January – the longest month

January always seems the longest month of the year.

robin in snow

Maybe it’s because Christmas is like the culmination of December. The days after it finally arrives are filled with family catch-ups and travel between bases, and then there’s New Year’s Eve. By the time we settle back into “normality,” it already seems an age since the year ended.

When December’s salary is paid early to accommodate the break, it leaves a wide gulf between paydays. Perhaps it’s the long January reckoning after December’s last-minute overspends that makes us feel that the end of January will never arrive.

Or is it the bleak outlook of no more breaks until Easter?

snow covered field with leafless bush and bird table in foreground

I imagined I would no longer notice January dragging its feet once I retired.

Colleagues who had left before me said that it took them a year or more to settle into retirement. Whether we embrace inactivity or dive into classes, clubs and volunteering, it takes a while to change the habits of a lifetime.

It also took me a while to realise that time speeds up in retirement. I had expected the opposite to apply: that time would carry us lazily along like autumn leaves on a stream – and perhaps even drag a little.

floating leaves

Instead, the months whizz past and here I am in my tenth year of retirement, living with different dogs, making new friends and wondering who that old person is I see when passing shop windows.

Does January slow down for you?

What makes your time fly?

watch

P.S. Is somebody looking over my shoulder?

Since drafting this post, Mix.com has called my attention to a video at… https://aeon.co/videos/time-seems-to-accelerate-as-we-get-older-but-theres-a-tested-way-to-tap-the-brakes.

Apparently, it’s down to my brain having seen it all before.

13 thoughts on “January – the longest month

  1. An interesting post, and something I have noticed and commented on myself, about time that is. I read a book a couple of years back in which Chronos (dimension of time) was distinguished from Kairos (quality of time). I think as we’ve got older Kairos has taken on greater significance than Chronos, we no longer think we have to be somewhere by a certain time, get up or go to bed at a certain time, catch a train to work at a certain time etc. If you want to see the post it’s here https://buddhawalksintoawinebar.blog/2018/02/27/time-chronos-or-kairos/

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I agree that January does seem like the longest month. For me, it’s the cold and wind and rain that makes it feel as if it will last forever. The months in spring and autumn with the best weather just seem to fly by!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. February does me in. There is a song I like by New England singer that says “I have lost to February.” It goes on “you say there’s a flower and I say what’s a flower.” That kind of amnesia hits about then. Time is totally wonky. The years are short but many days are quite long. Makes no sense.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I rationalised the speeding up of time as we age with arithmatic. When we are a year old each day is a 365th of our life, by the age of ten it has shrunk to a 3650th, with each passsing day, week or year each division of time shrinks as a fraction of our life, it diminishes and its passing accelerates.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I deal with depression in the winter so January seems to drag on long for me. January and February seem like they will never end. I do think it’s worse now that I am home with the kids instead of working but even when I worked it seemed to drag because it seemed there were too many days of slogging out into the cold and dark to cover some boring story for the paper (news was always slower in winter… both a blessing and a curse for a small town paper.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed… I live in the middle of Fenland fields and right now the wind is howling outside. I’m about to get blown over walking to the garage for the freezer, so the thought of going out to work in it is not attractive. Days do drag on looking after youngsters, don’t they? Much as I love my grandchildren, days when I go over to babysit seem longer than the average day.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. When I went back to work part time, once my kids were all at school I really appreciated just having adults to talk to. After arguing with a four-year-old – and losing – talking to (mostly) rational adults was an unexpected bonus.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I know what you mean! I lose to the 5-year old all the time. She is a lot brighter than me in many ways and that’s annoying. A few weeks ago I burned my fingers trying to take a pan out of the oven. I had only used one oven mitt because I thought I could do it with one but when it tipped I reached out with the other hand, as a reflex, to grab it and burned my hand. Later, while I was reapplying ointment and bandaids my daughter said “you know… when I get older I’m going to use two oven mitts so I don’t burn the other hand.” I took that as she thought I was a pretty big idiot. 😉

            Liked by 1 person

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