January, I Hate You

January is a depressing month. It represents endings and beginings. Hope and regret…

For many, January means the end of the holidays and time off from work to spend with friends and family. Even if you are not a fan of the holidays, the time off is certainly appealing. Then again, maybe you are working for a company that ‘enjoys’ its busy time during the holidays so you have to work more.

For me, the holidays are time of relaxation and rejuvination. Honestly, it’s more about Autumn and the end of the year that does it for me. I have traditionally saved my days off to be used at this time. I’m not a big fan of summer’s putrid heat and humidity or the dead cold of January/February. So the end of the year is a wonderful time for me.

But with ups come the inevitable downs. Yes, January comes around and with it a return to work and several months before the next day off. It’s depressing even if you like your job.

January represents beginings too. Of course whatever promise the new year has begins in January. Take a moment to browse your Facebook wall and see your friends’ sentiments about the previous year or the year to come. No doubt you will have a mixed bag there.

January begins with a lot of pressure. Often we make promises or resolutions. These good intentioned plans add pressure to our lives. We are going to eat better, get a better job, stop drinking, get a new house, move, stop smoking crack, start exercising, get a checkup… well you get the idea. But we are also going to need to keep up with the rest of our daily lives while juggling these new ideas.

January overloads the brain with what’s coming. But it also somehow lets us flush the previous year. We have a new begining. Though the realist in me knows that most of 2015’s problems didn’t expire with that mystical 1/1 date change. They still persist but we like to trick ourselves into believing the new begining hype.

Then there is regret. What didn’t you finish last year? What broke? What plans came to nothing? Are you just another year older, another year unhealthier, another year alone, another year further from God or another year in debt?

Truly there is nothing new under the sun. I won’t quote any more from Ecclesiastes, but that whole book is how I feel in January. In fact, rather than reading this disjointed, puked out blog post, go read Ecclesiastes in its entirety. Solomon, the richest and wisest man, discovered that all is meaningless except one thing. Fear God and keep His commandments. This is the duty of all mankind.

For me, January life is about discipline. It is about choosing to put one foot in front of the other and move forward, even when I lack the will to get out of bed in the morning. January is about doing what I am responsible to do and trusting that God will help me to walk.  It’s about putting aside my dreams and taking up the reality of life and its responsibilities that I find myself tethered to.

As I sit here writing this, I am flooded with all of the other thoughts that I want to discuss here. But those can be for other blog posts when they simmer down into something rational in my head. I do hope that you are coping or even excelling in this new year. What do I know… maybe it will all work out…