Bye January, hello February!

It’s the end of the long month of January. The darkest, coldest and most depressing month of the year, we are told. I didn’t go vegan, I wasn’t dry, but I increased exercise from twice to three times a week. Some rules were relaxed, not that they were especially stringent before.

However, it’s been one month in a very long year. One hopefully never to be repeated. I cannot quite decide whether the past 12 months have been seemed endless, or if they have flown. The idea of a year of COVID-19 lockdown and its associated impacts is mind blowing. But it has been an experience to learn from. The passing of each day, week or month offers reflection time and an opportunity to plan.

The last day of January 2021, for me, was one of those days when motivation was low. A see-saw of emotions. I’d look in the mirror and think I needed to shave, trim my hair, wash. Whilst at the same time deciding I couldn’t be bothered to do any of that. A cycle of conflicting and mixed feelings. Thank goodness it was a Sunday. But with little that had to be done, it might’ve been better to be a distracting and task focused weekday.

To help, and deploying a well-used and effective strategy, I declared that I was “having one of those days”. I wasn’t going to fight it. Instead, I was going with it. Because it would pass. And anyway, I said I’ve only had half a dozen of such days all year, and given the circumstances that isn’t at all bad. My husband replied he thought it was a few more than six. I disputed that and conceded it was no more than 10. The strategy out of this mood was agreed. Ride with the ebb and flow. Dig deep and go for a bracing country walk within acceptable distance from the house.

It was a tough ask and if I could’ve wrapped myself in a duvet and walked through the fields and country lanes, I would’ve. As a substitute, I commandeered a coat with a huge hood, popped on a woolly hat and scarf. Thinking about it, I adopted a grumpy teenager-like demeanour and sat in the passenger seat whilst we went searching for a suitable local spot. Driving through the villages and country roads, I tutted at the fly-tipping, uttering missives about local government policy and the like.

Gradually, the mood lightened. Because like all endings there are beginnings. The end of January is better known as February. And for me, this is a much better time to plan the year ahead. Once the ‘hangover’ of the Christmas and New Year holidays has passed. February is lighter and brighter. Winter is far from over, but there are signs of a spring to come. There are snowdrops and daffodils peeping out of the cold soil. Bird song seems to get louder. The days are noticeably longer. That all gives grounds for optimism.

Today? At my desk at home, listing like a champ. Talking about and planning for exciting things ahead. Still need to sort my beard and hair out though.

Photo by Simon Berger on

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