Jayne Dawson: Stop your sobbing '“ there are reasons to love January
Yeah, I know. You're miserable. You're moping about going: 'Blah, I'm fat; blah, it's cold; blah, I've got to do it all over again. Blah, blah, blah.'
But hold that blah. Yes, you are curvacious; yes, it’s invigoratingly bracing - finally; and yes, you have been granted another wonderful year (see what I’m doing here).
In short, It’s January. There. I’ve said it. January, January, January.
Makes you shudder, doesn’t it? But here’s the thing. January is not the monster month you think it is. Here are reasons to be thankful it is joyful January... okay, I know, pushing it a bit now.
It’s not December
Obvs. But hold on, have a think. Did you really enjoy December? Did you? I’m betting there was more than one time when the thought “I hate this month” was stamped large on your stressed little face.
I mean, I wouldn’t be without Christmas, it’s magical specifically because it’s a time when everyone is bumped out of their usual routine and forced to engage with the world in a different way.
The sight of men queuing at perfume counters with that blank look of incomprehension on their faces makes it the best time of year. And that’s before you factor in the dispensation to eat fat and sugar and drink alcohol in all its delicious guises.
But hands up who ended the month feeling ill, exhausted and a bit poisoned. Yep, that’s all of us then.
It’s not February
Oh my, how I hate all that Valentine stuff. The sales are over, the shops are in a post-festive slump, and then along comes this selling opportunity, all clothed in hearts and flowers. Yuk.
Listen to me. Listen to me good. Valentine’s Day is a transparently cynical ploy to part you from your cash. Love is made up of little, everyday actions, it’s not a bunch of red roses, a card with a cute bear on it or a box of chocolates from Tesco Express.
Unless you are in the courtship stage of a relationship, when I am willing to concede that the weight of society’s expectation will be too much to resist, ignore this stupid day with its fake romance.
This is the currently acceptable way to describe things that are “good for you”. So you are not eating diet food, or rabbit food, or boring, unsatisfying food, you are “eating clean”. And, truth be told, there is something rather satisfying about this. Cabbage and carrots have an allure after too many days that began with Christmas cake. And cheese.
You can stay in
Oh the bliss, the heavenly relief because, just between us, none of us really like going out, do we? Your at home, in your old sweatpants and your stained sweatshirt, and you are happy as a pig in clover. Then you remember that you have to brave the shower, strap yourself into respectable clothes and step into the world outside. And your little heart drops like a stone. Few of us who have left the teenage years behind really like leaving the sofa of an evening. And in January, you officially don’t have to.
It’s neat and tidy
In January, you can attack your cupboards with a glad heart. No one is going to accuse you of having “issues”, no one is going to tell you that your desire to have all the hangars in your wardrobe facing the same way is a sign that you are not coping with life.
This is the month when it’s okay to spend your Saturday morning gathering together all your bottle openers, nutcrackers and turkey basters into the one kitchen drawer and your Saturday afternoon throwing away any underwear that’s older than your adult chldren. You are not a neat freak, you are putting the quiet time of the year to good use.
Come on, open your eyes. It IS beautiful. January in Britain is nature with its amazing bone structure on show. Those skeletal trees, those low grey skies. The frou-frou has yet to arrive, this is immaculate minimalism. Enjoy.