I have a friend who thinks June is the darkest month. The kids are out of school, tourists crowd her tiny town, and she’d like nothing better than to curl up in bed with the air conditioner on high until September. (This is not me, I swear.) Another friend can’t stand December and all the forced cheer and shopping the holidays bring.
Me? My darkest month is February.
There’s a reason it’s the shortest month of the year — any longer and it would kill us. It’s usually cold and dreary, and if by a miracle it happens to be warm, there’s MUD. (I’m guessing E.E. Cummings never had to brush out a pastured horse or clean up after a dog and two kids.) True, there’s a week of vacation, but if you manage to go away, everyone else is there too. And if you stay home, everyone is bored with snow, the local attractions are insanely crowded, and someone is always sick.
You can see being around me in February is an uplifting experience. (My sweetheart, wise man that he is, plies me with chocolate and champagne on Valentine’s Day, so at least I’m cheerful for a few hours.) So this year, I’m making a list of things that make me happy, activities that refresh my soul and the souls of those who have to put up with me.
- Climbing into bed with clean sheets and a new book. (Any recommendations?)
- Walking in the woods with the Slobbering Beast.
- Getting lost for a few pages in the book I’m writing.
- Waking to find my bird feeder filled with blue birds.
- Listening to my son laugh.
- Watching my daughter dance.
- Seeing my two kids play together happily.
- Stealing alone time with my husband.
- Doing something physically challenging that leaves me exhilarated when I’m done.
- Reading any of the bloggers I’ve linked to in my sidebar. (C’mon, people, update — for me???)
- Having school cancelled on account of snow.
- Sledding at our favorite hill.
- Teaching someone to read.
- Getting real letters in the mail.
- Surprising someone with a tiny gift or act of kindness.
- Being warm.
What’s on your list?