We all think about turning over a new leaf in the new year, unless we’re jaded by the whole concept, having tried it for decades without success.
I always visualise this idiom as turning over the leaf of a plant without realising that it doesn’t actually make sense. I mean why would you, unless it was to check for bugs?
A quick search reveals the saying actually originates from the 16th century when people referred to pages in a book as ‘leaves’. But of course! When they turned the page or leaf, the next page was blank, or at least contained something new to the reader such as a fresh lesson.
Over the past few days, newspapers have been full of dire warnings about what we can expect from 2017. The blight of Brexit; the decade of disruption; the misery for millions – not least in the Middle East – and Trump trumping the lot.
Being positive can be a struggle but it’s an art that improves with practice. Some things we can control; others we can’t.
For some years, I’ve been trying to cultivate the art of disobedience – not doing as I’m told to do by corporate giants and mainstream advertisers but striking out an alternative path. Think lifestyle choices such as cutting down on consumerism – if people say they don’t want gifts, that’s what they mean; using public spaces and places so they are not lost forever, and seeking out new eating and meeting venues and ‘off the beaten track’ experiences. And finally, a sure-fire way to lift the spirits is to decorate the house in brighter colours instead of 50 shades of grey.
In 2017, why not turn over that metaphorical new leaf and seek out some of the offbeat and unfamiliar places in Suffolk? Best of all, get gardening however small your space. Plants are great pacifiers. And ideal if you’re on a shoestring which most of us are likely to be if predictions for the next decade are anything to go by.
Happy New Year!