January is for…


Happy new year! Wooohoo! I hope you had a lovely Christmas are excited about the year ahead.

If you follow koko on Twitter you might have seen that I broke down recently on the motorway on my way home from Manchester.

I was just driving along, and then all of a sudden my car started beeping really loudly and the engine quickly began to overheat. I had to pull over on the hard shoulder in the dark with all these enormous lorries racing past.

Oh. My. Gosh girls. I sobbed so hard down the phone to the breakdown people.

When they turned up to save me, they said my fan belt had come off and flown down the M1… argh!

Needless to say, I was pretty upset and frustrated that I was stuck two and a half hours away from home. But the lovely breakdown people eventually took me to an airport where I was given a hire car and finally began my journey home to Essex. As I drove, feeling desperately tired and worried about how much my poorly car was going to cost to fix, a song came on the radio that went something like this…

‘Nothing but clouds, it’s dark in my heart, it feels like a cold night. I almost gave up but I smile, even though it hurts, I smile.’

I was hanging on every word of the song, it made so much sense to me in that moment. It had been such a long night, standing in the dark and the freezing cold and I just felt miserable. But to be honest, I was so frustrated with this stupid journey that I didn’t WANT to smile, I didn’t WANT it to cheer me up, I sort of wanted to wallow in my frustration. I felt like I had a very good reason to be annoyed, this four hour journey had turned into a nine hour one! But this song was so amazingly infectious and positive that before long I chose to give in to the music and found myself sitting at the wheel smiling from ear to ear.

I chose to smile even though deep down I was tired and emotional and, you know what, it made me feel so much happier.

Journeying in 2015
We’ve talked about journeying before in June, but seeing as it’s the first day of the year, I thought we should have a little recap. We don’t know what this year ahead holds, but there will be good days and there no doubt will be hard days. What I really want to encourage you to do is make a choice; choose to smile when days are tough, frustrating or upsetting. By that I don’t mean being fake and hiding how you’re really feeling behind a smile, it’s always good to be honest with those around you and share what you’re going through.

It’s about making a choice to have a positive attitude and look for the good in all things rather than keeping yourself held in that negative and miserable mindset. Smiling when days are hard is no easy task, I find it difficult but with practise and perseverance, bit by bit it can become natural to look for the best in every situation.

Each of our journeys are different but in 2015 let’s journey alongside each other, helping each other to keep going when days are difficult. Perhaps there’s a particular friend or family member you know who is struggling – can you make a decision to be their support and cheerleader this year?

I want you to know that you can be that person who chooses to focus on the positives and helps others to do the same.


P.s Here’s the song I heard on the radio, it’s called I smile by a guy called Kirk Franklin, enjoy!

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