January \\ A Theory (of sorts)…


January Misty Moody Beach scene January Misty Moody Beach Huts scene January Misty Moody Birds scene January Misty Moody Beach scene January Misty Moody Beach Detail

This post has been two years in the making. Starting with January, it’s a rambling theory I have developed on time, months, how the seasons pass, and how we (I) live & move within it all…

I first began the thought process two years ago as the new year was being rung in & everyone seemed to be making resolutions for bigger, better, faster, harder. I just felt tired.

In fact, not just tired but wrung out from the year before, culminating in the flurry of festive invites and attendances, and of course the to-ing & fro-ing between family over Christmas itself.

It occurred to me then, that whilst midwinter is technically in December, the month of January feels like the depths of it to me. There are no twinkly lights to brighten the dark nights, and it’s so often a misty moody month, particularly for those of us that flourish with the daylight.

Of course, there is a beauty in this, but it also felt the wrong time for me to be jumping on the bandwagon of promises made for the year to come, that I’ll most likely forget about until the following year, when I’ll chastise myself for not being good enough.

What then should I be doing? I wondered. Or more to the point, what did I want to be doing, and how was I feeling?

I randomly started a board on Pinterest, pinning images that reflected my mood. Low & behold, they were generally foggy, with a yearning for cosiness, outdoors, and sleep. Precisely where my mind was at.

In that first year, I continued curating a board for each month, and by the following January, I had noticed a pattern to my moods throughout the year. I began to think of the year ahead as a single day, with January being the hours of midnight until around 4am. A time for deep slumber & rest, when the night is darkest.

As soon as I thought about it like this, it made sense to me. I felt that instead of rushing headlong into a New Year, with whoops and shouts of all the things I would make bigger, brighter, better; it was instead OK to slow down. To take time to reflect on the past year, to curl in abit and nourish myself and my thoughts. To rest and ready myself for the coming day (year), and allow my mind some space to wander more slowly over what I would hope that day (year) might hold.

It may seem obvious to some, but in a world where we are increasingly ‘on’ and available at all times, it’s so easy to be distracted and to ignore our mind & body’s more natural rhythms. Rhythms which, interestingly, are also more in line with pagan tradition and celebrations, and the shifting of natural light. Somehow, thinking of the year ahead as a day didn’t seem so vast and yawning, and enabled me to  make sense of the times at which I was likely to be more naturally at my best, and those when I would need to be more aware of making time for self care amid the day-to-day.

Imagining then, February as a time of rousing and stretching in the early hours of 4am-8am, aligns too with the coming of Spring (Imbolc), and is a time when my mind’s wanderings become clearer & I begin to listen more carefully; fine tuning, and solidifying ideas.

I’ll go into each month throughout the year, but roughly speaking, my year/day theory looks a little like this:

March (with the Spring Equinox) becomes 8am-10am
April becomes 10am-12pm
May (with Beltane) becomes 12pm-1pm
June (with Midsummer Solstice) becomes 1pm-2pm
July becomes 2pm-3pm
August (with Lammas) becomes 3pm-4pm
September (with the Autumn Equinox) becomes 4pm-6pm
October (with Samhain) becomes 6pm-8pm
November becomes 8pm-10pm
December becomes 10pm-12pm

Perhaps my rambling is a little nuts, but all I know is that thinking in this way has helped me to embrace the tougher months, to not feel so overwhelmed, and to trust my intuition to build a rhythm more suited to my needs than swimming with a current that just felt so wrong to me.

What do you think? Does this resonate with you, or do you think it’s a load of old b*llocks?! I’d love to hear your thoughts x

Comments (8)

  1. Janice Issitt

    What a great post this is, I quickly switched from my phone to my laptop so I could respond. January can actually be very daunting, I feel like it’s hard to get out of bed, in fact I am writing this in bed. I have combatted this with just booking loads to do throughout the month interspersed with days of rest and cosy, I don’t feel so guilty about being lazy if I’ve just had a few days of ‘doing stuff’. This idea of ‘what am I going to achieve this year’ is also a lot of self pressure that we really don’t need. Take the achievements as a bonus and let’s just hope that we are all healthy enough to enjoy them. I like your theory, it’s interesting, comforting and well written. I hope to meet up with you this year, that’s one plan anyway!

  2. Jo

    Well, it makes sense to me! I have tried this year to not start new things in January, to be a bit more forgiving and rest more. As the month has turned to Feb I found my self quote happy to juggle home some spring bulbs from the market and plant them up. It seemed the right day to do it and I am ready to move the table centre that we use over December and January and slowly turn the focus to spring. I feel like I have honoured what January is this year rather than just trying to push through and ignore it. I am not sure that makes any sense but it makes sense to me.

  3. Jules

    This absolutely resonates with me! And definitely translates in my own life too. What a brilliant post Sar Lou x

  4. anna

    HI. Actually your rambling makes a lot of sense…i am always exhausted come the end of January. What better way to start the new year than to pause and take it all in. Maybe it should be “stay in bed” month… then come february we can perhaps keep the new years resolutions we always end up breaking the first week of january…thanks

  5. Elinor Hill aka Beachhutcook

    Writing about food in January I found a little challenging as most people are overfed after Christmas and the last thing they want to do it read about more food and cocktails! I find I want to take the month off but as I’ve decided to go full time freelance I just can’t!

  6. Jo Kneale

    Yes. That’s a yes, I agree. I hate starting new stuff in January, I’d far rather get inspired around the end of February, March time when the sun gets stronger and the dirt in the house starts to show. In fact, I’m writing this in a 10 minute break between washing doors and making a list of DIY for the months ahead…. I was just reading The Simple Things and saw your photos, clicked through to the blog and I love it. I’ll be back.

  7. Belinda Norrington

    I think this is totally spot on, and mirrors how I feel. I am only feeling like I am really waking up now, and it is nearly April, but I always was a late riser!

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