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Happy New(ish) Year

It’s been a slow start to the year at Modern Craft. Like many people, I find the damp, dark days of mid-Winter drain me of all energy and enthusiasm. We are long past the excitement of the festive season, and my mind is sluggish, my body feels heavy and my joints ache from the cold. I’ve found it hard to even get out of bed, never mind get dressed and leave the house. And when your place of work is also your home, it becomes all too easy to succumb to the sofa, the big dressing gown, and seeing if you can go another day without washing your hair. The desire to get up and get going just hasn’t been there, and it’s taken me a good few weeks to realise that that’s OK. Why am I pushing? Orders are sent and emails checked, but beyond that, this time is my own. No boss will check my progress and find me wanting; I won’t be punished for my inactivity, except by myself. So why am I doing it? January is a slow month in retail, the pre-Christmas boom gives way to the quick but meagre returns of the Boxing Day sales, and, inevitably, to the tighter weeks before the January pay day. Received wisdom says that this is the time to make your plans, put systems in place, and prep for the brighter months ahead, but I’ve always preferred September as a month for resolutions. So, what if, instead of chasing the next order, the next Instagram follower, the next big-ticket product in independent retail, I just… paused? What little gains there are to be made at this time of year require far more effort and tenacity than they do in the more bountiful months, and, frankly, I can’t maintain that. Instead, I am going to use this period to recover my energy and protect it for the busier times, when the rushing and pushing and chasing feels exhilarating, not draining. If you’ve also been feeling low on juice, but don’t feel you should/need/deserve to take some time out for yourself: here. Here is your permission to take your time and do what you need.

 

As I write this, I am distracted by the torrential, couldn’t-go-out-if-you-wanted-to rain hitting the plasticky roof of my lean-to utility room. I am thinking about the washing I could put on, but that would require climbing out of the nest I’ve made on the sofa, and that’s not going to happen until the urge to pee can be resisted no more. I might listen to a business-related podcast (I’m currently enjoying Starting the Conversation, by digital marketing coach Alice Benham), but, then again, I might not. I have a fire, a cup of tea, one smug, dry cat and one furious, soaked-to-the-skin cat. I am content.

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