Shedding the January Blues

January is a strange month for me.  December brings longer nights and holiday nuttiness, but January turns my brain to mush.  It feels harder to think, tougher to focus, and moodier emotions upon hitting the snooze on my alarm clock.  If I didn’t have the running clinic, I would happily eat, sleep, work, come home, watch Netflix then put it on repeat.  Just describing the fog scores a victory in itself.  If I can name it, I own it, and only then can anything happens.

This past winter I made sure to head out running, hence doing these clinics, and getting out to run club on Sundays.  The clinic I currently lead will be my last one.  I need to work on my running.  Most of all I have a habit to keep up next winter.

As for writing, I have a guest post on another blog to do.  I took a look at some drafts in my queue, deleting those drafts not going anywhere.  I also changed the look of this blog.  The new theme bills itself as better suited for blogs written my one writer.  Pilcrow was a fine theme, but WordPress has this community pool concept I plan to employ.

No special goals for the month of February except to simply write.  All this talk of goals, the theme of my clinic session this past Monday, made me look up the start of LentAsh Wednesday, the somber kick off, falls on Wednesday, February 13th this year.  I took one look at the date and nearly fell over laughing.

The most popular thing to give up on Lent, no matter the denomination, is chocolate.  Nothing like giving up the stuff the day before Valentine’s Day.  Heck, you might as well give up on sex if one has not done so already.  Ideally, giving up something during Lent demonstrates a willingness to sacrifice.  We go on a desert journey towards the crucifixion and the eventual resurrection of Jesus.  The reading for Ash Wednesday warns those to not practice their piety towards others.  In fact getting ashes on the forehead reminds us of our finite time on earth, to make us remember to love one another as Jesus asked in his ministry.  Let’s face it, for some people it turns into a contest with the winner having the ‘best’ thing to give up.  (People who gave up on TV or technology usually won bragging rights.)

A couple of years ago, I decided Lent will involve less typical giving up.  What I wanted to ‘give up’ involved more intangible things.  In my last e-mail I made a deal with my participants.  If they ease up on themselves, then I will ease up on myself.  The last part was an idea whose time had finally come.

Take this blog for example.  I didn’t write a few days, it turned into a week, then it turned into ‘oh my gosh!  People will think x,y, and z.’  Self-admonishment sapped a huge amount of energy.  I try to cultivate some honesty with myself, to move through life a bite more authentically.  I just found myself going overboard.  It’s now time to wrestle with this side a little more.  Lent’s desert motif looks like the perfect fit.  It’s not about magically stopping this aspect, it’s more about what I said earlier:

  • Name it
  • Own it
  • Now the work can begin

It does feel great to see the sun rise a little early and set a little later.  I work in a place with no windows.  I basically come to the college in the dark, leave work in the dark, and grab those subtle changes in seasons while I can. I swear the only light I get comes from my TV watching Netflix.  Even writing that last sentence made me grouchy. I have to remind myself summer days are coming, days that include temperatures over 30 degrees celsius with wicket humidexes.

This is Winnipeg after all.

One thought on “Shedding the January Blues

  1. Now that we have a February holiday, even if it is only one day to make a long weekend, it still breaks up the long stretch between New Year’s and Spring Break/Easter. Colleges, Universities and some high schools have a week-long break in February, but the majority of us don’t, so the up-coming Riel (or Family) Day will do much to help us shed those January blues, too. 🙂


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