This week Gaynor Johnson, avid reader, photographer, mother of two and all round lovely person, shares her first ‘Boxing Day’ with us and explains why she’s renamed it.
Before my very first ‘Boxing Day’ I spent almost the entire week madly trying to ‘NOT plan – AT ALL!’ what was going to happen on my ‘day off’!
I’m a pretty disorganised individual at heart, but a DAY OFF?!!! CRIKEY! UNHEARD of!… My brain flew into ‘let’s fill it up’ overdrive as soon as I wrote it in my diary (yes, I now have a diary – filled to the brim with absolutely everything and yes, bizarrely enough this is already making me MUCH happier – and my friends too as I’ve already remembered 3 birthdays I would ordinarily have forgotten!).
So there I am, in the lead up to my first Boxing Day (reading ‘How to do everything and be happy’ from cover to cover for the 3rd time – thanks Peter – I’m feeling empowered and pretty much ready to take on the world – in a good way of course!) and I suddenly realise I need to take yet another piece of Peter’s advice because ‘Boxing Day’ wasn’t filling me with joy… I’ll rename it – to something that fills me with excitement, or makes me jump about a bit… I know – HSJ Day… (well, it rhymes which has always pleased me in a twee kind of way…) and it stands for ‘Hop, Skip, Jump Day’ which I think fits quite well with the general idea – after all that’s what I’m aiming for! Now – try my hardest to not even think of what MAY happen on Saturday (my booked HSJ Day)…
Saturday – no alarm clock but I woke up earlier than I had in a long time. I went to have my usual breakfast and decided I wanted something different, so I cooked a beautiful breakfast – eggs, bacon…yum, just for me and ate it while I figured out what I WANTED to do.
Dug out my new/old OS map (which I’ve been meaning to get dirty since I bought it a few years back) and found places I wanted to go, for no reason at all except utter nosiness so I decided to use one of these as the starting point for a lovely walk to somewhere I’d never been before. As I walked the footpath through the field by the side of the road (you know the one you always look at as you drive past in a rush and think – I’ll go there one day when I’ve got more time… the one I wrote on my ‘now’ list all those weeks ago…) I thought about why I was here, in a field, on my own, with my camera and a map (I AM a photographer – please refer to ‘GOALS’) and probably looking a bit silly… but I don’t think the sheep were bothered – I realised that this, for me, was absolute heaven… and if I could leap into the air (I can’t – I’m a bit too heavy these days, with dodgy ankles!) I probably would… but there was nothing stopping me doing my HSJ – after all I’d booked a day just to do it… so, walking boots and backpack included (and please excuse me for the picture I’m about to conjure up…) there’s me – hopping, skipping and jumping through a fairly muddy field, watched by sheep, as the sun came out and the buzzards flew overhead…bliss! Think ‘Dorothy’ in the Wizard of Oz (‘We’re off to see…!) yep, now you’ve pictured it – except I’m a fair bit heavier and so are my boots…! And did I mention my dodgy ankles? Yup – I think, after that little display it’s time for another name change… so my ‘Boxing Day’ which became HSJ Day, changed to WaHAY Day!!! and it still is… very much a WaHAY Day, and after getting lost a few fields later on (no road signs here!), eating my beautiful sticky toffee cream bun (did I mention I like cake – that’s probably why I’m a bit heavy with dodgy ankles!), and walking till my legs ached, I went home feeling as if I’d sat on a beach for a week (even though I never have, but that’s on my ‘now list’ too!).
I can’t wait until my next WaHAY Day (it’s already in my diary but I’m trying not to plan that far ahead as it’s so much fun when you don’t) and I now know a man who knows a thing or two about How to do everything – and be happy. Peter Jones – you’ve made me realise what a wonderful place to be my life is… thank you