“January, month of empty pockets! let us endure this evil month, anxious as a theatrical producer’s forehead.” ~ Sidonie Gabrielle Colette
We’re in the middle of January. If not the, one of the most hated months of the year. Two ladies in the food store reminded me of this a few days ago when I overheard them speaking about how much they hated January because of all the money spent during the holidays and they’re having to cut corners paying out bills this month. It’s the month after the Holiday where most of us went crazy with the decorations, shopping and spending just about every dime we could get our hands on. Ever since I can remember January has always been referred to as the longest month of the year because it was such a ‘dry month,’ dry as in, it’s the month people sulk around waiting for pay day to recoup some of their finances from the beating it took during the storm called Christmas.
Bottom line, January it not a happy month for most people.
I grew up with that conditioning, watching my parents and grandparent tightened their purse strings as if the month of January would bring on something so financially catastrophic that we’d all end up in the poor house by the end of the month. I don’t think anyone smiled until East rolled around because then they would’ve had a few months to feel financially secure. Happiness should not be reserved to a week, day or month. Sure your finances may be running on fumes but it’s not the end of the world, life goes on.
The art of happiness is not out of the reach of any of us, happiness happens by choice, if you’re interested in real happiness you should be just as happy in January as you were in December despite your financial standing.
Create meaning- Give value to your daily actions by aligning them with your goals. If you’re busy doing something worthwhile to you, whether it’s January, February, March or April………..You’ll be in the swing of things and January won’t seem like such a dry month. This also helps to keep you focused on the present, not last month or next month.
Set aside regret- When my kids were younger I may have gone over budget once or twice to give them a most memorable Christmas. But I never regretted it because wonderful memories were created. If you don’t want to have regrets in January, start planning this year’s holiday now, plan menus a month or so ahead of time make sure you’re not buying too much or a lot of unnecessary things, you won’t use, purchase gifts throughout the year, hiding somewhere they’re not likely to be discovered, instead of waiting last minute and spending big. Last but not least, set aside money each month to cover what it is you would like to do by year’s end and Christmas would be a joyous memory and not one of regrets.
Be progressive- I always view myself as work in progress. People who see themselves as works in progress are always seeking to better themselves thus imposing a sense of happiness in their lives. The beginning of the year is a perfect time to sign up for a personal development course, join a volunteer group or start a new project.
Start the New Year off right, by creating meaning in your life, living with not regrets and being progressive in nature.
~ Happy Monday
©Etta D Richards