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I like January

Updated: Sep 19, 2023

I was trying to get to sleep last night and as usual for a Thursday, the night before my BNI meeting, my mind was swimming with all sorts of nonsense. One thing kept jogging me awake, only the third week into January and my commitment to writing a weekly blog post was in danger of failing. Which got me thinking about everyone who has embarked on Dry January, Veganuary or any other commitment set in the boundary of this glorious first month of the year. Poor January - what could be seen as a new beginning, a refresh, a huge sigh of relief from the frenetic efforts of Christmas, instead gets portrayed as the bad cop. It is the month where you have to give up your joy, the month with the longest wait til pay day, the month of diets, sobriety, darkness...

Well, right here, right now, I'm going to share some love for January...

1. January - The days are getting longer

Following winter solstice on 21st December, we have been gaining light, little by little. On 1st January we had 7 hours and 56 minutes of daylight, bu the end of the month it will be 9 hours. The sun has low arc at this time of year, flickering through the trees, barely thawing the frost, absent from my view for much of the afternoon before gently falling beyond the horizon over the lavender fields.

frosty grass at sunrise

2. The trees are bare

The last of the leaves have fallen - this is the best time of year to admire the structure of trees. The large limbs twisting and weaving together, creating pockets lined with a mesh of smaller branches - revealing mystical mistletoe and abandoned birds nests. I love this line from Bleeder by Emiliana Torrini "Naked trees they dress in crows" - the view from my studio has naked trees dressed in Starlings!

Photograph and ink drawing of bare winter trees

3. It's the season for hobbies

Once we're into winter, I'm usually armed with a crochet hook or knitting needles and whatever wool I can lay my hands on. I'm currently knitting a sweater for Mr Meccano, courtesy of a knitting kit from Icelandic Store. I find a bit of the old clickety-clack helps me unwind from the day, row by row, creating something that will last for years is brilliant - I still wear the first jumper I knitted when I was 15! This granny square blanket is an on-going project, a great way to use up odds and ends of wool - one day it will be finished!

photo of granny square crochet blanket

4. New beginnings - new journal

What better time to get organised, record your feelings, make some sketches? The start of the year is when we take stock, set some intentions and make some plans. I do have a digital calendar and notes, but I still use notebooks for business meetings and sketching out ideas. I have dabbled with bullet journals in the past and still use a journal to navigate those moments when I feel overwhelmed. I invite you to purchase your stationery from a print on demand site like Redbubble, where artists can sell their art printed on high-quality products to a global audience. Here are a selection of notebooks on my wish list...

a selection of journals with artistic covers

Have I changed your mind about January? Or maybe this quote ring true for you...

Illustration by Piyapong Saydaung of a girl wearing a red beanie leaning on her hand, looking sleepy

Illustration by Piyapong Saydaung

See you next week, Kat x

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