It’s been a hell of a year, for you and me both I’m sure. That can only mean one thing. It’s time for another “If We Were Having Coffee” – but mulled wine, because I love everything about Christmas and HELLO SANTA.
Side note – have you tried spiced cherry mulled wine? I tried it for the first time at a Christmas market in Paris last year, and it blew my socks off.
If we were having mulled wine, I’d tell you how good it is to see you again.
Turns out I’m still awful at planning get-togethers and setting a date and time. But I have your Christmas present to make up for it! No matter how much you insist that I don’t need to get you something, I’ll probably still have something for you. Because I love presents, and I’m a soppy little turtle beneath that tough outer shell.
If we were having mulled wine, I’d tell you all about my university research project.
And how I can’t believe I pulled it off. Before I started work on it, it was this looming mountain of a task in my head, not dissimilar to the kind you see in animated films where shadows engulf the scenery just before a villain appears. In a nutshell, I didn’t know where to start, or how to start. I had ideas, sure. But refining them down to a realistic testing plan that could be carried out – I would never have been able to do it without the help of my supervisors and professor. It was worth all the 7am starts where I’d be the first one in the lab and the last to leave. I’d probably tell you that this research project is worth so much of my degree, and I have to do well at it. I just have to. And you know what I’m like when I put my mind to something.
Psst… I’m stubborn.
If we were having mulled wine, I’d tell you how much I loved my landlady’s dogs.
Coming home to them every day was quite honestly the highlight of my day. They would always greet me at the door, tails wagging, making their happy noises at me. I’m a huge animal lover, and these dogs became my best friends. When my testing in the lab wasn’t going too well, I’d plonk myself down on the sofa to watch Masterchef to unwind, and one of them would always come to me for a snuggle in my lap. That little bugger always gave me the warm fuzzies and it was like the day’s troubles had never existed. The day I moved out, he wouldn’t leave me alone and took every opportunity he could to sit on my feet.
If we were having mulled wine, I’d tell you that I got slapped in the face with plenty of life lessons this year.
I’ve always believed that life is short and we should be making the most of the time we have. Events this year made the fragility of human life all the more apparent, but there was something else that I did not anticipate. I didn’t expect the fragility of human relationships to hit me so hard. (Oxymoron, anyone?) The realisation of just how delicate they can be – that got me. And I don’t mean this in a cynical “everyone only looks out for themselves” way. I’m talking about how the dynamics between two people can be so dramatically affected by a major life change, a loss of someone near and dear in particular. Accusations thrown around, projecting personal guilt on the nearest target available, shutting down in self defence – it escalates real fast if neither party makes an effort to work on it. And that’s the magic key that unlocks the next level – working on it. Working together to create that silver lining on a cloud that we want nothing more than to forget.
I’m fine, I promise.
If we were having mulled wine, I’d tell you that I did things that I’m so proud of this year.
I got the pre-registration placement of my dreams and I’m all set to qualify as a pharmacist after I graduate. I learned to make bread from scratch. My partner and I made a hell of a Christmas cake and we get to eat it. I got to work with Schwartz on a paid blog post. I still can’t believe they wanted to work with little ol’ me and my little ol’ blog. Psst… you can check it out here.
If we were having mulled wine, I’d tell you that people can be amazing.
I’m a private little hermit, and I can be harsh on people – mostly because I’m harsher on myself. But you probably already know that, and yet you’re still here, so here we are. People can surprise you, and I was surprised with how kind and generous people can be in offering their help when I needed it. I found myself truly vulnerable and needing support – a situation I tend to avoid at all costs. People can be so giving and unconditional with their love, with no other agenda other than wanting to be there for you. If I can give you one thing to take with you into the new year, let it be this. Allow people to help you. Let them in, and they might just very pleasantly surprise you.
And on that note, I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas with lots of belly laughs, good food and cosy naps. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a restful break and get to spend quality time with the people you love. Go have a mulled wine with a friend and catch up. I’m going to top mine up now – I’ve discovered a chocolate-flavoured red wine and it’s the bomb dot com. No, really. It’s a flavour explosion in my mouth and I’m all for it. Until next time.
Disclaimer: All images used in this post were obtained from Pixabay and edited on Canva for thenellybean.