I started 2013 with a refreshed, rejuvenated outlook and attitude.
New haircut, shoes, underthings.
Then January got in the way.
January always gets in the way.
My apologies to anyone who has a birthday, anniversary or other sentimental attachment to January, my least favorite month.
I'm not a January guy.
January is a gray, cold, blah month.
I've written about October, my favorite month, because of its harvest moons, golden foliage and crispy, sweatshirt weather.
I've written about April, and how spring brings me back to life with the start of baseball season, longer evenings and warmer weather.
I enjoy July, my birthday month, and March because of St. Patrick's Day.
December is festive because of the holidays, and I like August because it marks the start of football season.
November and February are good months because they mark the birthdays of my two children.
Not much to write about, really.
In January, it's cold and dark every morning when I leave for work, and it's cold and dark every evening when I get home.
People, in general, are more moody and irritable in January. Why? New Year resolutions. They're hungry from dieting. And physically sore from the workouts and pledges to get back in shape. Hungry. Sore. Tired. Tight pants. And cold. That's January.
A weeknight in January: My wife, Susan, was watching Lance Armstrong confess on TV as I read about Manti Te'o on my mini iPad. January. Yep. Nothin' much to do. How 'bout you?
Wait. Here is a good thing: January is a month when you can take a nap any time, day or night, and not miss much.
Another good thing: the NFL playoffs. But not even the Super Bowl cared much for January and it was moved to early February.
Whew. Hockey's back. And purpose has returned to Saturday nights.
There's more basketball than you can possibly watch in January. At every level, you can start telling the contenders from the pretenders.
The only notable holiday in January is the third Monday on which we honor Martin Luther King Jr. Some of my most favorite famous people were born in January. Elvis Presley. George Foreman. Jack Nicklaus. Jackie Robinson. Muhammad Ali. Neil Diamond. All January babies. Great people. None worthy of federal holiday status, though.
Other reasons to celebrate in January? National Careers in Cosmetology Month. National Eye Health Care Month. National Fiber Focus Month.National Hobby Month.
That's what I need -- a hobby. One I can do indoors when it's cold and gray. A hobby could be good for January. But with hobbies, you usually spend a lot of money to make things you don't have room to keep yourself. So you end up giving them away. And people get a lot of homemade stuff they never asked for. Then you get your feelings hurt when you see your hobby at their yard sale.
The heck with a hobby.
For the record, January is National Soup Month. Hot Tea Month. Oatmeal Month. Prune Breakfast Month. It is also National Thank You Month. That's good to know, as soon as I settle on something to be thankful about for January. That well could be the fact that I've not yet reached that stage in life when I'm considering prunes for my breakfast.Thank you, though.
Here are five potential commemorative designations for the month of January
January could be...
1. National Wonder Why I Didn't Get a Holiday Card from Them This Year Month? It's puzzling. We got a card from them every other year. Old friends. Old family. Are they mad at us? What did we do to them? Did something happen to them?
2. National Football Coach's Carousel Month. The big names get hired and fired, rehired and refired. Some coaches say they're interested, maybe, and the result is they get an extended contract and a few more million dollars. Amazing. Just once I want to hear, "You talking to them? Good. You are sending your players the wrong message. We can win without you. Bye."
3. National Big Juicy Cheeseburger and a Cold Beer Month. Go ahead. Sin. While everybody else is focusing on soup, hot tea, oatmeal and prunes in January.
4. National Watch Eagles in Alton Month. I plan to watch the eagles flying in the Alton area soon.I am not a bird fan. But eagles are amazing. Especially in January.
5. National I Wish January Were Really October, July or May Month. So the weather was warmer. And I could go outside every evening and listen to Cardinals baseball on the radio at dusk. Instead, I'll probably take a nap. It's January. I won't miss much.