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Verity emerged from the festive period to news of North Korea
Verity emerged from the festive period to news of North Korea
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I seem to become disconnected to the outside world over Christmas, which includes things like watching the news and hearing about what is going on in the world.

I seem to emerge in January like a mole from a hole, blinking into the stark light of reality and the need to focus again.

Despite being someone who usually extols the importance of watching and reading the news, this occasional break is refreshing.

Having been swamped in Christmas television, no One Show, and less regular news programmes, only goes to make me feel even less in touch with what is afoot globally.

Despite being someone who usually extols the importance of watching and reading the news, this occasional break is refreshing.

Especially when the first piece of news I caught up with was linked to North Korea and its leader.

KICKING BACK IS GREAT, BUT ROUTINE IS GOOD FOR US

It is clear that over the Christmas period the need for routine becomes more apparent than ever.

In many ways we all need a break from routine every so often.

A change is as good as a rest, and all that.

It’s lovely to see your kids’ excitement when they break-up from school – I don’t care what anyone says about school holidays, kids need them.

When you figure in wrap-around care and consider that many young children are in school from 7.30am to 6pm these days, you cannot argue that they don’t need a break.

Hopefully that involves much outdoor time and a healthy ratio of screens to socialisation and play.

The lack of routine at Christmas, that time of year when we all find ourselves muttering ‘what day is it anyway?’ comes as a relief at first.

It mixes up everyday life and gives us a chance to kick back.

But, although getting back into work routine is hard in January, it can also come with a welcome sense of control and calm.

Kids in particular begin to show little signs that they are ready to go back to school.

Ready to get back to boundaries and bedtimes and meals that consist of more than leftovers. However, the same can be said of adults.

It’s always a little sad taking the decorations down and de-Christmassing.

After all, when you’re putting them up it’s a chance to let light into our homes, as our Pagan ancestors did, in keeping with the midwinter traditions that pre-date Christianity.

Taking them down coincides instead with a gloomy January and a drab February. But, there is also something therapeutic about it.

The house is cleaner, emptier, less cluttered, and so are our minds.

We may be making resolutions and thinking of new starts, and feeling back in control of our lives and our routines, and if we’ve had a tough year, it can be mentally cathartic to wave it goodbye.

Much as I’ll be sad to see my girls return to school next week, I’ll also welcome the return to routine.

SURELY I SHOULD’VE BEEN TOLD WHAT WAS WRONG WITH ME?

This time last year I took up running again, a favourite activity of mine, after I stopped due to suffering the beginnings of a stress fracture a few years ago.

I didn’t know about the stress fracture at the time, despite having an MRI, and was told by a consultant that it didn’t show anything.

It was only after having some physio recently that the therapist accessed my records and told me.

The MRI had been reviewed by a radiologist eight weeks after my consultant appointment and they had spotted the start of the stress fracture – which rather explained the high amount of pain I had been living with – but not why nobody thought of contacting and telling me.