I have always hated January. It’s always been my “passage of time” nemesis.
I mean, is January really part of the new year? Barely. BARELY. Things that happen in January don’t feel like they happened in the same year as things that, say, happen in April or September. When you’re reminded of a January event, you find yourself saying: “Oh, that was this year? Crazy.” We always say that. We always say exactly that.
Things that happen in January feel more like tail-end events that happened the previous year. Stuff December didn’t quite get to because of all the kid pageants and office parties and traveling. January ties up the loose ends of stuff you’d rather forget about. A siege at the end of a presidency, for instance.
January feels like it needs to be shoved a bit to get going. Perhaps that’s where my resentment stems from. I am nothing if not impatient.
Unlike this paragraph, January isn’t transitional. It’s a reset. A pause. It’s a moment we give ourselves time to take down our decorations and get a glimpse of what our home looks like sans seasonal decor. It’s very, very status quo-ey, January is.
And for those of you with January birthdays or anniversaries I mean no disrespect. In fact, I am so so grateful for you because you may be the only good thing about this month. You’re a rainbow sprinkle of: “Oh yay! I love you so much and I’m glad to be thinking of you right now!” in the midst of Bleak Vanilla. It’s very brave of you to have an important milestone marker in this month. I, myself, didn’t have that courage. I got married on December 31st.
January tricks you into thinking it’s something it’s not by making you confront being something you’re not. You usually feel amped the first couple of weeks in, what with all the Big Changes you’re going to make and all. But then you get to week three and suddenly you’re all cranky for no apparent reason (except for the fact that the Big Changes are sorta kinda always unreasonable and lame). And then once it’s February you’re happy again because you’ve traded the Big Changes idea for the more logical, helpful ones.
Maybe January would be better if we just started out with the logical, helpful changes instead of the Big.
Nahhh. I mean, yes logical, helpful changes are far and away better than the Big Ridiculous ones, but that realization would just improve us all as individuals, not the month of January as a whole.
I recognize it’s not fair to dislike January. At the end of the day, one month has to go first and January obviously drew the short straw. Or something like that. I don’t actually know the history of month ordering. Something to do with Aztecs, I reckon.
But, seriously, January is not doing itself any favors in likability. To start, IT IS SO FREAKING LONG. For some reason, it chose the longest of the “month day” options (31, 30, and 28/29, respectively). October at least earns it’s length by slapping down a sick holiday on day 31. July gives us one more day of summer fun. What does January have to offer with this extra day? Snow! Sometimes!
And, really, “Sometimes Snow” doesn’t even count because it’s not December anymore. As a snow lover, December snow is the ONLY snow. There. I said it. (Don’t @ me with “but I ski so I like it!” Okay cool – glad January is satisfying one of the wealthy-person leisure sports!)
On the other hand, February, with its beautiful 28 days, is great! We’re in, we’re out (and sometimes we get a surprise day! You never know with February! It’s such a rascal!)– and in that short time we get a three-day weekend, a day for love, and we get to celebrate Black History. BAM. Month perfection. Take a cue from Feb, Jan!
Oh yeah, also not helping January? The month’s name. It’s Jan. Jan! Jan was Karen before Karen became Karen youknowwhatIamsaying? Again, no disrespect if that is your name, (you are likely the best thing to happen to Jan and I am grateful for you!) it’s simply an aesthetics thing. The combination of J and A and N lends itself to a nasally, stinted verbal delivery that even the prettiest of orators cannot avoid. (“je-eyhh-nnn.”) Saying the name Jan out loud just makes you feel a certain way. Eve Plumb gets it.
As I write this, we are 26 days into this sucker and I am still trying to find a positive to this month. Not January 2021, mind you, but Jan Jan in gen gen. Inauguration Day was a wonderfully glorious moment in our history and should hold us over until we get the vaccine (which is right around the corner, right??????). I am on a more noble quest to find love for January every time it comes around – and not react how I usually do which is:
THERE HAS TO BE A WAY FOR ME TO LIKE JANUARY.
So, I’ve been taking inventory of times January has been pretty cool.
- A couples Januarys ago I went to Hawaii (honeymoon) and it was freaking awesome. But I can’t make January Hawaii month, can I? Wait… can I??? Fooey.
- Last January I started my job on The Tonight Show. New York New York baby. 30 Rock. Broadway shows. Bagels. That said, you only get to start a job on the Tonight Show once. And I have since left it and New York to begin work on another project so if anything that January just reminds me how much I miss a lot of the writers I worked with there. Also, because of covid I missed out on FIVE Broadway shows I had tickets for. FIVE.
- Oh hey, my nephew was born in January. And I got to be there! And I got to hold him when he was just a few hours old! That was cool. Maybe going forward I should just ask everyone to have their babies in January and then ask to be there so I can hold them. Would that be weird? Also would it lose its specialness? “Oh great another baby to hold.”
- Hmmm. BoJack’s second half of the final season premiered in January? That’s a truth if not a weird sentence and also stretch in terms of if that makes January cool or if January just got lucky.
- Ooo, there’s lots of birthdays of course. Friends. Cousins. My sister-in-law… High Five.
- That’s it. That’s all I got.
I dunno. Maybe January is just here to suck. Maybe the reason we have a January is so we can appreciate the other months more. It can’t always be holiday time. Or back-to-school. Or summer vaycay. Or pastel season. (You know the month.)
Maybe I just gotta let January *be* you know? Maybe I need to try to stop making it something it’s not, and just accept January as it is.
Oh my god, is January a metaphor for how we should treat ourselves with our New Year’s Resolutions?
Oh my god, is January a reminder that it’s okay to be boring once in a while? That in order to change it’s good to pause, to cleanse, to reset? That it’s never too late to tie loose ends and that no matter what you can always, always start again?
IS JANUARY THE UNDERDOG OF MONTHS?
Shit. It is, isn’t it? It has to be. Otherwise we’d be calling it Marcia-uary.
And dammit if I don’t love me an underdog.
- One L
“The days after Xmas and before 2021 feeling weird/melancholy/comatose/relieved.. like should I take a nap or take down the tree or just have a drink and order more vintage sweaters off Etsy?? I’m at a loss.” – January Jones