Sunday, January 17, 2016

Happy New Year and "The January Problem"

Happy New Year indeed! Welcome to my first post of 2016. I hope your holiday season was happy and healthy. I enjoyed some time off the last week of December, and spent the past two weeks getting back into full swing at work and in family duties.

Which leads me into my discussion of what I call "The January Problem."

From Thanksgiving at the end of November all through December and January 1st, most of us have the holiday season at the forefront of our lives. Our houses and workplaces are fully decorated, there is wall to wall Christmas music on multiple radio stations and in every department store. Christmas specials are plastered on every TV channel, and we spend every moment of free time either attending holiday events or shopping for gifts. At the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, we cheer the new year into our lives, rest on New Year's Day with family, and then, after almost six weeks of all this...we go back to our lives almost like nothing happened, like the holidays were just a dream.

Sucks, doesn't it?

Adjusting to life after the holidays has felt like a surreal experience the last 15 years. There's such a contrast between December and January, and as I get older, it's become harder and harder to make the transition--I don't know why. February is a bit easier, as we have Valentine's Day and Presidents' Day, March has St. Patrick's Day, then spring comes along and brings us milder weather to enjoy. But January? Eh. It's cold and has no fun events to look forward to. Hence, the January Problem.

So, what to do? What's the hook that can give January some sense of hope, of meaning?

The best solution I've come up with is the idea that January is the start of the new year. With it brings new beginnings, a cleaning of the slate, a chance to correct that which we did wrong in years' past and embrace the many opportunities to be different, to be better. With the right mindset, that can be exciting, invigorating. Yes, that's a solution to the January Problem. A chance to be the people we really want to be!

I wish for you this new year to be the person you want to be, to live the life you want to live. If I'm not too forward, I hope you will wish me the same in return.


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