for very good reason.
The last year has coloured my New Year's resolutions. Normally I'll come up with a fairly standard list in the days before January 1, promising myself that I'll lose weight, learn a new language and become a more considerate soul.
It's a list that I usually stick to in a half-hearted way for a few weeks, until the worst of the wintry weather hits us and I give in to the urge to hibernate in the house instead of heading out for a bit of exercise. The new language learning goes out the window, replaced by a desire to watch anything on telly that doesn't take a lot of brain power to enjoy and, as for becoming more considerate, well, let's just say we have a heated blanket in our living room, a lovely warm cosy hug of a thing, that no one else stands a chance of getting under until spring arrives.
This year I've had a lot more time at home to ruminate over my resolutions and while a few of my previous plans have made it onto this year's list, their inclusion is for very different reasons. Exercise has made the cut, given that the last few months have shown us all how important it is to be as fighting fit as possible. Plus, there's something very enticing about hopefully being able to leave all restrictions behind later this year and emerge, butterfly like, from my home, with the strength and muscles of Arnie and the looks of supermodel Elle McPherson. Okay, the last bit may be a bit of a stretch but a girl can dream!
I'd also like to think that I'll be a better, kinder and more thoughtful version of myself over the next 12 months. This last year has taught me to really appreciate the lovely little things in life, like an unexpected phone call from a friend, or a neighbour dropping some extra apples from their tree onto my front step, or a complete stranger reaching out and offering some companionship on social media.
I've loved those small acts of kindness and I've tried to do the same to others in return.
Unfortunately, learning a new language has been chucked out the window and replaced by a resolution to learn more about this beautiful part of the world we live in.
It'll be great to be able to take to the skies and head off on holiday again to somewhere hot and sunny - but equally, I've learnt to love more than ever the beautiful scenery and amazing spots we have here.
How have I reached 45 years of age and yet I'm still discovering stunning places that are just around the corner?
I may be keen to get out an about again but for me, during 2021, home is still very much where my heart is.