I don’t like January.
I’ve tried really hard to like it. I like the idea of fresh starts, exciting challenges and “a new bikini ready body in just 30 days”, plus all the fireworks and champagne.
I admire the people who can sharpen their pencils, turn over to a new page and charge head first into the new with an optimism and determination that I cannot muster long term.
I like September for those kinds of goals, the start of the school year will forever be ingrained in me as the real fresh start. Mostly because I thought that one day I’d return to school prettier, popular and smarter than I left it in July, which never happened (I was just too oddly awkward for that) but a girl can dream. Plus autumn colours, leaves changing, the smell in the air and the still warm days of late summer.
Now I know I’m not alone, that many people openly admit to not liking January; it’s cold and it’s dark – nothing fun happens. Which is just the sort of underdog month I feel I should be able to get behind but I simply can’t throw my support that way.
I can feel myself tensing up as the month progresses, I get tetchy, unable to settle, everything feels a lot harder and I lose the ability to express myself. It’s like I’m living at a completely new altitude that I’ve not gotten used to yet. Or I want to behave completely recklessly, to be a selfish person, purely out for my own pleasure.
I start to fantasise about hibernating, burrowing away and pretending the world doesn’t exist. I shut myself down. I’m pretty sure the human equivalent is box-sets, a warm fire, thick curtains and endless mulled wine.
As you can imagine, I’m a complete joy to be around.
January can’t be about new starts for me because it will always finish with the spectre of the hardest ending – inevitably it will be about loss to me.
It’s tough this year because there’s a huge new project afoot, lots to do, to think about, to plan for. I’ve been so excited, and crazy scared and chomping at the bit – I’m finally changing up my life. I should be the perfect January New Start but all I feel is empty.
Yup, January, in this household, is to be endured.
Oh gosh, this is a sorry excuse for a blogpost. Apologies. I guess the reason behind it is to reach out to those of you who maybe feel the same, who can’t quite put their finger on it but don’t go crashing out the gates on Jan 1st, bright eyed and bushy tailed. Who look down out their to-do lists and sign not with satisfaction but with the enormity of it all.
What do we do because we can’t hibernate (that’s actually a question) can we hibernate? Well, what we do if we can’t put ourselves into stasis is; put one foot in front of the other until February and then March arrive, which if we’re lucky, they will always do.
We take pleasure in small joys like baths and books and hot, slightly stodgy food. We stretch our bodies out and remove some clutter from our houses and our minds. We eat the chocolate, if that’s what it takes. We watch movies and light candles, cook for friends. We make ourselves a warm drink, wrap a soft scarf about us and we march towards March. We are the endurers of January and we will be kind to ourselves because sure as sure can be, one day, we won’t feel like this, we will see the beauty in the world again and we will get our groove back. I almost said we will get our fight back but we are fighting, we are powering on through, despite January and the best news is, we will get to win.