A apology to long-suffering January

Image by Ruth Sanderson

Image by Ruth Sanderson

Ahh, January. Look at you. You’re so fresh and sweet. Unspoiled, innocent. Your rosy complexion and bright eyes shine out over all us hobbyist sinners, with our multitude of minor transgressions, and we cling to you, desperately, with best intentions as the clock ticks over to the new year and we down the last of our champagne. “Please help us,” we cry. “We have lost our way.”

“We’re fat.”

“We don’t budget.”

“We never send thank-you cards.”

“We haven’t used the gym membership for which we shell out $60 every month.”

“We don’t call our loved ones nearly enough.”

“And did we mention we’re fat?”

And January, you look benevolently at us with an optimistic smile and a “you can do it” pep talk. Your freshness seduces us and we believe you. We believe we can do it.

And for a while, maybe a few days, maybe a few weeks, we do. Oh, we are champions. Some of us even make it, and, as you pass us over to your BFF February, there’s pride and maybe a little stunned surprise in your eyes.

But usually, before we’ve even finished our time with you, something happens. We falter. We flounder. We fail. And you, poor January, you sigh and wince and shrug your shoulders in defeat once again as we careen, dripping with good intentions, into the brick wall of old habits. You tried, you really did. It isn’t you. It’s us.

And I’m here as an ambassador for all us hobbyist sinners to say, simply, that we’re really sorry. You’re so lovely and unsullied. You deserve better.

The thing is, January, I wish I could tell you it would stop. I can’t. I wish I could tell you that, just once, March or August or would bear the brunt of all these prematurely abandoned dreams. They won’t. It falls to you to cheer for us yet again, as we stumble through the marshes of our weakness toward our elusive greatness.

Thanks, January, for always being there. This year I hope I’ll make you proud.

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