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January Is...?

Advent is over, Christmas time has come and gone, and decorations have been taken down and put away for another year. The rooms that were brightly decorated now seem so bare and colorless. How do you feel about January? Is it just the worst month of the year, or one of the more fun months of the year? Some say that all we have to look forward to in January are cold, dreary days, dealing with the ups and downs of forecasted snowfall and nothing to do but stay home. Some say that January is the perfect time for staying home, catching up on reading, starting a new hobby and, for a few, it's perfect running weather. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NRSVUE) reminds me that "For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven."

January has enjoyable activities both inside and outside. Although it doesn't snow very often or snow very much, we do get opportunities to sled, have snowball fights and build snowmen. It is cold outside, but you can take a walk and not be bothered by the pesky bugs that seem to always seem to be around in warmer times. The poem by Robert Frost "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" describes a very peaceful scene of watching it snow. "The only other sound’s the sweep / Of easy wind and downy flake." Snow or no snow, there are fun outside activities in January.

Since the lawn doesn't need to be mowed or the garden to be weeded, there is free time to enjoy being inside enjoying activities like putting a jigsaw puzzle together or learning how to needlepoint or just reading. January is a time to invite a friend over and just stay home. If your new year's resolution is to exercise more, then January is the time to start training for the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, or just start walking to take off holiday pounds because it's not too hot outside. While looking on the internet for ideas, I found this quote by Dame Edith Sitwell (a British poet and critic of the early 1900s) that perfectly describes this kind of January “Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”

January can be either boring and fun-filled, it just depends on how you look at it. After the busy Christmas season, I look at January as a time to slow down and a time to focus on forgotten or neglected projects. "The woods are lovely, dark and deep / But I have promises to keep / And miles to go before I sleep / And miles to go before I sleep." and also, "For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven." I keep myself busy in January because January can be fun!

--Tina

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