At the beginning of January I was chatting with friends about New Year resolutions, and the usual bunch of self-improvement plans popped up: to drink less alcohol, to improve fitness, to spend more time with family and, (delighted to see this one in the list), to put real effort into shopping locally. Yay!

Perhaps more unusually, one friend declared a determination ‘to be more tolerant’, bravely admitting to having a growing lack of patience with others.

Thinking about it, we all seem more generally ‘annoyed’ with each other. It’s hard to pin down specific examples, but we seem a bit less friendly when there’s more than one person in front of us in a queue, a little less willing to let other cars out at a junction, and certainly very quick to judge when commenting on Facebook posts. Perhaps it’s understandable with stress levels and anxiety desperately high for so many of us at the moment, but it’s sad to see this subtle negativity growing, when right now we all need as many positives as we can find.

I suspect though that this apparent lack of tolerance is just superficial, and the welcoming Heatons ‘vibe’ that made me choose this lovely place as my home is still as strong as ever. It can be hard to muster patience and tolerance towards others if you are feeling burdened yourself, but small gestures of friendliness can be calming and can help to reduce your own anxiety. We all have bad days, and some of us are having an extra tough time of things at the moment, but a little kindness towards each other can only be a good thing. So do your best to stick to the New Year resolutions you’ve set (especially any ‘shop local’ ones of course!), but also, next time someone is taking forever in the queue ahead of you, rather than letting it make you angry, take a deep breath and smile at the individual holding you up. You’ll both feel better for it.

Best wishes for 2023 from Melissa and the whole of the team at MOOR.

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