Sunday, January 3, 2010

The most difficult month of the year?

January, in my opinion, is the most difficult month of the year. It starts off nicely with New Year’s Day and the Tournament of Roses Parade (and a smattering of bowl games, if you’re into that). After that, though, January is one tough group of thirty-one days to endure.

Its other major holiday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, is not exactly one of fun and frolic. The worst of winter usually crashes down on us in January; even in temperate climates such as California, gray and rainy days are more likely. You have to wait patiently for Valentine’s Day (unless you’re a retail store). Catalogs mock you with their spring fashion issues. In other words, you want to go to bed and not wake up until February 1.

Well, January doesn’t have to be that bad if you use your imagination. It’s the start of a new year. Why not let January be the month where you try new things that will make you smile?

Such as…

1. A new exercise video. Since some of you are using this month to start new health resolutions, why not try a workout that burns boredom as well as calories – such as Hemalayaa's Bollywood fitness series, Zumba Fitness, Soul Sweat Dance, and Nia.
2. New foods. Think about all those old Bon Appetit magazines you’ve saved, or the manila envelope of printed recipes that’s tucked between the cookbooks in your kitchen. Justify your saving those and actually try a new recipe. It’s good to stay home with some good food on a January night.
3. New movies. The films that are most likely to be nominated for Oscars this month will probably still be playing at the cinema. If you aren’t interested or have already caught them during the holidays, amp up your Netflix renting (take full advantage of not having to go out to rent movies!)
4. New books. The trees of January are barren, but the bookstores of January are ripe with new fruit. This Tuesday (January 5), I look forward to buying the new memoir Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote the megaseller Eat, Pray, Love. Even a year later, I still consider myself a newlywed, and I think I can learn something from Committed. (FYI, I bought Eat, Pray, Love for fifty cents at a library bookstore, so I owe Ms. Gilbert a new book purchase!)

Fill your January with joy, and it will seem to go by pretty quickly. Oh, and don't stare too long at those leaveless trees!

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