I can’t believe it’s September 24th already…where has the year gone? It’s true that the years pass faster as you grow older. Each one goes by more quickly than the last. Soon it will be Halloween, then Bonfire Night, then Christmas…and then the carousel of months begins its spin all over again, the calliope music a little more hectic, the view from the horses a little more blurred.
It’s cold this morning and raining, the sky a heavy, sulky grey. The rain is persistent – it’s like it’s arguing with the pavement, it wants the last word – and I’m chilled right down to my bones. And yet it’s still my favourite time of year - this cold, wet creep towards Christmas with its fairylights and hot spiced cider, its glittering trees and turkeys, its presents wrapped in paper the colour of stars.
I know it’s not for another couple of months (ninety-one days if you want to be exact!) but just the thought of Christmas makes me feel warm and giddy. Not least because this is the first time since I was fifteen that I haven’t started panicking weeks in advance about the surfeit of calories – the cakes! The wine! The cream! – and am simply looking forward to the season itself.
I’ve said this before: sometimes it’s easy to forget how far you’ve come. Taking the time to think about where (and how) you were this time last week, last month, last year has a way of putting things into perspective. This time last year, for example, I was in a job I hated, under intense pressure to perform. I was barely eating or sleeping, caught every cold or virus doing the rounds and felt ill and exhausted all the time. Pretty much all I wrote about in my diary was my eating disorder, and how miserable I was, and how I didn’t think I could ever get better.
I’d have argued otherwise at the time, but looking back…how small my life was then, how dull.
What a difference a year makes.