Apparently, in business, you’re advised to continue to write newsletters, blogs, and post on social media throughout January. I understand this, but understanding it, does not make it any easier to do.
Believe it or not, I’m now going to write a blog, which I want you to read, on the subject of having nothing to report. Bear with me…
I don’t like doing much in January. It’s a time of recovering from the excesses of December, and the realisation that it’s bastard January again. I cut myself some slack because even plants can’t be bothered in January, and they have just one job.
However, I accept that I must crank this old bird into first gear, and move off into 2024 with the caution that comes with starting a 1975 Mini after it’s been parked out in the rain for a couple of weeks. (As an aside, my first car was a 1975 mini. Old minis were notorious for breaking down in the rain because the distributor cap was right behind the grill. When it rained, the electrics got wet. In those days, I carried a can of WD40 around with me like a rancid bottle of Chanel No.5.)
I know, I’ll do a workshop!
With this in mind, I decided to attend a ‘Vision Board’ workshop, with six brilliant and funny women. What’s a ‘Vision Board Workshop’? Well, you create a vision for your year ahead and, well, put it on a board.
I arrived at the venue (the most beautiful house) and on parking my car, was greeted by two black cats. I instantly thought ‘well, this is a Sign’! But then I realised you can’t really interpret animals as a ‘sign’, when you are visiting a place where they actually live. It’s a bit like visiting the bat enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo and declaring it a sign that your chosen career into witchcraft must be right because you’re practically inhaling bats.
Where I practice signing my name
Anyway, at the start of the morning, we were going through some journal exercises to get us into the right frame of mind for vision board creation. They were thought-provoking questions but one of them stumped me:
‘What three things did you achieve last year which you are most proud of?’
All around me, I could hear the furious scratching of pens on paper whilst the six other super-beings wrote down all they were proud of. I, meanwhile, could not think of one. Single. Thing. I wrote my name a few times in my notebook, to make it look like I had something to write, then closed it quickly. I mean, I didn’t want the others to think I was some sort of idiot.
After lunch, it was time to get creative and put our boards together. We had piles of magazines to go through to cut out pictures, words or phrases which inspired us or meant something to our year ahead. Most magazines have eye-catching words in order to get you to read the articles within however, the first page I opened contained an advert for a Stannah stair lift…
Out ratting by the light of the silvery moon
So there I was, literally cutting and pasting. Words and phrases such as ‘getting older is liberating’, ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’, ‘storytelling’ and ‘whippet’ found their way onto my board in a wave of optimism and future manifesting. All the while, the conversations and witticisms of my fellow cut and pasters provided the soundtrack (the horse who thinks he’s a ‘fucking rhino’ and the descriptions of the two ‘Shitland’ Ponies; along with the phrase ‘oh yeah, chickens are bastards’; and the tale of rat brought in by one lady’s cat in the middle of the night, resulting in her carrying the then bag-wrapped rat, by the light of the silvery moon on the winter solstice, in her pyjamas to release it.)
It was a fabulous day, spent with fabulous women. Our awesome hostess fed and watered us with tasty home-cooked food, cake and a heavy dollop of encouragement.
I’ll put this out there now: I’ve never been one for Vision Boards. I’ve always thought them a bit too ‘woo’ for me. However, I now think that I shouldn’t really write something off without actually trying it. I’m glad I did. Dreaming for a day was fun and if just some of the stuff on my board comes into being, well then, I’m happy. Particularly if it’s being able to fly a broomstick – I’ve never been able to master that.