Those days when things go like clockwork, anything seems possible, I feel more positive and am generally more productive. I get home at a reasonable time, cook a proper meal, and feel well-rested and life is better balanced. Yet, I am not a morning person. Getting up with my alarm is entirely unnatural for me, and more often than not I hit snooze a few too many times, and instead the second scenario presents itself. I sit in traffic lamenting my laziness and often, at eight o'clock, I have already written the rest of the day off as a bad job. It becomes a self fulfilling prophecy as I get less done, get stuck in the same traffic travelling home, and then collapse on the sofa, ready to eat sleep and repeat. It seems that eight o'clock in the morning generally is a good indication of how things will be come eight o'clock at night.
I often take the all-or-nothing approach. It's either a great day or an awful day, I either succeed wholeheartedly or abjectly fail. It means that good days are great, but they are hard to achieve, when anything less than perfect will not do. Since the end of our holiday, some of my new resolutions fell by the wayside. I forgot my daily photographs, and then when I remembered, the routine of my days seemed too mundane to be worth capturing. The daily walks with Millie dropped off too, the rain and the wind bleak, making it too easy to let someone else do the walk or let her run round the garden by herself.
The first day I forgot to take my photograph I felt so frustrated, like I'd ruined the project, that I couldn't possibly continue now it wouldn't be perfect. As soon as I missed one day's walk the impetus to do the next was lost. Much as it is good to strive for perfection, I realised it would be foolish to throw away a whole year because January hadn't been faultless. Just as sometimes, I can turn my day around with a good song on the radio as I sit inching my way towards work, I don't have to let a small slip up become a whole catastrophe. So in February I will focus on those good habits I developed in January that I want to continue such as the nightly journal writing, and rediscover those which have lapsed a little, yet brought me joy while they lasted.
One of the habits I wanted to begin, and am very glad I did, was to read more, as part of Laura's the year in books. I got two books for Christmas, and read them both this month. The Fault in Our Stars was a quick read, I thought. I enjoyed it but found some of the characters a little extreme. I found the plot fairly predictable, but I wanted to read it through. The dark humour, and the day to day reality of the characters was well written and engaging.
Gone Girl was gripping, and from the start I wanted to slow down and really savour the writing. I eventually read most of it in one long night, as I couldn't wait to see how it developed. There was a sense of suspending disbelief with the plot, yet somehow the characters weren't improbable. There were a few plot holes by the end, but I thoroughly enjoyed the journey this book took me on, enthralled throughout. I have since found there will be a film later in the year, and I am intrigued to see how it eventually translates to screen.