Life has been tough of late, of that there is no question, but out of adversity comes strength, belief and a resolve to journey on. So, in the spirit of optimism, here are a few thoughts to keep you motivated, and despite everything, help you to find delight in the small stuff...
Third Time Lucky
As we enter the third week of the third lockdown we have to hope that it's a case of third time lucky. An expression born out of folklore, and fairytales, and bought to literature by Durham-born Elizabeth Barrett Browning (‘the luck of the third adventure is proverbial’), there are various explanations for the number three being lucky, from the Holy Trinity to the mere optimism of humankind. One thing for sure is that, if at first you don't succeed try, try again.
It may be dark right now, but each day a few minutes of daylight (two minutes and seven seconds to be precise) are added, and we’ve just passed the whole extra hour mark post the darkest day on December 21st. In the coming months spring in all her beauty and positivity will have been and gone, so let's hope for warm breezes and some sunshine to lift the spirits.
The importance of supporting local businesses (ideally of the smaller variety) has always been close to our hearts, mirroring our own corporate constitution. Continuing to support these businesses going forward is crucial. As always,we look forward to showcasing as many as we can in the pages of Living North, on our website and across our social media, so please keep reading... thank you.
No one can deny the beauty of spring, with Wordsworth's dancing daffodils bobbing their heads and lambs gambolling (that's leaping merrily as opposed to taking a punt), it's a time that spirits can start to soar as winter passes. This year will surely be more magical than any for a generation, with the promise of better days ahead.
I'm not sure if clapping for heroes is going to get quite the same attention as the first time around, as we clapped for carers. I think we should stay focused on the carers (define that as you wish) but never has the work of the NHS been so spectacular, so if you're medical in any shape or form... thank you so much. Community is about more than mere applause though, and if the stats are true it appears we are talking to each other more and generally behaving in a more neighbourly way,so let's keep it up as times improve. Why on earth wouldn't we?
They say you learn something new every day (‘they’ actually being Ralph Waldo Emerson). Ralph was actually talking about knowledge in general terms at the time and I think wecan all agree learning has never been more significant. So let's get learning. We know there would be little academic enhancement without teachers, so we raise a glass to the teachers who have played a blinder in the pandemic. Take a bow students who havehad exams cancelled, lectures reduced and a generally bad time of it all. You have been unlucky that is for sure, but hopefully that will inspire you more and the Class of Covid will turn out to be an impressive one.
They said it was impossible, or unlikely at best, but the best medical minds have performed in laboratories across the country (and the world), as have the regulatory bodies. What has been achieved is amazing, and quite literally life-changing for all of us.
Time To Do Those Jobs You Didn't Do
Closer to home, we have another chance to finish those little jobs off. Replacing the light bulbs, painting that wall, organising the garage/shed/attic –you know, the ones you keep putting off. Do them today –the sense of achievement, however small the challenge, will be worth it.
The Bucket List
Around the world nations are suffering, some more so than others, but there will be opportunity again to escape, and adventures to be had. So what better time to do some dreaming and create your own bucket list? It doesn’t matter if it’s a week in Spain, a month on a cruise ship, a visit to the Italian, or Cumbrian, lakes, or a round-the-world trip. Don’t forget there are some wonderful places to visit on your doorstep too... so start making that list.
This is a tough time of year for our feathered friends so spare a thought for them and put out some food. They will reward you with their cheerful birdsong at a bleak time of year.
Sporting Chance and Culture Calling
The biggest miss for many during lockdown has been favourite sports, whether supporting or playing. Culture too has been terribly hit, from cinemas and theatres to galleries and stately homes, their safe reopening can’t come soon enough. If you can show support by booking advanced tickets forevents later in the year, then you might just be contributing to their survival.
It might be a little trickier to enjoy some of the thrills andspills of winter as snowarrives (and we are not allowed to venture far for sledging), but there are all sorts of ways you can still savour it –whether that’s curling upwith a decent book, watching your favourite film, or just delighting in the scenery knowing that, for once, you don’t have to do thatwretched commute or school run. Life is sohard just now, but there isalways a positive to find if you look hard enough.
It’s so easy to take the smallest things in life for granted, and who could have imagined a year ago the turmoil we were about to endure. In this time we’ve witnessed some remarkable people and achievements. Living North looks forward to celebrating these people and places in the future, but we will never forget just how important it is to appreciate the basics too. So enjoy the last days of winter with sense, care and thought.Spring is on its way and life should (hopefully) be a little better.