The January List

Question for the group: What are your feelings about January 2020?

I’ve talked to a bunch of people about this and it seems like January set a certain kind of tone. A strong tone. Like, “Listen. This is not a test. What are you doing? Also, LIVE YOUR LIFE and DON’T WASTE TIME.”

So, not super subtle. January’s just keepin’ it real.

Between tragedy and a virus outbreak (though this article was helpful for perspective) and the inevitable pressure that accompanies the first month of the year, January has felt like a lot—but not necessarily in a bad way. Heavy with importance, perhaps.

It made me want to revive something I did once last January and then stopped because I’m great at starting new habits and forgetting about them one month later. It was super simple—I just made a list of all the things I was glad to have done or been part of throughout the month. It was an anti-resolution effort, trading a list of ways to improve for a celebration of small victories.

This was helpful because the stuff on the list was not the stuff in my mind.

It’s easy for me to look back on a span of time and see all of the things I didn’t do. This list surprised me with all of the nice things that already happened and all of the ways I did not fail. Completely contrary to belief.

So I’m making a list for January 2020, and hopefully I won’t forget to do another one until January 2021. I’m not going to copy and paste my entire list here because that feels weird. But if you are thinking of making your own list—and you should!—here’s a sample of what’s on mine:

January is quick to remind me that there are big ticket goals I need to focus on, because time’s a wastin’.

I still want all of those bigger things—like having a career as a writer of my own words and making sure my parents have everything they need and running a mile in less time than it takes to watch an episode of The Good Place. I won’t forget about any of the progress I still need to make. But I am extremely likely to forget about the progress I’ve already made. And that progress is worth celebrating, because it’s the actual stuff my life is made of.

Closet-cleaning, bagel-eating, Bachelor-watching included.

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  • My feeling about January 2020 is that there wasn’t NEARLY enough snow. On the local news they said it was in the top 10 warmest Januaries on record (coming in at number 10). Obvs this is not anything that I can control, but it has affected my 2020 life in a negative way.