I love the January chill.
I love the January lull.
After the November darkening, as the nights draw in, and the fun and brightness of the Christmas season, I love this little portion of the year. For some the darker feel can get oppressive, and there have certainly been years where I've felt the weight of it all. Years and years of Januarys have improved this though, and thanks to a few tricks and changes (including but not limited to extending my sleep schedule by a half-hour, spending a little time with a SAD-lamp, taking vitamin D, increasing my veggie intake and walking for a decent amount several times a week) I'm able to embrace this navy-blue month in all its glory.
Yes, to me, January is a deep, dark navy blue. the colour of night skies and school uniforms. When I was younger I didn't really see the beauty in Januarys. It was so easy to get distracted and swept away by the bright pinks and oranges of summer, the twinkling fairy lights of December, or the burnt oranges and nut browns of October. With age I've acquired a fondness for January though, and always try to remember to stop and think about all the reasons I adore it so.
January is a great month for reading, watching and listening. In the brighter summer months I always feel like I should be out and about, but in murky and damp January no-one judges you for curling up. It's a time for weekend afternoons curled up cosy with a cup of tea and a ood book or two. Or going to the movies and sitting in the warm, in the dark, letting the magicians of Hollywood sweep you away. Or losing a string of evenings to a boxset or a Netflix binge.
January is for planning. I know it's a fairly arbitrary way of looking at the world, but so help me I love watching the calendar tick over to a new year. January is a great time to set goals, build towards dreams, and plan. Matthew and I are looking forward to holiday planning, and I've got a pleasant little list of things I'd like to achieve with my work, my writing, and other areas.
January is for wholesome, hearty food. I love breaking out the slow cooker and making stews and soups and chillis. It's the perfect time to make bread - a toasty home on a cold day with fresh bread baking is the very epitome of homey bliss. I love adding new flavours and ingredients to our roster and cooking lovely meals.
January is for catching up. Everyone heads off on the four winds for Christmas, but in January town feels busy once more. I'm loving seeing my diary fill with brunches, lunches and (early) dinners.
January is for sleep. Never is it so easy to turn in as in these velvety dark nights! Getting up is a tad harder, of course, but earlier bedtimes have me well rested and reading to set off for another day; albeit a day which starts for me while the sky is still inky-black-blue overhead.
So that's my cosy, social, book-heavy January. What does this month mean to you?