People have mixed feelings about January.

After the hyperactive, techicoloured, explosion of excess at Christmas & New Year, anything would be an anti-climax.

January gets a bad rap. The January blues is such a bad nickname for a month. I’d be gutted if I was January. I understand why people are bummed about it. It’s reputation as a grey, cold, stark landscape does have a basis in reality. After the month-long party of December, the 31 days which follows can feel like metaphorically stepping in a slushy puddle.

But how fickle those critics are! They countdown to the second that January begins, celebrate, then have the audacity to moan about its existence. Make your minds up. You either want a January or you don’t.

Personally, I have a lot of time for January. (About a month, actually.) It’s a clean slate after a lot of distraction. It’s an opportunity for a reboot, a time for a deep clean of the brain, a time for resolutions, promises and a renewal of aspirations.

There’s usually some good telly too.

January usually kicks my arse to be more artistic. The New Year brings a flow of creative juices which, in my case, means that I finally sit down and write some music.

The freshness of January is also good encouragement to get out and about. We have a tradition of wrapping up and walking through Pollok Park or similar woodland in January. The relative quietness of a frozen pond, the snow-dampened forest, the moaning of the children as frostbite sets in. It’s all a reminder of this special start to the year.

Winter Walk

And then there are the health kicks, The diet starts in January is a familiar promise, only this time it’s real. Really. I’ve had my visit to the tip, the decorations are back in the loft and the exercise bike has been dusted down. Time to shift the belly I’ve expanded since the mince pies went on sale in mid-October. Game on.

So, January, ignore those who call you blue. I love you and I hope to see you many, many more times.

Happy New Year!

Front page image by Annie Spratt on Unsplash