I have been counting down the days until the end of January since about the 10th of January. January has been a long hard slog. In fact, January is a long hard slog every single year.
December was all about new clothes and present wrapping and Christmas trees and Christmas parties and mince pies and mulled wine. In December, the cold was christmassy, the ice was festive and the dark nights were cosy.
In January, the same cold was biting, the dark nights were gloomy and oppressive and those Christmas trees are now strewn across the pavement waiting for some community-spirited individual to call the council to report a missed Christmas tree pick-up. We’ll be waiting a long time.
January is the month when we all get ill. The excesses of December take their toll. I feel like a cheese-grater has scraped my throat, phlegm makes my voice crackle and mucus makes me sound hoarse. Cygnet’s snot is making him snore like a congested baby rhino.
And then there is my bank balance. I was last paid on 23 December 2016. January is a 31 day month. That is far too many weekends, far too many train fares, far too many Tesco shops and, most cripplingly, far too many credit card bills painting, in undeniable black and white ink, the excesses of December and my Christmas present-buying generosity.
I have broken my New Year’s resolutions already. I have yet to do one thing that is outside of my comfort zone and I was supposed to smash my comfort zone weekly. As I sit here stressing about my finances and wallowing in the waterfall of mucus, I am aware that ‘Zen’, meditation and mindfulness have gone out of the window. I have one hundred pages of my book to read before midnight tonight if I am to salvage my one book a month resolution. Dry January turned out to be very damp and even resulted in my projectile vomiting across my bathroom floor. Oh, the shame of it, the absolute shame of it.
Forget New Year and new beginnings. January has been a horror show, an interminable horror show that my calendar is finally indicating is about to come to an end.
So dear January, my welcome was tentative, but my farewells are not. It is most definitely time to say goodbye to you. Goodbye and good riddance. Please don’t rush back for next year.